ACR-News
Know what you want? Try our 'Supplier Directory' 
14 November 2016

BESA ready to plug certification gap

Building engineering services employers have been reassured that new routes to professional certification will be made available by the passing of revised F-Gas handling legislation next year.

There was widespread alarm at the announcement that the CITB is to close its Utilities Engineering Division, which provided training and certification for the gas, electric, water, oil, refrigerant, steam and renewable industries in January.

In particular, companies working with refrigerant gases, whose staff are legally required to carry F-Gas certification, were concerned about the apparent gap in provision. However, DEFRA – the government department responsible – said the legislation would pave the way for the creation of new schemes and it has already approved the BESA (Building Engineering Services Association) which operates the Refcom safe refrigerant handling scheme, as an F-Gas certification body.

BESA chief executive Paul McLaughlin said: “We are delighted to have received approval from DEFRA to help plug this vital gap in certification. It is important that there continues to be a number of providers in the market, offering choice and ensuring value for money, and we have been working with DEFRA for some time to set up our own scheme to support employers right across the sector.”

He stressed that there was no need for employers to seek immediate re-certification via alternative providers as their existing CITB certificates will remain valid until their printed expiry dates and the new BESA scheme will be in place from next year.

The association, which has been providing specialist training and certification for more than 25 years, said F-Gas would be the first of a series of new BESA certification programmes and would be followed by ventilation; health & safety; unvented hot water; energy efficiency and renewables; and ventilation hygiene.

BESA training director Tony Howard said: “The new regulations offer a catalyst for BESA to disrupt the traditional certification market. Historically, we have delivered training and certification ourselves using third parties with assessments we developed. We now intend to grow and develop training, assessment and certification to enable employers in our industry to access the provision they need at a local level through licensed providers audited against our standards.”

The development of new style apprenticeship training is also taking place alongside the changes to certification and the association said the government’s new ‘Trailblazer’ apprenticeship scheme was an opportunity “to radicalise provision of training in the sector”.

“There needs to be greater clarity between ‘short courses’ and apprenticeships,” explained Mr Howard. “BESA plans to change the nature of apprenticeships by raising the bar of provision and enabling industry specialists to help employers train their own apprentices.”

Employers have welcomed the broadening of BESA’s remit and association president Malcolm Thomson, who runs an air conditioning business, said he was “encouraged by the actions that BESA is taking to ensure the continued smooth provision of F-Gas Personnel Certification”.

“Businesses must have a choice of routes to certification to satisfy their own business models. F-Gas is our first scheme to hit the market, but it will certainly not be the last,” he added.

Any training centres wishing to apply to BESA to become approved providers should email: training@thebesa.com

Comments

Already Registered?
Sign In
Not Yet Registered?
Register

World Refrigeration Day

Industry has embraced the inaugural World Refrigeration Day (WRD) with events happening all over the world....

  25-Jun-2019

Seeley to introduce new MagIQtouch Wi-Fi Smart App

The MagIQtouch smart app allows remote control of Breezair evaporative cooling systems through any mobile device with Internet connection....

  21-Oct-2019

Fridge Freezer Direct Introduces J & E Hall's range of Cellar Cooling

Reliable and energy efficient, the JCC range of cellar coolers are designed to be used in wine and beer cellars above or below ground.
  22-Oct-2019
ACR News is the number one magazine in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry. Don’t miss out, subscribe today!
Subcribe to ACR News

Diary

HVR Awards
IoR Northern branch annual dinner
IoR Scotland annual dinner
Thermozone "Maintenance is King at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich" Trevor Dann
BSRIA Briefing