May 3rd 2012
The RAC Group’s Annual Report
I am pleased to report that at its meeting on 21 July 2011, the then HVCA Council accepted the Group’s proposal to incorporate Heat Pumps in the RACG name to better reflect the work that RAC Group members carry out. The growing importance of heat pumps needed to be reflected in the Specialist Group’s identity and there was widespread support for the move from Group members. We will now be known as the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Group.
We recognise the importance of monobloc and ground source systems to members of the Heating and Plumbing Services Group (HAPSG). So a Heat Pump Interest Group has been formed to enable members of both RACG and HAPSG, also the Service and Facilities Group, to keep in touch with developments in this important field.
The RAC Group prices itself on its continuing promotion and determination to raise industry standards. I and my colleagues on the RACHP Executive Committee do this through a number of activities including lobbying, technical publications and through training.
Registration of qualified operatives is as equally important. Recently, the ACRIB Refrigeration Handling Registration scheme was officially re-launched as the joint ACRIB SKILLcard register. The scheme combines the environmental benefits of the longstanding ACRIB scheme with the health and safety benefits of the widely recognised Engineering Services SKILLcard scheme.
It is vital that for the Group and for the industry as a whole that we have representation on National and international bodies such as ACRIB and AREA but equally, representation on the various committees with the B&ES ensure that members are provided with the services that are needed as part of our day to day business activities. I would like to extend a special thank you to all the Executive members who represent the Group on the various Committees.
One of the aims of the RACHP Group is to promote and improve the professionalism of Members.
For some time now the Chariman’s address in my time and others, has focussed on F Gas and the implementation of the legislation adopted by the European Union and which applied to the UK.
This year has been no exception. The implementation of the legislation has had, and continues to have, widespread implications for the majority of companies in our sector on a number of levels. The final deadline for compliance was July 2011 by which time all companies must have achieved certification and all personnel that install, service or maintain systems that contain or are designed to contain F gas, must have obtained one of the updated national qualifications.
There is still much to do in relation to the legislation. Representatives of the Group actively participated, through ACRIB and AREA, in the European Commission’s consultation on strengthening the F Gas Regulations to further reduce emissions of fluorinated gases. A report on the consultation and the Review Bodies recommendations is due this summer.
However, non compliance of the current legislation remains an important issue. Lobbying of Government continues most notably via representatives of REFCOM, the company certification body originally introduced by the RAC Group in 1994.
The Group is heavily involved with the now independent organisation through the REFCOM Advisory Committee, myself as the Chairman and Gareth Keller attend regular meetings to discuss matters such as non compliance and to plan future strategies to combat rogue companies from operating in the UK illegally.
In my brief address I have tried to demonstrate that the RACHP Group, through its Executive Committee, the Group Branches and the B&ES Regional structure, has continually strived to improve and develop standards over the past year and is well positioned to serve the industry by continuing to question and to challenge for the better of our members and the industry as a whole.
- Scott Gleed