MCS Reminder: Updated Standards and Competency Criteria

As previously announced, MCS released updates to all heat technology installation standards on 16th December 2013. All installers must comply with the revised standards by 16th March 2014.

Please be aware that the updates are significant and you must take action to ensure you are ready to implement the updates by 16th March 2014. Therefore please make sure that you have reviewed the revised standards and that you have updated your processes accordingly. A summary of the changes can be found via the MCS website (

In particular we would like to highlight the following changes:

  • An MCS compliance certificate must be completed for MCS installations and a copy supplied to the system owner. These compliance certificates confirm that you have met the requirements of the MCS standard and records key information relating to the installation. A copy must be supplied to the customer and will be required if the customer wishes to apply for domestic RHI where the installation is eligible. Copies of the compliance certificate are available from the installer standards section of the MCS website.
  • Solar thermal and heat pumps: MCS installers are required to attach a label to the installation as outlined in the appendices of both the solar thermal and heat pump standards.
  • Solar thermal – domestic hot water installations only: A new solar thermal energy calculation methodology has been released which is outlined in the document MCS 024. In order to assist MCS installers in making these calculations a calculator has also been released called the Thermal Solar Performance Energy Calculator (TSPEC). Installers must use this calculator when working out the annual energy input kWh/year and enter this figure into the MCS Installation Database (MID).
  • All Heat Technologies: For all heat technology installations intended for the domestic RHI, MCS installers are now required to meet the requirements of the MCS domestic RHI metering guidance.

Competency Criteria
In addition to the above changes to the heat standards, all MCS standards have been updated with a clearer path to MCS certification for installers. Appendix A in each Installer standard details this revised Competency Criteria.  The new Competency Criteria, supporting guidance framework, and IT tool will guide installer companies in demonstrating how their employees combined industry experience and formal training demonstrates the relevant competency for the company to gain certification. The framework places an equal emphasis on experience and on qualifications, because we know the key is to help installers show Certification Bodies that their company is competent. This is a big step forward in making the whole process more transparent from the installer’s perspective.

Although the changes do not become mandatory until 16th March 2014, you may begin working to the new standards now. Therefore we strongly recommend that you review and update your processes as soon as possible so that you are ready by March 2014.