Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Academy
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KZN Now Open

The Air conditioning and Refrigeration Academy (ACRA) opens a new Kwazulu Natal branch.

ACRA opened its doors in Johannesburg over twenty years ago and has grown to become part of the industry both nationally and internationally. ACRA has trained and qualified students from afar afield as Seychelles, Australia, St Helena, Tanzania, Botswana, Canada and parts of Europe. This put not only ACRA but South African air conditioning and refrigeration training in the International arena. Grant Laidlaw, founder of ACRA is himself well known in the industry, a past president of SAIRAC and winner of the prestigious SAIRAC gold medal award. Grant is involved on various levels being the industry nominated subject matter expert for air conditioning and refrigeration. This puts Grant in touch with industry and government which is beneficial for the development of ACRA and training / assessment in South Africa as a whole.

Late 2019 saw the implementation of plans to expand training into Kwa-zulu Natal. 2020 brought its challenges which delayed the official opening of ACRA KZN, however on the 27th of November ACRA Kwa-zulu Natal officially opened its doors as a fully accredited air conditioning and refrigeration training, assessment and trade testing centre. Accreditation was conducted through the SETA’s and the Department of Higher Education for the Quality Council for trades and occupations (QCTO) and the National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB).

The training and assessments standardised and the quality management / moderation done on a centralised basis from head office for the branch. No matter where a student undergoes training with ACRA, the same high standard will experienced.

ACRA Kwa-zulu Natal is managed by Gordon Banks. Gordon has over twenty three years experience in the industry. Gordons experience includes automotive air conditioning, transport refrigeration, commercial and industrial air conditioning and refrigeration. He has had exposure to refrigeration in the maritime context and has refrigeration training experience facilitating at a TVET college. He is the current vice chairman of the KZN centre of SAIRAC.

Gordon is supported by Claudia Lee (Admin), Stewart Laidlaw (Lecturer / Assessor/ Moderator) Chris Coetzee (Lecturer / Assessor/ Moderator), Rodney Adams, (Lecturer), Bongani Oliphant (Workshop assistant) Lungile Gebashe (House keeping).

The ACRA Kwa-zulu training facility comprises 1660m2 area with two workshop areas, four class rooms, a student canteen, an independent trade testing facility, offices storage areas and secure parking. The centre is based in Berea / Umbilo Durban in a semi commercial location ideally suited for the training needs.

All guests where given a guided tour and enjoyed refreshments as well as the opportunity to socialise and meet new friends in the industry.

The training on offer includes:

Full Apprenticeships.

Full Learnerships.

Adult education courses include:

Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Technology One (Basic)

Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Technology Two (Intermediate)

Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Technology Three (Intermediate / Advanced)

Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Technology Four (DIPLOMA)

Automotive Air Conditioning

Air Conditioning for mining / farming / earth moving equipment

Domestic Refrigeration

Transport Refrigeration

Evaporative Cooling Installation/Commissioning

Evaporative Cooling Sizing/System Selection/Design Aspects

Installation, Fault Finding, Maintain and Repair of Split, Console and Window Units

Pipe Grooving Course


Refrigeration Pipework Installations

Welding, Brazing & Cutting


Certificate of Conformance (COC)

SAQCC / SARACCA Authorised Refrigeration Practitioner Course (Safe Handling) including Hydro Carbons.

SAQCC/SARACCA Authorised Refrigeration Practitioner Top-Up/Renewal


BMS Control Systems


Electrical One (Basic Principles of Electricity pertaining to Air Conditioning and Refrigeration)

Electrical Two (Single Phase Electricity Pertaining to Air Conditioning and Refrigeration)

Electrical Three (Three Phase Electricity pertaining to Air Conditioning and Refrigeration)


Fire Fighting

First Aid Level 1

First Aid Level 2 & 3

Hydrocarbon Safety Course

Scaffolding Course

The opening / open day was well attended with suppliers and contractors giving the centre a call.

Should you wish to enquire about the training or pay a visit to the centre please contact:

Gordon Banks (Manager) (031) 202 3103 or 064 908 2677 email

Claudia Lee (Admin)