Level 3 Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Technician Apprenticeship Standard

Course Overview

The Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) Engineering Technician is a specialist occupation involved in planning, preparing and safely carrying out work activities in process, product and space cooling. Knowledge must be transferrable between any of the core activities of refrigeration, air conditioning or heat pumping.

The work is carried out in a variety of applications essential for key UK business activities such as food production, product distribution, retail storage and display, transport and office climate control, manufacturing processes (eg petrochemical, pharmaceutical), IT/Datacentres and medical/healthcare services temperature and environmental control.

Key activities are: the design, installation, routine maintenance, reactive service, commissioning and de-commissioning of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump systems. Technicians require a thorough competency in their understanding of the engineering principles of thermodynamics and the vapour compression cycle in order to perform operations. A fully competent technician works without immediate supervision, and liaises effectively with other trades and with end users.

Environmental, legislation and technology changes mean that the requirements for technicians in this sector are constantly evolving. European and UK Safety and Environmental legislation are key drivers in rapid technology changes in the sector which is responsible for an estimated 10% of UK greenhouse gas emissions and 16% of electricity use. RACHP Engineering Technicians have important responsibilities for the safety of themselves, work colleagues and the general public as well as minimising the environmental impact of cooling systems.

Address: North Lindsey College, Kingsway, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN17 1AJ

Contact Number: 01724 709433

Contact Email:employertraining@northlindsey.ac.uk

Knowledge Legislation, Regulations and
Standards – Understanding of relevant UK and international standards, technical
and environmental legislation including health & safety, environmental
protection, working with pressure systems, electrical circuits and flammable

Familiarity with industry Codes of Practice and other sources of up to date
information and advice on technical safety and legislative aspects of their

Underpinning principles – Sound understanding of principles of
thermodynamics, gas laws, psychrometrics, fluid flow, electricity, properties of
refrigerant fluids and lubricants.

Data analysis – Ability to understand relevant diagrams, calculations, tools,
charts, tables and formulae and apply them as appropriate.

System fundamentals – Understanding of the function and operation of system
components and how they interact in a range of different systems and

Sustainability – Understanding of environmental impact of
refrigerants, maximising efficient system performance and mitigation of direct
and indirect carbon emissions. Understanding of environmental technologies
employed in the sector such as heat recovery, low GWP refrigerants, and other
equipment which can be used to reduce heat gain, cooling load or energy use.


  • Safe working practices – Installation, commissioning, testing, fault
    diagnostics, rectification of systems, component/refrigerant suitability and
    selection. Working with pressure systems and electrical circuits and systems.
    Evaluating and mitigating risks of refrigerants including toxicity,
    flammability and other potential risks or hazards to self and the general
    public. Decommissioning, safe recovery and disposal of equipment and hazardous
    waste transfer

  • Control circuit application – Electrical and electronic control systems
    setting, testing and fault finding; and their integration with
    system-associated communication networks.

  • Mechanical operations – Positioning, fixing, jointing and testing of
    pipework, electrical circuits and water circuits where relevant.

  • Application of mathematical principles – Determining heating and cooling
    loads and selecting and balancing appropriate components and systems for
    maximum performance and efficiency.

  • Sustainable system operation – Using system operating parameters for
    efficient performance to achieve measurable and sustained reductions in carbon
    emissions. Routine and reactive service and maintenance, testing, fault
    finding, reporting and rectification. Retrofitting and retrofilling of
    existing equipment to lower GWP refrigerants including safety, reliability and
    environmental considerations.

Apprentices will be required to have or achieve a level 2 English and Maths.

All apprentices must undertake an independent endpoint assessment which is an assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours which have been developed throughout the apprenticeship. The purpose of the assessment is to make sure the apprentice meets the standard set by employers and are fully competent in the occupation.

There is no charge to the apprentice

£18,000 – employer apprenticeship Levy payers will pay the full cost from their levy: employers with 49 or less staff with an apprentice ages 16-18 years will pay no fees; all other employers will pay 5%. Prices are subject to discussion and agreement based on circumstances.

Call 01724 709433 Email employertraining@northlindsey.ac.uk
    • Course Title

      Level 3 Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Technician Apprenticeship Standard

    • Start Dates

      Students can start on various dates, usually any day of the year

    • Duration

      Typically, this apprenticeship will take 36 months to complete

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