MCS and the use of subcontractors: how it all works
Posted by John Martin on 9 November 2010 at 10:46 am
Under MCS it is the business that is approved and not the individual engineers. MCS allows a business to become approved even though it may employ no staff other than say a sales team.
The reason for this is that MCS requires the business to demonstrate that it has adequate management systems in place to control the whole process: from initial customer enquiry, through design and installation to commissioning and handover, ensuring a fully compliant installation and delivering a satisfied customer.
Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to use subcontractors (or approved suppliers as they are described in the MCS001 document). However, in order to do so, the MCS approved business must have a written agreement with each supplier. This agreement will ensure that the necessary obligations under MCS and MIS (management information system) documents are communicated to, understood and implemented by the ‘supplier’.
Agreements include clauses relating to items such as:
- Qualification and experience requirements (these should be as described in the applicable management information system documents)
- The standards to be applied (for example, a supplier of solar PV will have to install in accordance with MIS3002 and the DTI Guide to Photovoltaics in Buildings 2nd edition)
- Maintenance and calibration of tools and equipment used
- Insurance requirements
- Health & Safety
- Building Regulation notification requirements
The business will need to demonstrate that it meets the inspection requirements to ensure compliance with the standards.
The responsibility for the job, regardless of the level of direct involvement that the MCS approved business has, rests with them and not their suppliers.
Under recent changes to Building Regulations the installation of the actual renewable technology is now notifiable, as well as any related works such as Part P electrics etc. As such, businesses need to be registered for MCS and CPS (competent person scheme). This would typically be done through a single certification body as all MCS providers also provide CPS.
Gemserv requires an installation to be notified to them within 14 days of ‘setting to work’ and Building Regulations require notification through the CPS within 30 days.
Depending on the technology, planning consent may have to be obtained and for generation technologies the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) will also need to be notified of connection to the supply within 30 days (or prior to commencement of the installation depending on the system output).
If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.
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