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Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Apprenticeship

This level 3 apprenticeship is for anyone wishing to be a Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) Engineering Technician.
Level 3 is the appropriate level for Engineering Technicians who need to work without supervision and have a high level of responsibility.
3 years
Greater Manchester SkillCentre, Trafford Park

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.

Typical job roles include:

  • Refrigeration Technician/Engineer
  • Air Conditioning Technician/Engineering
  • Heat pump Technician/Engineer
  • Service Technician/Engineer
  • Maintenance Technician/Engineer
  • Commissioning Engineer

When does the course start?

Please get in touch with us to find out when the next course will start.

What does the course cover?

On this apprenticeship, you will cover the following knowledge, skills and behaviours:


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

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 applications


  • Understanding of the 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 that can be used to reduce heat gain, cooling load, or energy use.



Safe working practices

  • Installation, commissioning, testing, fault diagnostics, the 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 the system-associated communication network

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 retro filling of existing equipment to lower GWP refrigerants including safety, reliability and environmental considerations.


Safety approach

  • A disciplined approach to assessing, managing, mitigating and avoiding risk in a variety of situations to themselves, colleagues, the public and the environment

Strong work ethic

  • Positive ethical attitude and behaviours including reliability, willingness to take responsibility. Commitment to completing tasks and ability to work as part of a multidisciplined team

Logical problem solver

  • Employs logical thinking, and determined attitude to problem-solving and technical challenges

Focus on quality

  • Attention to detail, following procedures, planning and preparation, verifying compliance

Personal responsibility

  • Takes responsibility for work and interactions with colleagues, customers, suppliers or subcontractors

Communicates well

  • Uses a range of communications methods effectively, positively and in a timely fashion


  • Able to adapt to changes in conditions, technologies, situations and a wide variety of different working environments


  • Willingness to learn and commitment to professional development and to applying principles of sound engineering and sustainability of engineering systems


What will I achieve?

On successful completion you will achieve a Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard in Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) Engineering.

You must achieve a “Level 2 Certificate in F Gas and ODS Regulations Category 1” as this is a legal requirement under the EU F Gas Regulation 517/2014 to work on equipment containing Fluorinated Refrigerants.

This standard is designed to meet the professional standards of the Engineering Council for registration as an Engineering Technician (EngTech) in partnership with the Institute of Refrigeration and CIBSE.

What are the entry requirements?

You must hold a minimum of 5 GCSE's grade A*-C/4-9.


Where will I study?

You will study at the Practical Refrigeration and Training Centre, Burnley.

How much does the course cost?

There is no fee for the learner. For information on costs to the employer, please contact us.

T. 0161 876 3300