What is a REFCOM Elite Accredited Contractor?

If you’ve ever sought the services of an HVAC contractor before, it’s likely you’ve come across REFCOM accreditation

Under F-Gas Regulations, it’s a legal requirement that any company responsible for the installation, commissioning, decommissioning, maintenance, service or repair of stationary HVAC equipment containing refrigerant gases hold an F-Gas certification. In 2009, REFCOM was appointed by DEFRA as the official certification body, and remains the UK’s leading register for F-Gas compliant companies. 

While companies listed on the F-Gas register are legally permitted to work with HVAC equipment, REFCOM also works to promote best practice through an additional registration scheme - REFCOM Elite. 

What is REFCOM Elite?

Whilst F-Gas certification is a mandatory requirement, REFCOM Elite is the organisation’s voluntary scheme. It’s purpose is to set and encourage industry leading standards, and membership shows a commitment to exceeding basic legal obligations.  

Accreditation is awarded on rigorous inspection, provided the company in question satisfies the following criteria:

  • Competency in the installation, commissioning, decommissioning, and maintenance of systems containing refrigerant gases
  • Full compliance with all legal requirements under current legislation
  • Ensures adherence to company procedures that outline the proper control of refrigerant gases, and that these procedures are documented and auditable
  • Demonstrates safe handling of refrigerant gases, and has documented evidence of all refrigerant used and recovered
  • Holds a license to carry waste and uses approved recovery equipment
  • Shows environmental awareness and operates in such a way as to minimise emissions

To ensure these high professional standards are maintained, companies are reinspected every three years.

In addition, it’s also a requirement for engineers working for a REFCOM Elite registered company to hold a recognised SKILLCard, like that issued by ACRIB. This further promotes best practice by ensuring appropriate qualifications, skills and competence, as well as health and safety training and assessment. 

Why Use a REFCOM Elite Contractor?

When handled with the right controls, F-gases used in HVAC equipment are safe. However, in cases of misuse, these refrigerants can have detrimental effects on the earth’s atmosphere. That’s why training and codes of practice beyond the bare minimum are absolutely essential. 

Choosing a REFCOM Elite contractor gives you peace of mind that their standards far exceed what is required of them, and that you’re getting a service that’s been fully vetted to ensure utmost competence.   

It’s a standard that’s becoming more of an industry expectation. In July 2020, REFCOM won Initiative of the Year at the ACR News Awards for its new Elite Supplier scheme, to which manufacturers like Fujitsu General, Mitsubishi Electric and Daikin have signed up to. With some of the biggest names in air conditioning backing these initiatives, the standards set by REFCOM Elite are paving the way for a more responsible industry. 

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