The HVACR Training Authority®


CM/SM/CMS Continuing Education Requirements

In late 2012, the RSES International Board of Directors - upon recommendation of the Educational & Examining Board - approved expanding the requirements for maintain the following RSES certification credentials: Certificate Member (CM); Certificate Member Specialist (CMS); and Active Specialized Member (SM).

Since introduced in 1935, the primary requirements for maintaining these credentials were to pass a rigorous examination (click the following links for more details on each category of exams - CM - CMS - SM) and to remain current with annual membership dues. However, in order to elevate the industry acceptance of these credentials and pursue third-party accreditation of them, it is no longer sufficient to assume individuals with such credentials are continually expanding their technical knowledge. Establishing proof of ongoing education in a manner common to the personnel certification community overall is necessary.

Therefore, effective January 1, 2013 individuals holding the following credentials are required to participate in continuing technical education and/or training activities every 5 years, tracked by Continuing Education Hours (CEHs):

CM - 60 hours
CMS - 90 hours
SM - 90 hours

The RSES Educational & Examining Board has endeavored to make these requirements as least burdensome as possible upon the individuals. Click here for the E&E Board's white paper on the new requirements.

Therefore, any industry-related technical education/training will satisfy the number of hours. Training courses already recognized by other industry bodies (such as NATE, etc.) will count, as will state-licensure-driven courses taken where required. Of course RSES training activities (local chapter courses, monthly meetings, international conferences and seminars, etc.) will count, as will such online programs as the RSES Journal CEH Corner, monthly technical webinars and online learning. However, training does not have to be provided by an RSES entity. Any qualified industry-relevant, technical training activity will count.

For CMS and SM members, only 90 hours every 5 years are necessary - regardless of the number of credentials held. Further, partial credit for instructors teaching technical classes will count, as will participation in RSES leadership activities. In addition, members who have reached the age of 60 prior to their Recertification Date may elect "Exemption" status from the continuing education requirements.

RSES will track members' continuing education activities as they are earned (from RSES-driven events) or reported by other Authorized Training Groups. Members will be able to monitor their CEHs online by logging in to the website and viewing "My Training History" on their "My RSES Home Page." Soon members and training group representatives - including chapter officers - will be able to upload and submit information through the website.  

For now, the following interactive PDFs need to be completed as CEHs are earned and submitted to RSES by mail, fax or email.

RSES Member CEH Submittal

RSES Member CEH Exemption Request

RSES Authorized Training Group CEH Roster

RSES Authorzed Training Group/Course Application


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RSES is the leading education, training and certification preparation organization for HVACR professionals. RSES publishes various comprehensive industry training and reference materials in addition to delivering superior educational programs designed to benefit HVACR professionals at every stage of their careers through instructor-led training courses, online training for HVAC, educational seminars, interactive CD and DVD products, industry-related reference manuals, and helpful technical content through Service Application Manual chapters, the RSES Journal, the RSES Journal archives and feature articles, as well as web-exclusive features.

Beginning with basic theory and extending to complex troubleshooting, training courses covering refrigeration and air conditioning, heating, electricity, controls, heat pumps and safety may be conducted in a classroom environment or though self study. RSES publications may be purchased by schools, contractors, manufacturers or any other industry group wanting to conduct comprehensive training programs. Seminars covering air conditioning troubleshooting, electrical troubleshooting, compressor training, condenser training, refrigerant piping practices, DDC controls, and more are held in various cities across North America.

Select training programs offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and NATE Continuing Education Hours (CEHs).

In addition, RSES offers industry certification preparation materials for refrigerant handling (EPA Section 608), R-410A and North American Technician Excellence (NATE) examinations.

RSES’ monthly magazine, RSES Journal, serves HVAC contractors, service technicians, students, operations/maintenance managers, engineers and technicians who work in the residential, light commercial, commercial and institutional markets on air conditioning, warm-air heating, refrigeration, ventilation, electrical, ice machines, chillers, hydronic heating, piping, refrigeration control and energy management, building automation, indoor air quality and duct cleaning, and sheet metal fabrication equipment and/or systems.
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