I recently attended the Round Table discussion meeting on the qualifications supporting the Authorized Refrigeration Practitioner.
As it turns out, this is a widely debated subject, with many members of the industry claiming there is no law supporting the registration of refrigeration practitioners.
Let's take the chance to put this debate to rest: there are laws supporting our artisans. Here's how it works:
The Pressure Equipment regulations came into being in July 2009 and concerned some of the industries larger issues. For now, perhaps the focus should be on the definitions, before we go too technical. The definitions are, after all, what people are arguing about.
Authorised person: A person who has been found and registered as competent for a certain scope of work (e.g. someone who is registered to work with Ammonia Refrigeration).
Gas: Obviously this includes your every day gases, but it also includes liquefied gases, gases dissolved under pressure, vapours and liquids that have a vapour pressure that is higher than 50 kPa above normal atmospheric pressure.
Gas system: refers to an assembly of tubes, pipes or similar ducts, fittings and valves for the reduction, circulation and conveyance of gas. This, however, excludes a pressure vessel or transportable gas container connected to a system.
Manufacturer: This is any person that has overall control and is responsible for the construction of the pressure equipment. This could also be the contractor or installer.
Piping: Rather self-explanatory, but this refers to pipes, tubes or flexible pressure hose elements intended for the transport or distribution of any fluid at a pressure of 50 kPa or above when connected together for integration into pipes for the purpose of cooling or heating air.
Pressure vessel: The housing which has been designed and manufactured to contain a fluid under a design pressure equal to or greater than 50 kPa.
Last, but not least, the term 'Repair' refers to the restoration to original standard by the application of heat or welding to any pressure equipment.
Now, I realise these terms seem rather lost in space here, so if you're looking for a more in-depth look at the regulations, the article on Pressure Equipment Regulations that appeared in a previous issue of RACA goes into a lot more detail, but at least now you have the basics!
Check out the RACA article here: The refrigeration of authorised refrigeration practitioners.