The IOR has today released a specification for skills, knowledge and behaviours of those working as RACHP Mechanics and Operatives in our sector. The specification is the result of several years of debate and discussion with employers and training providers to clarify the specific requirements and expectations of those employees working in Mechanic/Operative roles and the range of qualification options available to employers and individuals.   

The Mechanic/Operative specification covers a range of different job such as Pipework Installer, Service and Maintenance Operative, Air conditioning unit installer etc.  It acknowledges that there are various specialist occupations at this level but that all require knowledge of basic refrigerant principles and a thorough understanding of specific tasks related to their role. There are currently qualifications available that fit these requirements such as  City & Guilds Diplomas 6090-2 and 6187-01/02 that could be used to provide underpinning knowledge and assessment leading to a suitable Level 2 qualification.  Over time, those working in these roles will acquire further skills and knowledge gained from experience at work and might then wish to progress onto a Level 3 RACHP EngTech Apprenticeship.

The purpose is to encourage discussion and provide guidance for the sector. The IOR Education and Training Committee has produced a number of similar Specifications in recent years including one for RACHP Engineering Technicians (based on the  Level 3 Apprenticeship) and another for Design Engineers. This new specification includes a useful diagram explaining progression routes between the various roles.  The IOR suggests this could be used to help employers draft skills specifications for recruitment purposes, benchmarking employee training and development programmes, as a checklist for continued professional development of technicians, or even as a specification to develop new in-house qualifications. 

Download the specification here

Issued initially as a draft for comment, the IOR is welcoming feedback to