MCS registered installers should be aware that the rules have tightened up, bringing this competent persons’ scheme more in-line with the likes of the Gas Safe Register. From April, all companies wishing to obtain their MCS certification must meet a range of new competencies. Examples include the fact that solar thermal systems can now be installed with a design heating requirement of up to 70kWth, individual products, however, must not exceed 45kWth. 70kWth is the ‘domestic’ limit within the oil and gas sector.
For heat pumps and solar thermal hot water, these new competencies are covered in Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) courses, now the only qualifications recognised under MCS. After April, non-QCF courses will no longer be accepted as a route to meeting MCS’ skill requirements.
Am I competent?
To help installers understand these competencies MCS has introduced a Competency Checker Tool, which candidates can use to identify which roles and criteria they think they already fill, evidence of which will be required to present to their MCS certification body. This will also highlight any gaps in knowledge, clarifying whether formal training is required.
The new framework places an equal emphasis on experience and on qualifications. Training is not the only route to demonstrating these competencies and operatives who have been working with renewables for some time may be eligible to go through the ‘experienced worker’ route, which includes an on-site assessment. This is a big step forward in making the whole process more transparent from the installer’s perspective.
Looking to up-skill? Don’t forget to take advantage of the Government’s Renewable Heat Training Voucher scheme - 75% or £500 off the cost of related courses (heat pumps, solar thermal hot water and biomass). Vouchers are supplied on a first-come-first serve basis, so make sure you register your interest at www.rhitraining.co.uk.
QCF courses from Logic4training
All renewables training delivered through Logic4training leads to QCF qualifications. We currently offers design and maintenance Level 3 QCF courses in the following disciplines:
- Solar Thermal Domestic Hot Water Systems
- Solar Photovoltaic Systems
- Ground Source/Air Source Heat Pumps
- Fundamentals of Environmental Technologies (an introductory qualification which covers the basics of all the main renewables, the credits of which can be put towards the full technical qualifications listed above.)
The MCS Competency Checker, can be found here: http://www.cctmicrogenerationcertification.org/