F Gas Regs

Apparently, thanks to F Gas Regs (whatever they are) more people are aware of the impact of systems on the environment, both directly through leakage and much more importantly indirectly through electrical energy usage. Not sure what if all means but I love to sound smart discussing all this with my canine friends!


‘Coffee Stains’

The Guvnors always analysing the exam results to make sure that the training always hits the spot.  They’re always going on about ‘coffee stains’ which, when I find out what it means – if not the obvious – I’ll let you know.

Employer Guide to Apprenticeships

The National Apprenticeship Service has issued a new guide for Employers of Apprentices.

Its an extremely useful document, updating employers looking to take on an Apprentice and wishing to train them, using their Levy Funds.  It explains the benefits, responsibilities, apprenticeship reforms and the Apprenticeship Levy.

What we thought was especially interesting was the Quick Guide for Employers dealing with the ‘Myths’ surrounding the Apprenticeship programme.

Click the link for more information

There are NO MYTHS about it, as an ‘RACHP Specialist’ on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers, if you wish to enrol an Apprentice, give us a call.  We are enrolling now for starts in December 2018.

Understanding the Requirements of the New Apprenticeships in RACHP for Levy Paying Employers

There has long been recognition that the current Apprenticeship Programme does not achieve the high standard of skills and knowledge required by todays industry and that there is a dire shortage of suitably skilled technicians.  Today’s engineers need a high level of knowledge and skills to work with more complex systems with an increasing emphasis on energy efficiency and the environment.

To achieve this, the new Trailblazer Apprenticeship has been developed to stand alongside the new funding rules whereby larger companies pay into the Levy and can use their account to train their Apprentices, (or those of another company).  Funds expire 24 months after they enter an employer’s account if unused.

 These funds MUST be spent with a registered Training Provider of THE LEVY PAYERS’ CHOICE.

  • The Levy can ONLY be spent to fund new Apprenticeships.
  • The Employer/Training Provider/Apprentice must work in partnership together as never before.
  • Candidates will preferably hold Maths and English at Level 2 prior to commencement (or must achieve them)
  • Contracts must be put in place between all parties
  • There must be agreed working hours
  • There must be a minimum Apprentice wage paid
  • 20% of the Apprentices time must be spent in training ‘off the job’
  • 80% of the Apprentices time at work ‘on the job’
  • Each Apprentice must have a Mentor at work
  • Detailed records MUST be kept (all documented and authenticated) by all parties
  • Employer/Apprentice MUST commit to a three year training programme
  • An End Point Assessment to be completed at the end of the programme
  • The End Point Assessment is carried out by an INDEPENDENT Assessment Organisation (chosen by the Employer)
  • On successful completion the ESFA will issue an Apprenticeship certificate to the Employer.


We can accept contracts from Levy Paying Employers for the RACHP Apprenticeship!

  • We are a Registered Main Provider with the Education, Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA)
  • We have therefore passed due diligence, capability, competence and financial health (rated outstanding)
  • We are an Independent Training Provider approved to offer this Apprenticeship
  • We have been successfully delivering this type of training for over 27 years
  • We can offer you a comprehensive service
  • We will assess your candidates prior to enrolment
  • We will provide training to YOUR MENTORS and provide ongoing support to them
  • We will support your Apprentices and mentor them throughout their Apprenticeship
  • We will train your Apprentices to our normal high standards
  • We will ensure your apprentices are only ever part of a small group (12-16 max)

To find out more about this course please click here

Level 3 6090

After a successful visit from our City & Guilds External Quality Assurance Verifier we have now been able to obtain the certificates for our first group of successful candidates who completed their Level 3 qualification recently.

The EQA commended us on the high standard of work produced by our students ‘relating to complex RAC Systems’ especially in the 301/302/303 units that require load calculations, equipment selection and balancing and commissioning and performance testing.

Staff were also praised for the standard the learners achieved and their dedicated efforts in delivering this complex systems qualification.

‘Meeter and Greeter’


I’m known as the ‘Meeter and Greeter’ and I take my responsibly seriously but all I really want is someone to stroke me.


Recently I’ve had all number of students patting my head much to my delight but when I smile at them they often back away, but I have no idea why?  I suppose my breath smells occasionally but I really do have pearly whites!

Open Day 2018

Friday saw the first of our two open days for this year, which saw the usual numbers coming in to have a chat about their requirements and to look around, meet the staff and generally get acquainted.


The rush meant that we weren’t able to demonstrate water boiling at 23°C this year but hopefully we will do that at our next one.


Yes, refrigeration systems CAN heat water!


We had plenty of interest in the new 6090 Diploma as well as our ten day New Starter course, a great place for those plumber, heating engineers, gas fitter, wishing to add to their skill set.


Looking forward to doing it all again on Monday 25th June, hope to see you here?

Mr Postman

The Postman still doesn’t like me.  Do you know I’ve been working here for over nine years and this one hasn’t come near me, even though I hear them telling him I don’t bite?  He’s a lovely guy but I can’t help putting on an extra show when he arrives, dressed from head to foot in red!  I never could stand red.

A Momentous Day at Ellis Training Works!!

Our first Level 3 6090 group finished their City & Guilds Diploma in RACHP, which was very exciting for them and us.  It’s an emotional time for us all when we say goodbye to our students, especially when their journey with us has spanned three years, seen them grow in their knowledge and mature as ‘real’ RAC engineers, real because when we asked what bits they liked best the following topics were mentioned:

·         Refrigeration and Air Conditioning heat load calculations and equipment selection and balancing

·         Using P-h diagrams for a range of refrigerants to select the most effective Retrofill alternative for high GWP refrigerants like R404A

·         Plotting and using psychrometric charts for performance testing evaporators on VRF systems

·         Commissioning and testing multi evaporator/multi compressor complex systems, ducted air systems and water to water heat pumps systems

·         Testing and fault finding 3 phase electrical systems

Not all did their Level 2 with us and those that didn’t did a bit of pre-course preparation but as an old hand at this training, I have rarely been able to work with such a dedicated, hardworking, enthusiastic group as this.  We’ve pushed them hard, through an intensive work programme developing their basic principles to a stage where they can and do apply their knowledge thoughtfully and thoroughly.  I’m proud of them, very proud of them, and it’s been a privilege to work with them!

There are those, who should know better, that are tempted to be disrespectful about modern training qualifications but when they have experienced the City & Guilds 6090 Level 2 and Level 3 I’m sure they will see the light.  These are truly qualifications for the future.

Yes, they’ve got the tee-shirt but very much more.  Remember these faces, they are the future of the RAC industry!

F Gas Results

While I’m awake thought I’d update you!  We had a group of guys in last week on their F Gas course, a great bunch, and when they came to the office for the results of their on-line exam they were really excited to hear they had passed.  They really made a fuss of me then, just what I like.

6090 Diploma Continued.

We have just enrolled our first group of 6090 students at Level 2, having previously enrolled this years Level 3 candidates onto it too!

Being one of the first colleges to have enrolled students onto this course, we were extremely excited about updating our old 7189 Diploma courses to the new one, albeit it only needed a few tweaks here and there.

What is even more exciting to us is that unlike the funded Apprenticeship that the colleges have to offer to receive the funding from Government, as an Independent Provider we can offer a Level 2 only Diploma, and then follow it with the Level 3 if required.

What does this mean in practice?

If a company wishes to send their apprentice to college on a government funded course, they must have a contract with the college and agree to support their apprentice for the whole three years of the course which is great, however there are many potential apprentices who may not be willing or able to commit to three years.  The student must have or achieve a pass in Maths and English to be able to complete their apprenticeship and this is often a requirement that the colleges insist on prior to enrolment.  The company will have a contract with their apprentice which guarantees 80% of their time is spent working with an experienced engineer/mentor who is giving them ‘on the job training’ and the other 20% is spent in college, off ‘the job’.  It’s obviously very prescriptive and of course it must be as its tax payer’s/levy payer’s money that is being spent.

There is a workbook to complete by the end of the programme and an End Point Assessment which MUST be passed.

Of course, there will be sanctions applied to any college/training provider or company who are unable to comply with these requirements.

How does this impact us?

We are lucky enough to be able to stay with our mantra ‘if you are keen to learn, we are keen to train you’.  We have chosen not to take the funding available to us, preferring freedom from bureaucracy.  This means our results are not driven by the funding, we can concentrate on the quality of our training delivery.

There are no entry requirements or for Maths and English unless the student wants it.

While we would like you to assist your apprentice by giving him support and training with an experienced engineer, you aren’t contracted to this.

You don’t have to commit your apprentice to the whole three years of the programme.

There are no sanctions if you or your apprentice fails.

They don’t have to take the End Point Assessment unless they really want to.

Successful candidates would have a Level 2 and/or a Level 3 Diploma in Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps.

We can be far more ‘laid back’ about our approach as you would expect of any private provider, while still offering the full package, small class sizes and top-quality teaching and learning, in a fully equipped training centre.

It’s a very true saying ‘you only get what you pay for’.

‘Like us on Facebook’

I don’t get paid for all my hard work and effort and not sure if I am entitled to a pension so imagine my dismay when I learnt I couldn’t ‘like us’ on Facebook to win the competition they’re running!

Give us a call for more information

01707 879 879

A Momentous Day at Ellis Training Works!!

Our first Level 3 6090 group finished their City & Guilds Diploma in RACHP, which was very exciting for them and us.  It’s an emotional time for us all when…

Read More

6090 Diploma Continued.

We have just enrolled our first group of 6090 students at Level 2, having previously enrolled this years Level 3 candidates onto it too! Being one of the first colleges…

Read More

New Website Launched

We are excited to announce our New Website which went live today! Our website now also features our new Logo which we think you will agree is very much of…

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Update: City & Guilds 6090 Trailblazer qualification

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, we have been very enthusiastic supporters of the government’s new ‘Trailblazer’ apprenticeship standards. These standards have been developed by employer and…

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City & Guilds 7189 Diploma course enrolling for 2nd October

We have two places available for our City & Guilds 7189 course – Diploma in Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Heat Pumps Systems Level 2 – starting on October 2 2017….

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Vacancy: Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Trainer/Teacher

Due to ongoing expansion, Ellis Training Works has a full-time vacancy for a trainer/teacher in refrigeration and air conditioning. This post involves practical, hands-on training in a workshop environment. The…

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Get started in the Air Conditioning industry with our 5-Day F Gas Category 1 qualification

Get started in the Air Conditioning industry with the Ellis Training 5-Day F Gas Category 1 qualification. The next available date for this course is Monday, 25 September, 2017. Subsequent…

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Ellis is the first training organisation registered for new Apprenticeship qualification

There have been some exciting things going on in the world of Apprenticeship training. In keeping with the recommendations of the Richards Review of some years ago, we have been…

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Can our new system give us Legionnaire’s disease?

Advice for installers If you’re an air conditioning installer or mechanic, you won’t be surprised at how often air conditioning installers are asked by customers if their new equipment puts…

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New hazards in refrigerant handling

While the topic of refrigerant hazards has always been important, right now it is more important than ever. Refrigerants have always had their own hazards, but now, as we move…

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How our training makes a lasting difference

Ellis Training Works founder and MD John Ellis explains the strapline: ‘Committed to education, not just passing exams’. We say our training is about education, not just passing exams. Here…

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Approved to offer 6090!

We are now approved to offer the new ‘Trailblazer’ qualification for Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Heat Pumps and will be doing so from summer this year! These are exciting times…

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