FAQs

What is a self-evaluation?

A self-evaluation is an assessment of the HVACR Program following HVACR industry recognized standards conducted by the HVACR staff and the administration of the HVACR training facility. The self-evaluation provides an opportunity for the HVACR program to examine itself, recognize the program strengths and realize the program weaknesses. The accreditation standards articles provide a framework for all HVACR programs to perform this evaluation and provide its findings and recommendations. Detailed information on the self-evaluation process is provided once a program has completed the application process.

How much time does my program have to complete the self-evaluation?

Programs have a maximum of 18 months to complete the accreditation process from the time their program's request for an application is received by the PAHRA office. It is recommended that a program complete their self-study in a six month timeframe.

What is a Site Evaluation?

A Site Evaluation is the assessment of the HVACR Program conducted by a team of HVACR Industry Professionals. The purpose of the site visit is to verify the self-evaluation report. The site-evaluation team will verify the data used in the self-evaluation, seek additional data if necessary to develop a clear understanding of the HVACR Program, and how the HVACR Program meets its goals according to the accreditation policies and standard articles.


How long does it take to complete the Site Evaluation?

It requires two (2) days and must occur while the students are in session.


Who is the Site Evaluation Team Leader? What are the qualifications for Site Evaluation Team Members who participates in the Site Evaluation?

The Site Evaluation Team Leader (SETL) is an educator who has been trained by PAHRA to coordinate the evaluation. The SETL will be assigned by PAHRA once the program has been approved for on-site evaluation. Site Evaluation Team Members (SETM) are recruited by the program seeking evaluation and must currently be working in the HVACR industry as a technician, supervisor, owner or other industry professional. In addition they must have a high school diploma (or equivalent) and have a minimum of five (5) years of experience as a full time HVACR industry professional. The program seeking accreditation will make every effort to select the SETM from a cross section of industry representatives within their local area. SETM may not have been graduates, instructors, or an administrator of the program seeking accreditation within the last seven (7) years. A minimum of two (2) SETMs are needed for the Site Evaluation. The maximum permitted SETMs is four (4). SETMs must be present for the entire two day site evaluation process.


After the program's Site Evaluation is completed, when will the program know the results of the evaluation?

The PAHRA Accreditation Committee will report it's determination within six (6) months of receiving the documents from the SETL and once all expenses and fees have been paid.


Who comprises the PAHRA Accreditation Committee?

The committee is an autonomous decision making authority and is not subject to the approval of any officer, committee or entity of PAHRA or the HVACR industry. This committee will recommend for accreditation, accreditation with a report, or against accreditation.


How long will the accreditation be valid?

PAHRA accreditation is valid for five (5) years from the date the accreditation certificate is issued.


What are the fees involved in the accreditation process?

  • $200.00 per training area that is being accredited (Residential, Light Commercial, & Commercial). This fee must accompany the PAHRA application.
  • $500.00 Site Visit Fee. This fee is due prior to the scheduling of the Site Evaluation.
  • $400.00 Honorarium for the Site Evaluation Team Leader. This fee is due after the Site Evaluation.
  • Travel Expenses (variable fee) for the Site Evaluation Team Leader (SETL). These expenses (travel, hotel, meals, etc.) can be estimated by calling the PAHRA office.


Does my program have to use a specific curriculum?

No, the accreditation does not endorse specific curriculum materials or instruction. The program will set standards for course content including tasks, competencies, equipment, tools, contact hours and instructor qualifications.


Does my program have to use a specific text book?

No, the only qualification for text book selection is that it has been approved for instructional use and it meets or exceeds the goals of the HVACR program. Also, the edition approved for instruction must not be more than six (6) years old.


What is the Industry Competency Exam (ICE)?

The Industry Competency Exams measure industry-agreed standards of basic competency. ICE is the only entry-level exams developed, supported and validated by the major industry associations. There are three exams: Residential A/C and Heating, Light Commercial A/C and Heating, and Commercial Refrigeration. Each exam has 100 multiple choice questions and a score of 60 is needed for passing.

Does my program have to use the Industry Competency Exam (ICE)?

All programs must use the HVACR industry approved ICE exam as the exit exam for their program. An ICE School report, not older than 2 years, must be on file before applying for accreditation. 70% of all students (unless exempted by school policy) taking the ICE exam must have a passing grade of 60%. The 70% rate will be on a rolling average covering three years. Programs not having the three years average are still eligible to apply for accreditation.

Do the students have to take the Environmental Protection Agency Refrigerant Handling Certification Exam Section 608?

Yes, students are required to take this certification test.

What benefits will my school receive from accreditation of the program?

  • If a school has proved itself to be up to par with industry standards, more funding is readily available to help the HVACR department live up to higher expectations.
  • HVACR manufacturers are encouraged to donate equipment to PAHRA accredited programs.
  • PAHRA accreditation benefits the students. Students have more appeal in the industry when employers see they are graduating from an HVACR program that is accredited.
  • The involvement of a program's advisory board members and local contractors will raise the standing of the program in the local HVAC community and will aid in the hiring of graduates of the program.
  • A PAHRA accredited program will receive local and national attention through press releases, newspaper and magazine articles and television news reports. The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration NEWS, one of the nations leading resource for contractors, regularly publishes articles promoting PAHRA accredited programs. The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) also distributes news releases promoting PAHRA accredited programs to more than 2,000 news and media sources.
  • A large plaque bearing the seal of PAHRA and the schools' name will be awarded to a program receiving PAHRA accreditation. The plaque will identify the areas of accreditation for the program.