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Award Automotive Refrigerant Handling - Level 3 - JanuaryApply Now »

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Level: 3

Location: Johnson Building

Years: 1

Weeks: 6

Hours: 3.00

Start: 06/01/2021

Days / Times: Wednesday 18:00 to 21:00

Tuition (£): 472.00*

Exams (£): 23.00**

Interview: Y

Course Summary

In January 2015, the EU F-gas legislation (517/2014) replaced the 2006 regulation and now requires all refrigerant recovery operations on mobile air-conditioning equipment containing HFC refrigerants to be carried out by suitably trained technicians holding the approved mandatory qualification. Therefore, all Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC) technicians working with cars and car derived vans must have achieved, as a minimum requirement, a refrigerant handling qualification which fulfils the European Union F-gas Regulation (EC842/2006 and Annex to Regulation EC307/2008).

Accredited by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), this Defra-approved qualification offers a single unit solution that provides experienced automotive Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC) technicians with evidence that they meet the minimum F-gas requirement (EC842/2006 and annex EC307/2008).

Please use the link below to access information on the new Government air conditioning legislation:


Entry requirements

The course is aimed at experienced motor vehicle technicians currently working within the motor industry who need to use mobile air-conditioning equipment.

Course Content

The theory element of this course will be delivered over the first two weeks,  leading to the online exam in week three.

Your practical assessment will take place between weeks four and seven. You will be issued with an individual appointment time for this. You do not need to attend during these later weeks, other than for your assessment appointment.

How will I be assessed?

The assessment ensures rigour and quality of assessment by measuring the candidate’s underpinning knowledge, including F-gas regulations. Learners must demonstrate the learning outcomes by following and achieving two assessment components which are set by IMI Awards:

  • practical assessment (appointment issued for individual assessment)
  • online external test (results known on day of test)

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

You will be required to wear your own PPE (coverall/safety shoes) during the workshop element of the course and, in addition, air conditioning specific PPE (provided by the College) when necessary.

What can I do after this course?

You will meet the minimum legal F-gas legislation for working on vehicles with air conditioning.

Looking for a Hybrid qualification? Why not look at our Level 3 Award in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Repair and Replacement. There are various start dates throughout the year.

Did you find the course information on this page useful?


* Tuition - This figure is the fee to be paid if you are not entitled to any concessions.
** Exam - This fee is to cover the cost of registration with the relevant awarding body.
*** Co-Tuition - This figure is the fee to be paid if you are entitled to any partial concessions.

This course is run at the Johnson Building

About the Johnson Building »

Suhayl Bhikha

Suhayl Bhikha

Halfords and Derby College offer career switch from shopfront to Autocentre floor

The UK’s leading retailer of motoring products and services Halfords has teamed up with Derby College so that a talented employee can switch from the retail shop front to the Autocentre shop floor.
The move comes as part of a rolling company scheme which gives Halfords’ retail colleagues a chance to change direction and retrain as vehicle mechanics if they want a change in career path.
Suhayl Bhikha, 27, decided to apply to become a trainee mechanic and Derby College Group apprentice when he saw an internal email offering a potential new career.
He was highly praised in his role as a customer service adviser at Halfords’ Wyvern retail site but decided he wanted a new challenge.
Now he is six months into a two-year apprenticeship at the Halfords’ Autocentre based in Wyvern next door to his old job and working towards his Level 2 Autocare qualification at Derby College. He goes into the Johnson Building one day a week for workshop and classroom studies and regularly receives visits and phone calls at work from the college for appraisals and assessments. Throughout, he is mentored and trained on the job by experienced colleagues at Halfords.
Dave Nichols, who looks after the day to day running of the Halfords Autocentres’ apprentice programme, started as an apprentice himself 25 years ago in Essex. The company has 313 Autocentres and more than 120 apprentices on its books.
Dave said: “We chose Derby College for the qualification it provides, and its expertise and facilities. We had done some work with the college in the past, for part-time employment, and we were impressed by the quality of people who came through. The travelling distance is also good for our apprentices – we work with a lot of colleges across the UK and we want to give the best offer we possibly can for them.
“We’ve done a lot of work with our retail arm to give people opportunities to move around in the business and to give the right people the opportunity to move onto an apprenticeship. A lot of people may have been doing really well in retail but the next step was to go into a management role. Some of our colleagues don’t want to do that, it’s not the right pathway for them. This is a very real alternative for progression within the business.”
Suhayl said he was learning something new every time he went into college.
He said: “It’s good – very interesting. The company and college work well together. There’s a different challenge every day, whereas next door it was pretty much the same thing all the time. I applied for the apprenticeship because Halfords look after you and I wanted a career. I’ll get my qualification and decide from there what’s next for me.”
Dave said that Halfords offers its apprentices the opportunity to take Level 3 under its own internal training scheme and this allows them to  become accredited and then to become an MOT Tester. The company is due to take on a new cohort of apprentices in September, with the possibility of a further role coming up at its Derby West Autocentre

It’s good – very interesting. The company and college work well together.


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