Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

In 1882 the first refrigerated shipment of frozen meat left New Zealand for Britain. That's just one example of how the technology this industry supports has transformed our country's economy.


We can provide training plans, support and qualifications - tailored to your businesses specific needs.

What do we offer?

We partner with industry associations like the Institute of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (IRHACE) and members of your industry to help recruit and build talented employees. This support includes promoting careers in your industry, identifying potential apprentices, and encouraging work placements.

We also ensure your industry’s qualifications continue to meet needs, support industry events like conferences, competitions and graduations and regularly celebrate your learners’ success.

When apprentices enrol, we assign them a Competenz account manager. Our account managers understand the RAC industry and the skills learners and businesses need to gain.

New Zealand Certificates

The programme handbook summarises the New Zealand Certificates and how to work towards them. 

  • 14093 RAC Programme Handbook LR Page 01

    New Zealand Certificates

     The programme handbook summarises the New Zealand Certificates and how to work towards them. 

    Download (pdf, 2.3 MB)

Qualifications available

Credits: 280

Duration: 48 months

About this qualification: 

Graduates will be able to:

  • apply engineering trade skills and knowledge to plan, troubleshoot, recondition, and test when maintaining and servicing a range of RAC plant and equipment
  • apply engineering trade skills and knowledge to plan, install, and test a range of RAC equipment in accordance with industry and statutory standards
  • commission basic installations and work with specialists to commission the full range of complex plant and equipment
  • apply an understanding of the principles of RAC system design and applications to all aspects of their work
  • recover refrigerant into a cylinder and charge refrigeration systems in accordance with current regulations
  • apply knowledge of the use and management of refrigerants in the RAC industry to safely meet all relevant environmental and industrial legislation
  • carry out the electrical work associated with installing, maintaining, servicing and commissioning refrigeration plant and equipment
  • apply an understanding of the relevant Health and Safety legislation and workplace safety culture to work safely and meet responsibilities in a commercial environment
  • recognise the limits of their ability and the importance of working with integrity and maintaining currency.

Who this qualification is intended for: People who want to complete an apprenticeship in RAC.

NZQA qualification overview

The National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Level 5) with strands in Engineering Fabrication, Fire Protection, General and Maintenance Engineering, Mechanical Services, and Precision Engineering is for qualified engineering tradespeople who wish to further develop their technical, business, and overall leadership knowledge and skills and gain a qualification at an advanced trade level.

This qualification prepares trainees for a wide range of roles in the mechanical engineering industry at management and/or advanced technical level, and comprises three sections.

The first section is compulsory and covers skills considered core to all mechanical engineering staff working at an advanced trade level.

The second is an elective section, which allows for a wide choice of applied study in the areas of mechanical engineering, business and management. Trainees can therefore select those standards most appropriate to a particular role, for example: foreman, leading hand, supervisor, technical expert or process champion.

The third section comprises five strands, which reflect the major sectors of work within the mechanical engineering industry. These strands provide flexibility through elective standards which can be chosen to match the range of work available in the trainee''s enterprise.

Typically, the qualification will be gained during the course of an eighteen month part-time training programme.

The Mechanical Services strand is for those employed within the refrigeration, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning industries installing, commissioning, servicing and maintaining: commercial refrigeration and/or air conditioning equipment; industrial single or multi-stage refrigeration systems, or heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems for industrial and office buildings.

NZQA qualification overview

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

  • Comprehend and apply detailed knowledge underpinning good practice as an engineering technician
  • Comprehend and apply detailed knowledge underpinning good practice as an engineering technician that is specific to the jurisdiction in which he/she practices
  • Be responsible for making decisions on part or all of one or more or more well-defined engineering activities
  • Manage part or all of one or more well-defined engineering activities in accordance with good engineering management practice
  • Communicate clearly with others in the course of his/her well defined engineering activities
  • Maintain the currency of engineering knowledge and skills
  • Exercise sound engineering judgement
  • Conduct engineering activities to an ethical standard at least equivalent to the relevant code of ethical conduct
  • Recognise the reasonably foreseeable social, cultural and environmental effects of well-defined engineering activities generally

Graduates of the Mechanical Engineering strand will also be able to:

  • Identify, state and analyse well-defined engineering problems in accordance with good practice for engineering
  • Design or develop solutions to well-defined engineering problems by applying accepted procedures and methodologies
  • Identify risk and apply risk management techniques to well-defined engineering problems

NZQA qualification overview