HVACR training programs that meet or exceed industry-validated standards in such areas as instructors, students, curriculum competencies, facilities and fiscal responsibilities can now receive programmatic accreditation from the Partnership for Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation.

PAHRA, a partnership between HVACR educators and the HVACR industry, is available nationally for training programs that volunteer to have their quality compared to national standards validated by the profession.

Programmatic accreditation helps HVACR training schools obtain federal, state and local funding because they have been accredited by a recognized body. HVACR training programs have been declining in number in part due to inadequate funding.

To become accredited, a training school must first evaluate its own strengths and weaknesses as compared to industry standards and then submit its findings in a self-study report. A survey team then conducts an onsite visit to corroborate the report.

Each program can seek accreditation in one, two or all three of the following categories: residential A/C and heating; light commercial A/C and heating; and commercial refrigeration.

Partners in PAHRA include the Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute; the Air Conditioning Contractors of America; the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association; the Northamerican Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Wholesalers Association; the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association; and the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society.