Responding to the needs of Article 5 countries for a safe and environmentally responsible transition to next generation refrigerants, the Refrigerant Driving License (RDL) is a comprehensive refrigerant management qualification program jointly developed by UNEP OzonAction and the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). Key international industry associations support it, including AREA, ASHRAE, ABRAVA, ACAIRE, EPEE, HRAI, JRAIA, KRAIA, ARAP and U-3ARC.
The RDL sets minimum competencies and skills for the Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning (RAC) servicing sector, creating an industry and association-endorsed international qualification programme that is available to industry and governments alike. The RDL will be an important tool for benchmarking of essential competencies and skills required for the proper and safe handling of refrigerants, supporting the completion of the HCFC phase-out, and smooth start of the HFC phase-down in Article 5 countries in line with the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol. An important component of the RDL is that it includes assessment of technician knowledge and skills in the handling A2L and A3 refrigerants now entering the market as lower GWP alternatives to traditional refrigerants. The session will describe the benefits of the RDL, the online and hands-on testing components, and how National Ozone Units can implement the RDL in their countries.
Graeme Fox, Director of Technical at BESA Group and IOR President, commented on the launch of the programme: “Nearly 90 people turning up for a lunchtime side session during the Montreal Protocol open ended working group meeting is unusual, but it’s really encouraging to see this Refrigerant Driving Licence programme being launched with some great feedback from Grenada and the Maldives, who were our certification pilot nations – thank you!
The many years of developing the programme has resulted in a successful launch and now it’s over to the national ozone units to step forward and ensure that their RACHP technicians are ready for the next generation of refrigerants in use. What an absolute pleasure and privilege it has been to see this through from conception in May 2014 to delivery in July 2023. We would like to thank to AREA for their support throughout the process – particularly Marco Buoni whose enthusiasm got us over many hurdles over the last 9 years!”
Marco Buoni replied: “Great job! Thank you very much, Graeme, for giving me credit, but it is really a team work of all Associations and Institutions and this is why the Refrigerant Driving Licence it is so important, a global recognized certification of competence available for any country want to raise the level of its industry and the persons/technicians working in it!”