NORFOLK, Va. — New educational materials and e-learning are forming the basis of the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society’s (RSES) efforts to introduce “publications of interest to members and the industry at large on timely topics and recent trends.”

That was part of an overview RSES executive vice president Mark Lowry gave to attendees at the society’s 74th Annual Conference and HVACR Technology Expo in Norfolk, Va. The conference was held at a riverfront hotel overlooking the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

During the annual business meeting, Lowry and Roger Hensley, RSES Educational and Examining Board chairman, detailed the materials and methods to offer such training.

Hensley said RSES has released four titles of materials to help those in the industry prepare for the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) exams covering core essentials, heat pumps and air conditioning, air distribution, and gas and oil heating. Hensley said prep materials for commercial refrigeration and hydronics will be released in 2012.

RSES has gained industry attention as a training source to prepare techs for taking NATE exams. During the business meeting, Pat Murphy, vice president of certification for NATE, told attendees that the passage rate for those who take NATE exams in the context of RSES is 82 percent whereas the overall NATE pass rate is 70 percent.

In comments to The NEWS during the conference, Murphy attributed the higher passage rate to the RSES training. “The training works. The test results prove it,” he said.

Hensley noted that RSES also provides PowerPoint presentations for instructors to use when offering the training for the exams.

In a category called Green Courseware, Hensley reported on development of course material for electronically commutated motors, energy conservation, and geothermal systems with variable frequency drives in the planning stages.


Lowry told attendees about a number of developments that took place within RSES during 2011.

He noted that the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board recognizes RSES members who gain Certificate Member and Certificate Member Specialists status as those “deemed to have demonstrated the required educational training to qualify for a board-issued service technician HVAC specialty license.”

Lowry said, “As more states move toward competency-based licensing for our trade, recognition of the value of RSES education and testing is spreading.”

He also reported on what he said was “the migration of our eLearning content from a previous platform to an integrated one tied directly to the website and ecommerce site.” This result, he said, “makes our core content available in web-based media appealing to today’s new workforce entrants. It provides them with the same foundation industry veterans had — just in the format they desire.”

He highlighted the society’s Contractor Development series “that expands on our traditional technician training focus to provide the same kind of industry expertise to improving HVACR contractor profitability.” The training is provided at the RSES headquarters in Des Plaines, Ill., and in partnership with wholesalers throughout the country.

He also noted a variety of seminars offered on various HVACR topics, including one on residential mechanical ventilation offered through a partnership with the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) and taught by RSES member Nick Reggi, a professor at Humber College in Toronto.


Lawrence Donaldson was elected to the position of RSES International president. Donaldson owns and operates B&L Air Conditioning of Lake Marian, Fla., which does residential and light commercial work.

He said one of his objectives during his year in office will be to encourage each member to recruit three new members to RSES. He also said he wanted to see the continual growth of electronic media options for RSES training.

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Publication date: 01/09/2012