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The latest on training: what you need to know

In the latest South African Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (SARACCA) training webinar—new developments, updated materials have streamlined the training processes. These not only create a uniform standard across the industry but also vitally contribute to its continued growth.

Image credit: Creative Commons

Image credit: Creative Commons

The old unit standards of 20 years ago are largely “out the window” and no longer applicable. SARACCA identified a need for a new book and programme that acknowledges the unit standards in use, while keeping compliant with the latest government and industry requirements.

Now broken into modules, a new framework is to be completed in notional learning hours over a combined five days. The book is broken down into knowledge, application (practical) and workplace components. Facilitators and students are provided with QCTO documents that stipulate equipment, ensures safe handling and gives clear requirements for training centres to follow.

Who is the new programme designed for?

The programme is not intended to be a basic course, rather it is designed to train candidates already working in the industry with relevant experience in the safe handling of refrigerants. Therefore, a minimum of three months of relevant experience is required. Should individuals without this minimum requirement seek training, a basic course and gaining relevant experience is recommended. It is also designed to accommodate candidates who need to renew their training, which can be completed over 2 full days provided that they do so before the six-month anniversary date of their previous course.

Standards and guidance for facilitation

Facilitators are equipped with a training guide that gives an idea of progress as well as a timeline for the course. Facilitators must have a valid SAQCC registration, completed safety training, and completed trade tests and commercial/industrial experience. While one individual may be both assessor and facilitator, qualified moderators must be separate. SARACCA is clamping down on the moderation of training providers. Facilitators have the responsibility to uphold the standards of the new programme and avoid unacceptable practices. Moderators will regularly check training centres to ensure adherence to training protocols which improves competency in the industry.

Crucial records and archiving for Bodies of Evidence

It is vital for training providers to keep accurate as well as complete records. The body of evidence should be archived for the life of the candidate. Falsifying paperwork and lack of documentation carries serious consequences. This not only damages the industry but also the credibility of all involved.

The structure of assessments

The new programme features self-tests which students complete as homework during the course. Assessment questions are structured as multiple choice as these encourage a uniform standard, rather than assessors marking based on interpretation or opinion. Group testing of competency is an unacceptable practice. Candidates should be encouraged to develop individual competency at all times. Assessments are always closed book and three attempts are given to pass. In line with OSH Act compliance, the same assessments apply for renewals and new candidates.

Registration responsibility and guidance

Training providers must stress the student’s responsibility to apply for SAQCC Gas registration through SARACCA. Facilitators need to guide their students on providing specific, detailed information and all documentation. SARACCA greatly values the feedback of training providers to keep refining the programme’s structure and application which will ultimately boost the industry.

For further information or contact information on accredited training providers visit www.saracca.co.za.