F-gas

I’m a qualified F-Gas Engineer, what next?

   22 February 2024         Blogs

In order to become a qualified F-Gas engineer you need to complete a training course and obtain a qualification that is certified by an awarding body. Once you have completed a relevant F Gas training course, you will then be able to become F-Gas certified with The F-Gas Register.

However, once you have successfully gained your F-gas qualification you may be wondering, what next?

This blog post takes a brief look at the job roles available to qualified f-gas engineers as well as the qualifications that you can progress on to.

We’ve also created a handy download for you to take away with you.

What is an F-Gas Engineer?

An F Gas engineer is an individual who has obtained F Gas certification, allowing them to legally engage in the servicing of appliances that utilise associated refrigerants. This includes systems such as air conditioning, refrigeration units, and heat pumps.

What kind of job titles might a qualified F-Gas Engineer have?

  • Refrigeration Engineer
  • HVAC Engineer
  • Authorising Engineer
  • Air Conditioning Engineer
  • Heat Pump Engineer
  • Maintenance Engineer
  • Maintenance Technician

What is an F Gas qualification?

If you want to work in the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and/or Heat Pump Industry, installing, servicing and leak checking systems the City & Guilds Award in F-Gas and ODS Regulations: Category I – Leak checking, recovery, installation, service, maintenance of equipment qualification is the legal minimum requirement.

Suitable for new entrants to the industry or those with no previous training, Category 1 f – gas means you are able to carry out any of the controlled activity on any size system.

There are, however, a number of different F-Gas qualification levels. These are as follows:

  • F-Gas Category 1 covers the installation, service, maintenance, recovery and leakage checking of stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment with a charge more than 3kg or 6kg (if hermetically sealed).
  • F-Gas Category 2 covers equipment with a charge of less than 3kg (6kg if hermetically sealed).
  • F-Gas Category 3 covers refrigerant recovery from stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment.
  • F-Gas Category 4 covers leak checking of stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment.

Further information about F Gas qualifications and the relevant regulations can be found here: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-f-gas-regulations-517-2014/

F Gas Engineer Career Progression

Once you have successfully completed our F-Gas Cat 1 training course, there are a number of paths you can take in terms of upskilling and future proofing your career and skillset.

It’s not always easy to know what is needed for each route, which is why Develop’s F-Gas expert, Brandon Clark, has put together a pathway of all the different routes you can take and what you need to reach them.

Download the pathway here.

 


Get in touch

If you have any questions about F-Gas training, or our F-Gas Category 1 training course, then please contact our Customer Service team on 0800 876 6708 or email enquiries@developtraining.co.uk

air con maintenance engineer
F-gas

Bridging the Skills Gap: Brandon Clark’s Journey in F-Gas Training

   01 February 2024         Blogs

brandon clark: f-gas trainer

Brandon Clark, a seasoned refrigeration and air conditioning engineer at Develop Training, the UK’s leading accredited provider of compliance, technical and safety training, sheds light on the pivotal role that F-Gas qualifications play in meeting the heating and plumbing industry’s growing demands.

In the ever-evolving landscape of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) sectors, the role of F-Gas maintenance has become increasingly instrumental to meeting the growing requirements of the industry and to align with new net-zero targets set by the UK government.

As the UK strives to reduce CO2 equivalents by 21% by 2030*, the demand for qualified professionals in the HVACR industry is reaching unprecedented levels and therefore widening the existing skills gap.

What does Net Zero mean for F-Gas Regulations?

To form part of the UK government’s net zero ambitions, new installation targets for heat pumps have been set, which has increased the need for F-Gas qualified engineers. The heating and plumbing industry is moving away from the use of traditional boilers, and replacing them with heat pumps, which have been found to be three times more efficient than fossil fuel boilers.**

Due to their high efficiency, heat pumps are now being installed in a lot of new build sites instead of boilers. The use of natural gas contributes to approximately 20% of greenhouse gas emissions from the UK***, so the shift to lower carbon heating methods, such as heat pumps, is well founded for this reason.

Indeed, to meet the UK government’s net zero commitments, it is estimated that over 20,000 homes every week will need to switch from traditional heating methods to low-carbon heating methods between 2025 and 2050, to ensure those targets are met***. This surge in demand necessitates a skilled workforce capable of installing and maintaining these eco-friendly systems.

Gas Engineers need to upskill and become F-Gas qualified

Becoming F-Gas qualified is not merely a checkbox activity, but is crucial for future-proofing the HVACR workforce, ensuring it remains adept at handling cutting-edge technologies to align with the government’s goals of improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

For current gas engineers, upskilling has become imperative to stay on-top of these industry shifts. Becoming F-Gas qualified is key to mastering new technologies and techniques that define the future of the HVACR industry.

The evolving renewable energy sector and the roll-out of energy efficient products such as the increased heat pump deployment further highlights the need for a skilled workforce, comprised of new and existing professionals, equipped with the knowledge to navigate and maintain these emerging green technologies.

Available F-Gas training

At Develop, our Cat 1 F-Gas training course is one of our most popular and we have recently relaunched the course, certified under the City & Guilds 2079-11 scheme, to tie in with the growth of the F-Gas industry. The course spans over five days and is delivered from our York, Derby and Linlithgow centres. However, the course equipment is mobile, so we are also able to deliver the training at any of our centres or, alternatively, travel directly on-site to customers too.

As the trainer of the relaunched course, it’s important for me to provide delegates with a wide range of essential theoretical, practical and green skills that they are able to take away and apply to F-Gas containing equipment in-line with EU Guidelines and regulations. I have previously been in the delegates’ position and therefore I always make sure I am providing the knowledge and understanding that I once required to those that I am now training.”

As the HVACR industry grapples with the challenges of climate change, these certifications are not just credentials—they are the building blocks of a workforce capable of steering the sector towards a sustainable and environmentally-conscious future, while contributing towards the wider net zero targets from the UK government.

To find out more about Develop’s F-Gas course or to sign up for training, please visit: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/courses/electrical-and-mechanical/f-gas

To learn more about F-Gases and how the regulations affect your business, take a look at the latest blog posts on the subject here: www.developtraining.co.uk/blogs

 

 

* https://netregs.org.uk/

** https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1148252/powering-up-britain-energy-security-plan.pdf

*** https://www.nationalgrid.com/stories/energy-explained/what-is-a-heat-pump

Recent Blog Posts & News

F-gas

Do I need an F-Gas certificate?

   23 November 2023         Blogs

Every individual working on equipment containing fluorinated gases must hold a personal F-Gas qualification/certificate. Every business entity, whether working as a sole trader or a limited company, must hold a company registration certificate (REFCOM) for any work involved with any part of an installation, repairs, servicing, maintenance, or decommissioning.

This means that someone working as a sole trader must be registered as a company as well as hold their individual F-Gas certification i.e. City & Guilds 2079-11, BESA FGas, CITB J11, or LCL FGas.

Qualifications for new entrants to the refrigeration, air-conditioning and/or heat pump industries

If you want to work in the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and/or Heat Pump Industry, installing, servicing and leak checking systems the City & Guilds Award in F-Gas and ODS Regulations: Category I – Leak checking, recovery, installation, service, maintenance of equipment qualification is the legal minimum requirement.

Suitable for new entrants to the industry or those with no previous training, Category 1 f – gas means you are able to carry out any of the controlled activity on any size system.

There are, however, a number of different F-Gas qualification levels. These are as follows:

  • F-Gas Category 1 covers the installation, service, maintenance, recovery and leakage checking of stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment with a charge more than 3kg or 6kg (if hermetically sealed).
  • F-Gas Category 2 covers equipment with a charge of less than 3kg (6kg if hermetically sealed).
  • F-Gas Category 3 covers refrigerant recovery from stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment.
  • F-Gas Category 4 covers leak checking of stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment.

How do I apply for a F-Gas Category 1 certificate?

Develop Training are able to offer F-Gas Cat 1 (City & Guilds 2079-11) training course at centres across the UK including, York, Swindon, Derby, Manchester, Linlithgow (Scotland), Norwich, Brentwood & Birmingham. Our equipment is mobile so we can also deliver bespoke F-Gas training at a location of your choice. The training course is certified under the City & Guilds 2079-11 scheme.

Find out more about the F Gas Category 1 training course here: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/courses/electrical-and-mechanical/f-gas-fluorinated-gases-electrical-and-mechanical/f-gas-cat1-city-guilds-2079-11/

Get in touch

Contact us today on 0800 876 6708 or enquiries@developtraining.co.uk to discuss your individual training needs, to book a place on an F-Gas training course, or enquire about a bespoke course at a location of your choice.

About the Author

brandon clark: f-gas trainer

Brandon Clark, F-Gas Trainer

Brandon is a refrigeration and air conditioning expert who spent many years working in industry installing and maintaining equipment containing F-Gases. He is qualified to Level 3 NVQ and has several years of experience teaching apprentices. He joined the Develop team in 2023 on our Emerge & Evolve 'train the trainer' programme.

F-gas

How does F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 affect your business

   15 November 2023         Blogs

To address the pressing concerns surrounding F-Gases, the European Union introduced the F-Gas Regulation 517/2014, which mandates a substantial 79% reduction in the use of HFCs between 2015 and 2030. With 2030 edging ever closer, this ambitious goal is on-track to be achieved through a phasedown approach, reducing the amount of HFCs available in the market and imposing stricter requirements for leak testing.

However, many businesses are still left wondering, what does it mean for me?

How does F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 affect my business?

If you manufacture, supply, use, install or service equipment containing F gases you must comply with legislation.

Here’s how these regulations affect your business:

1. Mandatory training requirements under F-Gas Regulation 517/2014

One of the most crucial aspects of the F-Gas Regulation is the requirement for all personnel and companies involved in handling, recovering, supplying, installing, manufacturing, maintaining, servicing, or owning equipment containing HFC refrigerants to be F-Gas certified. This means that all your employees who work with F-Gases must undergo specific training and obtain the necessary certifications. Without certified personnel, your business may not be in compliance with the law.

2. Impact on Day-to-Day Operations

If your business involves the use of equipment that contains F-Gases, such as refrigeration systems, air conditioning units, or fire protection systems, the regulations will affect your daily operations. You will need to ensure that trained and certified technicians handle tasks like installation, testing for leaks, general maintenance, and disposal or decommissioning. This could lead to changes in your workflow, staff training, and operational procedures.

3. Reporting and Record-Keeping for Businesses Using F-Gases

The F-Gas Regulation requires businesses to maintain detailed records of F-Gas use, including production, import, and export data within the EU. Compliance with these reporting requirements is essential to avoid potential fines and legal repercussions. It also means you need efficient systems in place for data collection and documentation.

4. Product Labelling for Items Containing Fluorinated Gases

Depending on the nature of your business and the products you deal with, you might be required to label certain products and equipment that contain F-Gases in accordance with the regulations. This ensures transparency and traceability in the supply chain.

5. Impact on Costs

Achieving compliance with F-Gas regulations may entail investing in employee training, equipment upgrades, and record-keeping systems. While these initial investments may increase operational costs, the long-term benefits include reduced emissions, environmental responsibility, and compliance with the law.

6. Environmental Responsibility

The primary goal of F-Gas regulations is to reduce and contain emissions of these potent greenhouse gases. By complying with these regulations, your business contributes to global efforts to combat climate change and minimise the environmental impact of F-Gases.

7. Non-Compliance with F-Gas Regulations Can Affect Market Access

In some cases, non-compliance with F-Gas regulations can affect your ability to access certain markets or participate in government contracts. Being in line with these regulations can enhance your business’s reputation and open up opportunities for collaboration and expansion.

In conclusion

F-Gas regulations have a direct impact on your business by necessitating employee training and certification, changing operational procedures, requiring data reporting and record-keeping, and promoting environmental responsibility. To ensure compliance and minimise disruption, it’s essential to stay informed about these regulations, invest in training and certification for your staff, and adapt your business practices to align with the requirements set by the F-Gas Regulation.

Further information on the regulations can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/fluorinated-gases-f-gases

Get in touch

Contact us today on 0800 876 6708 or enquiries@developtraining.co.uk to discuss your individual training needs, to book a place on an F-Gas training course, or enquire about a bespoke course at a location of your choice.

Click here to view our F-Gas Category 1 (City & Guilds 2079-11) training course

About the Author

brandon clark: f-gas trainer

Brandon Clark, F-Gas Trainer

Brandon is a refrigeration and air conditioning expert who spent many years working in industry installing and maintaining equipment containing F-Gases. He is qualified to Level 3 NVQ and has several years of experience teaching apprentices. He joined the Develop team in 2023 on our Emerge & Evolve 'train the trainer' programme.

Fluorinated gases concept icon
F-gas

Everything you need to know about the F-Gas Regulations 517/2014

   06 November 2023         Blogs

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), found in refrigeration, fire protection, air conditioning, and heat pump systems, have come under the spotlight due to their powerful greenhouse gas properties, exacerbating global warming. These fluorinated greenhouse gases, commonly known as F-Gases, are a family of compounds containing fluorine, and their regulation has recently taken centre stage in efforts to mitigate their impact on our planet.

About F-Gas Regulation 517/2014

To address the pressing concerns surrounding F-Gases, the European Union introduced the F-Gas Regulation 517/2014, which mandates a substantial 79% reduction in the use of HFCs between 2015 and 2030. This ambitious goal is achieved through a phasedown approach, reducing the amount of HFCs available in the market and imposing stricter requirements for leak testing. But perhaps one of the most crucial components of this regulation is the emphasis on training and certification for technical personnel and companies involved in working with F-Gases.

The overall aim of F-Gas is to reduce and contain emissions by using responsible refrigeration. The regulations make reference to:

  • Better containment of F-gases in their applications
  • Recovery of F-gases from products and equipment reaching their end of life
  • Training and certification of technical personnel and businesses working with F-gases
  • Reporting of production, import and export data
  • Labelling of certain products and equipment containing those gases

With common HFCs like HFC 404A and HFC 134a in refrigeration systems, HFC 23 and HFC 227ea in fire protection systems, and HFC 404A and HFC 410A in air conditioning and heat pump systems, a wide range of industries are directly impacted by these regulations.

Whether you operate, service, or maintain equipment that contains these potent greenhouse gases, it’s vital to understand the implications of this legislation for your business and your role within it.

Further information on the regulations can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/fluorinated-gases-f-gases

These F-Gas regulations affect your business

Develop Training has recently seen a surge in F gas training requests, as employers are ensuring that their employees are undertaking this mandatory training requirement and they understand the impending changes and what they mean for their business.

Only trained technicians can carry out work on equipment containing F gases, including:

  • installation
  • testing for leaks
  • general maintenance
  • disposal or decommissioning when you no longer need the product

In this blog post, our F-Gas Trainer, Brandon Clark, delves into the world of F-Gases and answers some of the most frequently asked questions around F-Gas Regulation 517/2014.

How does F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 affect me?

If you manufacture, supply, use, install or service equipment containing F gases you must comply with legislation.

Here’s how these regulations affect your business:

Mandatory Training Requirements: One of the most crucial aspects of the F-Gas Regulation is the requirement for all personnel and companies involved in handling, recovering, supplying, installing, manufacturing, maintaining, servicing, or owning equipment containing HFC refrigerants to be F-Gas certified. This means that all your employees who work with F-Gases must undergo specific training and obtain the necessary certifications. Without certified personnel, your business may not be in compliance with the law.

Impact on Day-to-Day Operations: If your business involves the use of equipment that contains F-Gases, such as refrigeration systems, air conditioning units, or fire protection systems, the regulations will affect your daily operations. You will need to ensure that trained and certified technicians handle tasks like installation, testing for leaks, general maintenance, and disposal or decommissioning. This could lead to changes in your workflow, staff training, and operational procedures.

Reporting and Record-Keeping: The F-Gas Regulation requires businesses to maintain detailed records of F-Gas use, including production, import, and export data within the EU. Compliance with these reporting requirements is essential to avoid potential fines and legal repercussions. It also means you need efficient systems in place for data collection and documentation.

Product Labelling: Depending on the nature of your business and the products you deal with, you might be required to label certain products and equipment that contain F-Gases in accordance with the regulations. This ensures transparency and traceability in the supply chain.

Impact on Costs: Achieving compliance with F-Gas regulations may entail investing in employee training, equipment upgrades, and record-keeping systems. While these initial investments may increase operational costs, the long-term benefits include reduced emissions, environmental responsibility, and compliance with the law.

Environmental Responsibility: The primary goal of F-Gas regulations is to reduce and contain emissions of these potent greenhouse gases. By complying with these regulations, your business contributes to global efforts to combat climate change and minimise the environmental impact of F-Gases.

Market Access: In some cases, non-compliance with F-Gas regulations can affect your ability to access certain markets or participate in government contracts. Being in line with these regulations can enhance your business’s reputation and open up opportunities for collaboration and expansion.

F-Gas regulations have a direct impact on your business by necessitating employee training and certification, changing operational procedures, requiring data reporting and record-keeping, and promoting environmental responsibility. To ensure compliance and minimise disruption, it’s essential to stay informed about these regulations, invest in training and certification for your staff, and adapt your business practices to align with the requirements set by the F-Gas Regulation.

Which gases are covered by the F-Gas Regulations?

The F-Gas Regulation encompasses several classes of fluorinated greenhouse gases. Specifically, it covers:

HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons): HFCs are a type of fluorinated greenhouse gas used in various applications, including refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pump systems. The F-Gas Regulation sets measures to control and reduce the use of HFCs, making them a primary focus of the regulations.

However, it’s important to note that not all F-gases fall under the same regulatory provisions.

The crucial phase-down measures, for instance, apply to HFCs but not to the following classes of F-gases:

PFCs (perfluorocarbons): PFCs are another class of fluorinated greenhouse gases. While they are covered by regulations, they are subject to separate provisions, distinct from the phase-down measures applied to HFCs.

SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride): SF6 is yet another class of fluorinated greenhouse gas, and like PFCs, it falls under different regulatory provisions compared to HFCs. The F-Gas Regulation’s measures do not apply to SF6 in the same way they do for HFCs.

Synthetic refrigerants covered by the regulation and used in refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment and systems include the following important refrigerants:

  • R-134a (GWP 1,430)
  • R-407c (GWP 1,744)
  • R-410a (GWP 2,088)
  • R-404a (GWP 3,922)
  • R-507 (GWP 3,990)

How do I know if I have F-gasses in my equipment?

Every refrigeration and air conditioning system should have an information plate securely attached to it. In the case of air conditioning units, you’ll typically find this plate on the outdoor condensing unit, while for refrigeration systems, it’s usually located on the primary plant.

Among the various details provided on this information plate, one critical piece of information is the identification of the refrigerant used in the system and its quantity, measured in kilograms.

Refrigerant types are denoted by an ‘R’ number on these system information plates. For example, you may encounter designations like R410a, R404a, R407a, R407c, or R407f, each corresponding to a specific type of refrigerant.

Do I need an F-Gas certification?

Every person working in the sector must hold a personal F-Gas qualification and every business entity, whether working as a sole trader or a limited company, must hold a company registration certificate (REFCOM) for any work involved with any part of an installation, repairs, servicing, maintenance, or decommissioning.

This means that someone working as a sole trader must be registered as a company as well as hold their individual F-Gas qualification i.e. City & Guilds 2079-11, BESA FGas, CITB J11, or LCL FGas.

Who is responsible for equipment containing F-Gases?

The primary obligations primarily fall on the operator, defined as the “the natural or legal person exercising actual power over the technical functioning of the equipment and systems.”

It’s crucial to emphasise that the responsibility lies with the “operator who uses the equipment.” This might not necessarily be the owner, particularly in cases where a building is leased or a business is managed across multiple locations by appointed managers.

  • F-Gas Category 1 covers the installation, service, maintenance, recovery and leakage checking of stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment with a charge more than 3kg or 6kg (if hermetically sealed).
  • F-Gas Category 2 covers equipment with a charge of less than 3kg (6kg if hermetically sealed).
  • F-Gas Category 3 covers refrigerant recovery from stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment.
  • F-Gas Category 4 covers leak checking of stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment.

What does F-Gas Category 1 (2079-11) cover?

If you want to work in the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and/or Heat Pump Industry, installing, servicing and leak checking systems the City & Guilds Award in F-Gas and ODS Regulations: Category I – Leak checking, recovery, installation, service, maintenance of equipment qualification is the legal minimum requirement.

Suitable for new entrants to the industry or those with no previous training, Category 1 f – gas means you are able to carry out any of the controlled activity on any size system.

The F-Gas City and Guilds 2079-11 qualification lasts forever – there is not a requirement to re-do it every so many years, unlike many other f-gas qualifications. However, it is up to the individual themselves to keep updated with the correct working practices and legislations. This is to ensure that they keep up the safe working standards.

Conclusion

At the heart of these regulations lies an essential component – the emphasis on training and certification for technical personnel and companies working with F-Gases. The goal is to ensure that those operating, servicing, or maintaining equipment containing F-Gases are equipped with the knowledge and skills to handle these substances responsibly and safely.

This is where Develop Training steps in. With the surge in F-Gas training requests, we understand the increasing demand for education and expertise in this field. Our City & Guilds 2079-11 scheme F-Gas Cat 1 training course has been meticulously designed to provide your employees with the essential training and certification required to meet these stringent regulations.

The Cat 1 F gas training course equips participants with the essential knowledge and hands-on expertise needed to perform tasks involving the setup, servicing, upkeep, refrigerant recovery, and leakage inspection of stationary refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pump equipment with a refrigerant charge exceeding 3kg or 6kg (in cases of hermetically sealed systems).

With Develop Training, you can be confident that your staff will be well-prepared to handle these obligations effectively.

F-Gas Cat 1 2079-11 training course

Develop offer the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the intricacies of F-Gases, ensuring compliance with the law and minimising the environmental impact of your operations. Our comprehensive 5 day F-Gas Cat 1 course is delivered by a time-served, fully qualified NVQ Level 3 refrigeration engineer and covers a wide array of topics, including installation, leak testing, general maintenance, and disposal or decommissioning of equipment containing F-Gases.

Choose Develop Training and equip your team with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the challenges of F-Gas regulations head-on.

It’s not just a requirement; it’s a step towards a greener, more sustainable future for your business and our planet.

Our locations

Training can be offered at our Derby, Swindon, Manchester, Linlithgow, Brentwood or York based centres or at a location of your choice.

Contact us

Contact us today on 0800 876 6708 or enquiries@developtraining.co.uk to book a place on a training course or enquire about a bespoke course at a location of your choice.

About the Author

brandon clark: f-gas trainer

Brandon Clark, F-Gas Trainer

Brandon is a refrigeration and air conditioning expert who spent many years working in industry installing and maintaining equipment containing F-Gases. He is qualified to Level 3 NVQ and has several years of experience teaching apprentices. He joined the Develop team in 2023 on our Emerge & Evolve 'train the trainer' programme.

Professional accreditations