The Cool Face of eLearning

i-know.com, the industry award winning online training platform introduced by Star Refrigeration back in 2006 which offers online courses and qualifications certified by City & Guilds, CIBSE, and The Construction CPD Certification Service have awarded more than 2000 CPD Certificates in the last two months.

i-know.com launched an international campaign last March offering free Refrigeration and Air Conditioning eLearning courses to anyone with an interest in the industry. The aim was to increase awareness of i-know.com's unique virtual environment which allows students to rapidly and regularly up-skill and re-skill.

i-know.com began five years ago as an Online Learning Platform offering CPD certified eLearning courses but in response to new market challenges and specific customers request, it steadily grew to offer a range of solutions including qualifications, course licensing, LMS licensing, and production of bespoke courses, and a free library containing a wealth of technical information, health & safety, standard specifications, method statements, risk assessments and more. 

Modern E-Learning

The portal provides a modern alternative to traditional methods of training and offers an inexpensive way of delivering knowledge on demand by allowing students to access learning material at any time and from any place, simply by logging onto the website with a user name and a password.

Phillip Prosser, Learning and Development manager of Trend Controls talks about the use of i-know.com courses and CPD within his organisation: "We place great emphasis on training and CPD of our staff and the air conditioning & refrigeration fundamentals courses have proved extremely valuable for our apprentices to gain an understanding of the two subjects.  We have also engaged with Star to provide courses for our existing engineers to increase their awareness of the subjects and this has proven invaluable CPD for them. I look forward to working with Star to develop further eLearning solutions to increase the knowledge of our engineers."

 

F-Gas & CO2 Refrigeration Qualifications

During the last three years, i-know.com has been delivering City & Guilds 2079 to engineers and contractors throughout the UK.

In the run up to the 4th July deadline Star heavily invested in resources offering 9 UK locations for assessment, 12 fully approved assessment rigs and 19 qualified assessors, however demand has overcome supply in some of the most popular branches.

Astrid Prado, Marketing Manager at Star Learning Solutions maintains that: "F-Gas has confirmed the enormous untapped potential of the elearning methodology for the delivery of qualifications. The appeal is easy to understand; engineers are not under pressure while studying at their pace and then qualified in 6 hours at their local branch while contractors avoid revenue loses due to work downtime".

i-know.com will be soon launching a new qualification in CO2 Refrigeration.

At moment, there is no qualification for CO² refrigeration in the UK, however Star has now finished drafting the new vocational qualification for SummitSkills and City & Guilds and it will be soon released. The qualification will cover Installation & Commissioning and Service & Maintenance of CO² systems.

Qualifications at i-know.com

These will be UK NVQ level 3 qualifications which can be taken by anyone who can demonstrate 5 years industry experience; holds an F Gas Cat 1 qualification; or already holds an NVQ 3 in standard refrigeration & air conditioning. The City & Guilds qualification will involve a theory test by on line multiple choice questions and Practical on a test rig with a volatile secondary and transcritical system. Candidates will study the theory online and then spend one day at a specific training centre for the practical element. Finally, candidates will sit a theory and practical assessment.

The new CO² qualification will contain all information required to work with CO² systems regardless of the CO² packs used by the different end-users. It will be an "all in one" training package helping contractors working for different customers to minimise their training costs.

The CO² qualification content is being designed specifically for UK engineer standards and it will be delivered in an easy to understand format similar to the F-Gas qualification so engineers can up-skill without difficulty.

 

Licensing i-know.com

i-know.com is crossing cultural and language barriers with training centres and trade associations across Europe licensing the courses and qualification methodology to offer the CPD online courses, F-GAS certification and CO² training in their respective countries.

Diversity on customer demand is the motor of i-know.com's expansion as Astrid Prado explains, "customers are identifying their own needs and they order from us accordingly. Some organisations are only interested in the CPD certified online courses and therefore slight modifications and translations for each respective country is all that is needed. Others are interested in the methodology to deliver qualifications like the F-Gas and CO² for which, in addition to the eLearning course, Star must 'train the trainer' to deliver the practical training and qualification". 

Demand for CO² is especially gaining momentum in Europe, particularly within the Nordic countries, to licence the current CO² Refrigeration training for retail. However, Star is delaying the approval of licences and interested parties are advised to wait for the release of the new CO² qualification, as it will be the most complete and up to date training material available up until now and more importantly, engineers will obtain a qualification at the end of it. 

Your own online Learning platform

The Learning Management System also offers organisations the capability of having their own online Learning platform to train staff and customers. Renting the system is a low-cost solution that eliminates the need of an initial high capital investment allowing companies to concentrate in creating and uploading their own training content and monitoring student's records.

eLearning is no longer the future, it is the present. The industry is suffering a major up-skilling of the workforce due to recent changes in regulation and the introduction of environmentally friendly technologies. This is driving demand for readily available information and educational resources, as well as new job opportunities. Astrid Prado believes that, "this alternative training methodology will definitely play a greater role in addressing the industry's skills needs in the future".