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A1 Approved Fillers Theory Course

You are required to sit and pass an A1 refrigerant $129 + GST and plus a practical A1 assessment $280 +GST. The practical A1 assessment is paid directly to a RLNZ verifier once you have completed and passed the A1 theory course. Renew your RLNZ license by learning current information for A1 and A2/A2L refrigerants and passing a practical assessment using current materials and fit for purpose technology.


Kia ora and welcome to the Approved Filler courses. See our video on the new Approved Filler courses 

Renew your RLNZ license by learning current information for A1 refrigerants and passing a practical assessment using current materials and fit for purpose technology. Complete the A1 Approved Filler online course within 3 months of registration. 

If you are using A2/A2L refrigerants then register for both the A1 and A2/A2L theory courses.

A2/A2L refrigerants are R1234yf, R1234ze, R454C, R455A, R454A, R454B, R447A, R32, R452B.


Workers require specific knowledge and proven practical competency to reduce the inherent risk when working with A1 refrigerants. This course aims to provide workers and PCBU with the necessary information and instruction to safely fill cylinders with Compressed Low and High-pressure Refrigerant Gases (ASHRAE class A1), Transport Class 2.2.

The course addresses the knowledge-based outcomes of NZQA unit standard 28950* - Meet requirements for Approved Filler Test Certificate for refrigerants:

  • Identify legislation and regulations relating to the activities of Approved Fillers.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of compressed gases used as refrigerants.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of cylinders and valves used for refrigerants.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of refrigerant recovery procedures.

*On completing this course, workers will have reached the A1 practical assessment pre-requisite.

You must perform recovery procedures (filling) in the presence of an RLNZ verifier or Compliance Certifier to be awarded an Approved filler compliance certificate.


The A1 course does not apply to ASHRAE classes A2/A2L and A3; Flammable Gas Category 1a, 1b, Toxic or Very High-pressure refrigerants (a refrigerant with a critical temperature below 40°C or with a liquid phase saturation pressure above 2447.64kPa at 40°C). These refrigerants will be covered in separate modules.

To be successful in this course, it is recommended that participants are refrigeration workers with existing NZQA technical competencies or have access to expert instruction.



There are two parts to the assessment as follows:

  1. Online theory course
  2. Practical assessment

Each topic in the online theory course has a course presentation under the learning material heading. You simply select the presentation and then work through it. Your progress is saved as you work through the presentations. When you leave a presentation, and then come back later you'll start at the point you left off. The course is also self-guided, and you are free to move forward.

Once you're happy that you understand the content of each topic you can try the assessment. Learners need to get 80% of the questions correct to complete the assessment and are provided with 3 tries. If you fail after 3 tries, you can pay again to re-sit the online theory - but be aware that some of the questions might change!

We recommend reading the following documents and familiarising yourself prior to starting the online A1 theory course:

  • AS/NZS 5149.4: 2016 - Refrigerating systems and heat pumps – safety & environmental requirements.
  • Climate Change Response Act 2002.
  • IRHACE/AIRAH Code of Practice 2007 part one and two.
  • Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017.
  • Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for A1 refrigerants.



You are required to demonstrate knowledge, skills and experience of the refrigerant recovery procedures presented to you on the day of the practical assessment. This will include the following:

  1. Completing pre-recovery risk assessment.
  2. Completing a successful A1 recovery, ready for safe line and equipment opening within the time allowed.
  3. Completing post-filling tasks to industry best practice.
  4. Applying safe work practices throughout assessment.

Special note:

  1. No formula are provided – you are expected to completely understand the calculation methods.
  2. Learners are responsible to provide all equipment (see below table). All equipment must meet NZ legal obligations i.e. must be tested and tagged.


Time allowed

60 minutes maximum

Minimum PPE

Overalls or full-length non static clothing, Hi-Viz, protective eyewear, protective footwear, hearing protection and gloves.

Materials and equipment

Gauge manifold and hoses, thermometer, P/T chart or application, recovery plant, refrigerant scales, recovery cylinder, LOTO resources, Big-blue. Access to an appropriate fire extinguisher.

Health and Safety

Health & Safety requirements are paramount prior to commencing the practical assessment, you must follow instructions given by the assessor during the practical demonstration.

Number of attempts

You will receive only one attempt for this assessment. Should your attempt be not satisfactory, the verifier/assessor will discuss the deficiencies with you. You will have to schedule and pay for a second attempt through the verifier.


Should your second attempt be unsuccessful, or you have made critical failures, you will be required to re-enrol in the theory A1 course module.

Assessment Criteria

The verifier/assessor will be observing your ability to demonstrate the key skills and knowledge detailed in the observation checklist that is based on the RLNZ Safe Work Procedure and the knowledge gained in the online course module.

Critical point failure

The assessment includes “critical” failures which indicate that you are NOT yet competent for practical assessment. Your verifier or assessor will discuss these with you during the assessment if they arise. In this case you will be asked to cease the assessment.

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