Consultation: Creation of the ‘MCS Specification for Ground Source Closed-Loop Drilling’

MCS has today published a two-week consultation on the creation of the ‘MCS Specification for Ground Source Closed-Loop Drilling’.

Over the course of 2021, MCS worked with the Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA) Drillers Action Group to create formal criteria for the drilling of boreholes, associated with the installation of Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP).

This new Specification is intended to cover that part of the installation of a GSHP that does not currently attract specific MCS requirements, against which a driller’s performance can be assessed. It sets the quality criteria for borehole drillers and their drilling activities and addresses the following:

  • A definition of a driller’s competency and associated qualifications.
  • The contractual arrangements that are expected to be in place between driller and installer (MCS contractor).
  • A series of pre-drilling requirements, including the provision of site surveys, permissions, and a method statement in advance of the drilling activity.
  • A series of requirements relating to the drilling activity itself, including the equipment and materials to be used, and the disposal of waste once the drilling activity is complete.
  • Requirements for the handover and commissioning of boreholes, ready for the installation of the GSHP by the MCS installer (MCS contractor).

An initial consultation on the new Specification took place in early 2021. This included a request for feedback on the information that should be captured as evidence of compliance to the new Specification. It also covered whether it should become a mandatory requirement for MCS contractors as installers to only use a compliant driller.

Following this feedback, and in consultation with the GSHPA Drillers Action Group, the following changes have been made to the proposed Specification prior to publication:

  • To comply with the Specification, a driller will need to pass an audit conducted by the British Drilling Association (BDA) or equivalent, being part of the existing quality assurance environment associated with drilling activities.
  • Following publication, an initial trial period of no less than 12 months will be in place. During this time, MCS will gather evidence on the deployment of the new Specification to inform a decision whether to make it a mandatory requirement that an MCS certified contractor needs to work with a compliant driller.

MCS would now like to invite comments from stakeholders on the revised Specification, which can be accessed via the link below.

The deadline for submitting comments for this consultation is Friday 28th January 2022.

Please send consultation responses to using the form provided below:

Drilling Standard (Draft V10) – Consultation

MCS Drilling Specification consultation response form