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Build your business

Stephen Knight discusses the importance of installer qualifications, giving his advice on how to choose the perfect training course.
With more and more homeowners looking towards renewable technologies for generating a cost-effective and eco-friendly energy supply, installers are becoming inundated with requests for the latest and most advanced sustainable solutions.
From solar power to heat pumps, there is a product to suit any need – helping homeowners and businesses cut costs in the face of increasing utility bills and higher costs of living. However, it seems that many UK installers are unable to perform the work themselves, as they don’t have the proper training or qualifications to undertake the work.
Why take training courses?
Typical renewable technology installation and maintenance courses can cost installers anywhere from £500 to £1000 and can take up to a week of time to complete. Training doesn’t come cheap, which is why undertaking only the best training courses from instructors that know all there is to know about the subject matter is so important.
There are many benefits to well-taught training courses – consumer confidence in the installer and the products they use, customer recommendations, and installer confidence when taking on new jobs.
The consequences of no training or poor training are also noteworthy, though, as they could result in badly-fitted systems, inaccurate specification and unsafe installation.
This is why effective installer training is key to the growth of the renewable technology industry and all of the installers working within in it.
Which course is right for you?
Avoiding the urge to sign-up for the shortest, most inexpensive option without doing any research is the most important part of finding training courses that meet the needs of a business.
Before making a decision, take some time to find out more about the organisations you’re considering taking courses from by searching for recommendations, reviewing their websites, checking their module curriculum and even calling to find out more about the background of the instructors actually conducting the training.
Another point to consider when searching for training courses is the balance of theory and practical knowledge offered.
Whatever renewable energy system is being learnt about, all training should provide an equal combination of theoretical knowledge that offers insight into the subject matter you’ve undertaken and practical instruction that includes hands-on demonstrations and experience.
Some training courses tend to spend too much or too little time on each of these aspects, which is why it is important to find a scheme that offers the perfect balance of the two. This will train you to confidently install a full system while also understanding all aspects of your new skill set, their benefits and how to effectively market them to end users.
Finally, before embarking on courses, decide on whether you want to become
MCS certified. Although the process is a rigorous one, the benefits can be very worthwhile, especially with government incentives such as the Feed-in Tariff (FITs), Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) or the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP), resulting in high demand for commercial and domestic renewable technology among business and homeowners.
However, in order for end users to access these incentives, both the installed product and the installation company must be MCS certified – a time consuming and expensive feat for many smaller installers.
There are several organisations that have taken the time to match the set minimum standards for MCS certification to training courses that can provide that particular knowledge. These courses can cost hundreds of pounds each in addition to nearly £1,000 for certification through one of the MCS-approved Certification Bodies.
An alternative to undertaking training to become an MCS-certified installer is to work in partnership with an MCS-certified company, such as Navitron, who already possess the necessary certification.
Along with a wealth of experience gained over the past eight years in the industry, Navitron provides training, technical and administrative support to partner installers – allowing them to achieve MCS / FIT / RHI compliant installations for their customers while working under the company umbrella.
No matter which route you choose to go down, finding installer training that both meets your business needs and is taught by an experienced instructor who can impart real-world theoretical and practical knowledge is essential for your business, and the entire renewables industry, to thrive.