REAL Alternatives 4 LIFE comes to a close having achieved a lot for training on low GWP alternative refrigerants!

Over a three-year period this project, funded by the EU the LIFE programme, sought to incorporate the principles of a blended learning programme in an aim to create standardised training on the safety and containment of low GWP alternative refrigerants.

From June 2017 REAL Alternatives 4 LIFE, led by eight project partners, aimed to develop new training material, and to introduce a range of practical exercises and assessments with an aim to standardising skills sets and requirements for handling low GWP refrigerants across the globe.

As such, the project implemented many activities including train-the-trainer sessions, study days and workshops across Europe, and promoted the best practice in training in this field whilst equally raising awareness and expanding knowledge at all levels by ensuring a presence at key international events.


All of these initiatives were bolstered by a high-profile awareness campaign to encourage recognition of the programme amongst employers, wholesalers, manufacturers, end-users and policymakers – increasing confidence in the application of these new refrigerants.

In addition, the programme offered Certification for technicians who had completed REAL Alternatives standard assessments providing a consistent and high standard for training across Europe, and all of this in multiple languages.


What did REAL Alternatives 4 LIFE achieve?

  • 200 certified trainers
  • Training resources available in 17 languages
  • 9 free learning modules available online
  • 7 train-the-trainer sessions
  • 4 study day events for teachers
  • 23 national certified organisations now able to accredit trainers
  • Over 5,000 individual learners registered
  • 500 certified technicians
  • Outreach of over several hundred thousand people globally.


The role of the IIR

In line with its international activities, the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) confirmed its role as the leading organisation at the heart of knowledge on refrigeration as the project partner in charge of dissemination.


The deliverables in the communication and dissemination work package included:

  • Development and implementation of the dissemination plan
  • Creation of the project newsletters and communication support
  • Dissemination throughout the IIR network, project subscribers and the wider public
  • Organisation of project workshops during IIR conferences.


The project management team was made up of eight partners: The Institute of Refrigeration (IOR) and London South Bank University in the UK, University College Limburg and AREA European Contractors Association in Belgium, IKKE Regional Training Centre in Germany, ATF Trade Association in Italy, PROZON Foundation for climate protection refrigerant reclamation organization in Poland, and the International Institute of Refrigeration in France.


Find out more about the project at