President’s Message by Dave Rule

This issue of the Condenser is all about education and training. As you can see from our cover, IIAR is unveiling a new apprenticeship program which will help our industry safeguard the generations of institutional knowledge we rely on for the development of our future technicians, engineers and managers.

Alongside apprenticeship, we’re continuing the focus on education that began earlier this year with the launch of IIAR’s first certificate program. This was a major initiative for us: to broaden the reach of our member base by addressing changes that are occurring in our industry and promote the ongoing growth and health of industrial refrigeration.

Preparing the next generation is a central goal of any education program, and strengthening the knowledge, technical resources and leadership available to everyone in our industry right now is the first step.

Whether those resources inform regulators or help seasoned managers increase safety, our new emphasis on education is critical in answering and addressing the challenges we face.

I’m focusing my column this month on IIAR’s Academy of Natural Refrigerants because I want to remind everyone – whether you’re just learning about natural refrigerants or have been working with them for decades – that continuing your education is the single most important thing you can do to improve safety in our industry, and support IIAR and your fellow professionals.

Our Academy of Natural Refrigerants began with an initial IIAR-2 class which was unveiled at the last annual conference. That was followed with a round of new classes that are now available online for members to complete their IIAR-2 course work remotely.

Last month, we carried forward the IIAR-2 classes and exams and released similar classes and exams for IIAR Standards 4, 5, and 8. Next up is an introduction course for Process Safety Management and Risk Management slated for release in January.

The PSM and RMP module will be the first of several PSM/RMP course modules that will be offered by both IIAR and the University of Wisconsin to provide a comprehensive certificate for PSM/RMP professionals working in our industry.

Our expansive program is being designed for the long term – to provide members with educational choices to meet their business and professional development requirements, and I hope you, as an IIAR member, will find value in it for years to come.

To help our industry address regulatory requirements for safety training and increase a general understanding of good engineering practices, we need more than basic education. So, I’m happy to announce that IIAR is expanding the Academy of Natural Refrigerants to provide that comprehensive engineering training that will allow everyone in our industry to build professional credentials.

In January, we’ll introduce a formal pathway to professional credentialing. The new designation, the “academy of natural refrigerants specialist,” or ANRS, will serve as a comprehensive credential for the natural refrigerants industry.

The ANRS designation can be obtained through three different course tracks, and IIAR members will be able to choose their track to earn a comprehensive specialist’s certificate.

The three certificate tracks designed for engineers and regulatory personnel working in our industry are focused on: the IIAR suite of safety standards; process safety (a PSM coordinator track and a PSM auditor track); and basic engineering. To earn the ANRS Certificate, students will be required to complete designated courses in all three tracks within five years of beginning the program.

The ANRS Certificate program will follow the guidelines established for ANSI certificate programs and become a primary method for industry professionals and regulatory personnel to expand their knowledge and build their professional credentials in the natural refrigerant industry.

IIAR’s ANRS Certificate is just the latest step in your organization’s ongoing work to make our industry the safest and most efficient it can be. As a group, education is one of the best ways to share our passion and dedication for what we do.

I’ll end this month’s column with a challenge to IIAR members and nonmembers alike. This year, become your industry’s best advocate by taking an active role in your continuing education and join us in Colorado Springs, March 18-21, 2018 for what promises to be the best natural refrigerants conference and expo this year. Get involved in the work of the IIAR committees and lend your voice and experience to one of our many member projects.

With your help and hard work, IIAR and our industry is poised for unprecedented growth.