Microgeneration Certification Scheme - FAQs
Stroma Certification Ltd is accredited to operate a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and below is a selection of the most frequently asked questions.
Stroma Certification Ltd is accredited by UKAS to offer the following:
- Solar Photovoltaic (PV)
- Solar Thermal
- Heat Pumps (Ground and Air Source)
The UK is committed to delivering its share of the EU target for 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2020. Achieving these targets could provide £100 billion worth of investment opportunities and up to half a million jobs in the renewable energy sector by 2020.
50% of all our energy is used for heating and hot water and 75% of domestic households' energy consumption is for heating and hot water. The UK's renewable energy strategy aims for 12% of heat to come from renewable sources. Currently under 5% of UK electricity comes from renewable sources. It is estimated that 30% of our electricity may be delivered from renewables with 2% from small-scale electricity generation.
The MCS is an internationally recognised quality assurance scheme which demonstrates to your customers that your company is committed to meeting rigorous and tested standards. It was designed with input from installer and product representatives. Similar to the Gas Safe Register, the MCS gives you a mark of competency and demonstrates to your customers that you can install to the highest quality every time.
Installer certification entails assessing the supply, design, installation, set-to-work and commissioning of renewable microgeneration technologies.
In order to achieve certification the installer must meet the requirements of the relevant MCS standard and the REAL Code of Conduct. These are required to be presented in the form of a Quality Management System (QMS), and the details of which can be located as follows:
From payment being made we will aim to visit you and undertake the assessment visit within 4 weeks. If we are going to be outside of this expectation you will be informed as soon as possible..
There are no specific formal qualifications that an installer needs to have, however a level of competency is required. Stroma Certification Ltd use 'Appendix A - Qualifications of Staff' which can be found in the relevant MCS technology standard. Refer to question 3 for a link to the documents used.
During our audit process Stroma Certification Ltd will expect to see training records including competency certificates of those involved in the process. Competency can be demonstrated by using full or part time employees or sub-contractors for any element of the installation.
Formal qualifications are available, for example City & Guilds 2399, however this is not mandatory and will depend on how the installer can demonstrate those involved are competent do work to the MCS standards.
Yes, within your QMS a sub-contractors agreement will need to be in place and a training and competency record held by the installer.
Stroma Certification does not provide this as part of the application process, and it is up to the installer on how they ensure this in place. Whether the installer writes their own or buys once, it must meet the required standards and match the activities the company's practices.
Solar electricity systems capture the sun's energy using photovoltaic (PV) cells. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting.
PV cells don't need direct sunlight to work - you can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day.
The following link provides further details regarding Solar PV:
Solar water heating systems use free heat from the sun to warm domestic hot water. A conventional boiler or immersion heater is then used to make the water hotter, or to provide hot water when solar energy is unavailable.
The following link provides further details regarding Solar Thermal:
Ground source heat pumps use pipes buried in the garden to extract heat from the ground. This is usually used to heat radiators or under floor heating systems and hot water. Beneath the surface, the ground stays at a fairly constant temperature, so a ground source heat pump can be used throughout the year - even in the middle of winter.
An air source pumps allows you to heat your home with energy absorbed from the air around you.
Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air and this is usually used to heat radiators, under floor heating systems, or warm air convectors and hot water in your home.
Confirmation of acceptance will be issued within 24 hours of receipt.
The installer will be issued a certificate that last for 12 months. An annual surveillance visit will be required if the installer wishes to remain certified for a following 12 month period.
Installers have up to 45 days to satisfy any non-conformities that have been identified and this is a requirement detailed within the MCS standard. They can be satisfied by submitting revised documentation or photographic evidence based on the agreement with the auditor during the assessment visit.
Where an installer wants to extend their scope to cover an additional technology, they will be subject to a further full assessment visit. We will be looking for competence of the new technology to be demonstrated and how the QMS has been updated.
Currently this is the only scheme in place and all installers have to members in order for MCS certification to be approved. Installers must demonstrate they have processes and procedures that incorporate the fundamentals of the REAL Code of Conduct within their QMS.
|Micro-generation Installer Certification Scheme for supply, design, installation, set to work, commissioning and handover (MCS 001)||
Requirements for Micro-generation installations in the following technologies: