Heat in Buildings strategy - quality assurance: policy statement

Quality assurance is critical to our heat decarbonisation aims. This policy statement focuses on the standards, skills and certifications required for installers on SG schemes, proposed ways to tackle scams and mis-selling and how to improve public engagement.

5. Improving Standards and Skills

Our position on standards

Our Heat in Buildings Strategy confirmed that we will adopt the BSI PAS 2035/2030 standards for our domestic delivery programmes. Specifically, this refers to the local authority area based schemes, the national fuel poverty scheme, Warmer Homes Scotland, the in-development successor to our Home Energy Scotland loans and cashback schemes and any future programmes that provide support direct to the consumer. For microgeneration we will continue to use the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) as a requirement for these technologies.

We recognise, however, that concerns have been raised about the applicability of some aspects of the PAS 2035/30 standards in Scotland and this statement commits to the set-up of a technical group to work with BSI and feed into the further development of these or other retrofit standards as appropriate.


We will work with the BSI to establish an expert technical group to advise about retrofit standards in Scotland and develop best practice that reflects the nature of our housing stock, weather and other environmental factors.

The PAS 2035/2030 standards will continue to evolve over time and we are keen that BSI captures stakeholder feedback from Scotland to ensure Scottish specific issues e.g. unique building types and geography are reflected in the standards. Consequently we have agreed with BSI to set up a Scottish specific group.

Our position on skills

We have worked with industry representatives, skills agencies including Skills Development Scotland and other key stakeholders through a short life Quality and Skills Working Group to develop installer skill requirements for domestic scale energy efficiency and microgeneration measures. These have now been built into an installer skills matrix which sets-out recommended career pathways and qualifications broken down by home improvement measures (e.g. air source heat pumps).

These skill requirements, which form a key part of our broader Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan, were consulted on in 2021 through our consultation[4] on proposals for energy efficiency, zero emissions and low carbon heating systems, microgeneration and heat network skills requirements for homes in support of our draft Heat in Buildings Strategy. This consultation proposed:

  • The skill requirements developed by the sector skills bodies, industry and other key stakeholders in Scotland are adopted and fully integrated into the British Standards Institution (BSI) installer standards and Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) installer standards to reflect Scotland's skills needs.
  • To work with skills agencies including Skills Development Scotland to consider the need for qualifications and/or further training in Scotland for the other roles associated with PAS 2035 e.g. retrofit coordinator, particularly where no qualifications currently exist in Scotland.

In the consultation, we asked:

We asked for your views on our proposals outlined above and other areas including the role of manufacturer training, the competency requirements for the roles within the PAS 2035 standards (e.g. retrofit coordinator) and views on timings and meeting these requirements. We also asked for your views on the impact these requirements would have, particularly in relation to remote rural and island communities, the role for digital technology and any other areas of skills you thought we should consider.

What you told us:

Our consultation analysis[5] showed that the majority (88%) of consultation respondents agreed that the installer skills matrix should be integrated into the PAS 2030 and MCS installer standards. Similarly, the majority (86%) of consultation respondents agreed that manufacturer training should be in addition to, not instead of, the proposed skills requirements.

The general consensus was that the skills matrix should be made mandatory within the PAS 2030 standards as soon as practically possible or within 12 months. In thinking about timescales, it was considered important that smaller companies and island supply chains were not disproportionally impacted.

On the competency requirements for the non-installer roles in PAS 2035 then these were viewed as essential. Common feedback on the retrofit coordinator was that this role would be key – and would require broad knowledge and practical experience in working in refurbishment, renovation and whole house retrofit.

You also told us that developing and promoting a clear career pathway as a means of attracting new talent into the sector was highlighted as critical – attracting and training more young people, and for the sector to be seen as an attractive career option. There was strong support for industry-wide, longer-term investment in skills to help the sector achieve the proposed skills requirements (e.g. grant and bursary support, upskilling and reskilling support, support to stimulate demand for workforce development, industry-facing awareness raising campaigns).

Our response:

We have listened to your feedback and we propose the following to progress skills:


We will integrate the Scottish installer skills matrix into both the BSI PAS 2030 installer standards and MCS installer standards in 2022.

The installer skills matrix is now available online[6] and has already been integrated into the BSI PAS 2030[7] standards and we are working with MCS to integrate into their respective standards. The skills matrix will feature as guidance initially but will eventually become fully embedded into the standards as one of the key routes for demonstrating competency.

While the Quality and Skills Short Life Working Group's work is complete, we remain committed to long-term collaboration with partners interested in improving energy efficiency and microgeneration skills. This must take into account not only installer skills, but also skills for other roles, such as the Retrofit Coordinator role. As a result, we will be seeking feedback from key stakeholders including industry and skills agencies such as Skills Development Scotland on the best mechanism for further developing these skills.



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