There are a number of non profit organizations in the HVAC industry which help to educate and promote ethical standards of business in the marketplace. We'll identify some of the more visible groups and their roles.
ASHRAE - ASHRAE stands for the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Engineers. They were founded in 1894 and currently have more than 54,000 members world-wide. Their primary focus is advancing the technology in the industry and promoting a sustainable environment. They co-sponsor the largest HVACR event in the world with the AHR Expo.
ACCA - ACCA represents Air Conditioning Contractors of America. ACCA's focus is more on the contractor than the equipment engineering. Their goal is to help contractor's be successful. They are at the forefront in contractor education and bring HVAC related businesses together. In addition, they agressively promote energy efficiency and healthy indoor air. ACCA is also responsible for writing the standards for the design, installation, testing and performance of indoor environments.
NATE - NATE is North American Technical Excellence. NATE primarily certifies technicians. They are a leader in industry education and offer certifications. They validate technicians in the following areas: air conditioning, air distribution, heat pumps, gas furnaces, oil furnaces, hydronic gas, hydronic oil, light commercial refrigeration and senior HVAC efficiency analyst.
RSES - The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society was founded in 1933 and has been a leader in training for HVACR professionals. They played an instrumental role in developing the distribution network in the early days of refrigeration. Their focus is primarily the contractor and goal is to provide cutting edge education and technical certification.