Accessing the e-learning Modules
Welcome to REAL Alternatives - a learning programme for technicians working in the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump sector designed to improve skills and knowledge in safety, efficiency, reliability and containment of alternative refrigerants.  The programme provides a mix of interactive e-learning, printed training guides, tools, assessments for use by training providers and an e-library of additional resources signposted by users.  
It has been developed by a consortium of associations and training bodies from across Europe part funded by the EU Lifelong Learning Programme, with the support of industry stakeholders. Materials are available in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Polish.
After you have read this Introduction you will be able to access only Module 1 - Introduction from the LEARNING PATHS icon.
You must complete Module 1 in order to view and access the remaining Modules.



The e-learning programme consists of the following modules:

  1. Introduction to Alternative Refrigerants - safety, efficiency, reliability and good practice (MANDATORY)
  2. System design using alternative refrigerants
  3. Containment and leak detection of alternative refrigerants
  4. Maintenance and repair of alternative refrigerant systems
  5. Retrofitting existing systems
  6. Checklist of legal obligations when working with alternative refrigerants 
  7. Measuring the financial and environmental impact of leakage 
  8. Tools and guidance for conducting site surveys 

It is supported by:


The E-Learning modules and PDF Booklets were revised in April 2017 to take into account changes in EN378:2016 published December 2016.

A summary of key changes in EN378 is available to download from the UK Institute of Refrigeration

To find out more about how you can take an Assessment based on this programme and gain REAL Alternatives CPD (Continued Professional Development) Certificate see the website at Assessment is only available when you study through a recognised training provider.
Some examples of Assessment questions are provided in the learning area home page for information only.
Additional Resources

Lists of recommended additional information are provided at the end of each module in case you want to find out more about a topic. These are often produced by manufacturers or specialist associations.  All material has been peer reviewed by our panel to ensure it provides good quality technical advice and information, which is more detailed than we can provide in our e-learning programme.  Inclusion as a link does not imply endorsement of products and there is no commercial links with any of the companies referred to. 

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The module and it's content is best viewed with:

Conditions of Use

The REAL Alternatives e-learning materials are provided free of charge to learners for educational purposes and may not be sold, printed, copied or reproduced without prior written permission from the Institute of Refrigeration ( All materials remain copyright of The Institute of Refrigeration (UK) and partners.   Materials have been developed by experts and subject to a rigorous peer review and trialling, however the Institute and partners accept no liability for errors or omissions. It is designed to provide information to support practical training and experience gained in the workplace or at recognised training courses where there is hands-on learning. It does not replace the practical experience and training necessary to carry out this work. 

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website and materials included therein reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein

Learning booklets based on the e-learning pages are also available as free downloads from the project website at
By continuing to the next pages you are confirming that you have read, agreed and accept the above disclaimer.
When you have completed Module 1 you will be able to see and access the rest of the course modules.
Please go to the LEARNING PATHS icon next to open Module 1 - Introduction