BS 8539 installer training

In our latest sound-out episode Stevan discusses BS 8539 installer training options available to upskill on-site anchor/fixing installers in the M&E industry.


BS 8539:2012 Code of Practice for the Selection and Installation of Anchors in Concrete and Masonry

The British standard sets out the rules and responsibilities for all parties from the specifier to the installer involved in the use of anchors.

How does BS 8539 guide installers?

The BS 8539 offers guidance for anchor installers – anchors should be installed and supervised by competent individuals. BS 8539 defines competent as:

‘Suitably trained and qualified by knowledge and practical experience, and provided with the necessary instructions, to enable the required task(s) to be carried out correctly.’

Top 5 learning points for correct anchor/fixing installation.

  • Understanding how the anchor/fixing will fix into the substrate, is it cracked or non-cracked concrete, different substrates will affect the selection and installation of an anchor/fixing.
  • Understanding the type of anchor (torque-controlled, deformation-controlled, undercut/key or chemical/resin) and its effects on the substrate.
  • Understanding the different anchor installation methods – is it a flush fix or a through-fix
  • Understanding how to correctly use all installation equipment – setting tools e.g. torque wrench, torque specification and how to set the torque up correctly, impact driver, hammer, blow-out pump etc.
  • BS 8539 states an anchor should be tightened to the manufacturer’s recommended torque settings.

Is there any further guidance from BS 8539?

BS 8539 installer training underlines the importance of understanding how to use setting tools;

‘When the anchor is originally supplied to site, the installer should look at the setting tools (e.g., torque wrench, torque specification and set the torque up correctly). The drill diameter, drill depth, recommended torque value and load-bearing should also be taken into consideration.’ Any specific setting tool should be designed for that particular anchor.

BS 8539 guidance

What happens if an installer has not been suitably trained?

Most on-site anchor installation failures are due to incorrect installation. As BS 8539 outlines anchors should be installed by a competent individual. There may be consequences if an untrained and therefore unqualified individual installs an anchor into a ‘safety critical application’.

What are safety-critical applications?

If the failure of an anchor could lead to injury or significant material or economic damage to the building, then the situation is deemed safety critical. With most mechanical and electrical installations being suspended from the building’s ceilings, these are clearly safety critical and anchors should be suitably approved and installed. 

Have there been any severe cases of anchor installation failure?

In the past there have been cases where anchor installation failure has led to assembled brackets collapsing.

The CFA (Construction Fixings Association) have highlighted two case studies showing the damaging effects of anchor installation failure –

CFA Case Study 1
CFA Case Study 2

What training options are available?

There are two main forms of training, one form is the traditional ‘toolbox talks’ whereby a qualified individual will visit you face-to-face to carry out training. The second option is virtual learning, whereby an installer can sit down in their own leisure and complete an anchor installation training course online which is what the MIDFIX Academy offers.

What is the MIDFIX Academy?

Quite simply it is the only specialist training and technical resource to upskill and support installers and supervisors in the M&E sector. Possibly the biggest variable in any installation is the installer themselves as most anchor failures are down to incorrect installations.

How can the MIDFIX Academy help me?

At the MIDFIX Academy, our passion is to make you aware of your responsibilities under BS 8539 2012 and to give you the competency to see these responsibilities through.

With the construction industry becoming increasingly litigious, we are here to give you peace of mind when it comes to the installation of anchors. The MIDFIX Academy training courses are aimed at all levels, from the main contractor, through supervisors, to installers.

MIDFIX Academy

Why is it important to understand and comply with BS 8539?

Anchors are a small component to which little consideration is frequently given but are absolutely vital to preventing the collapse of the structure or installation that depends on them. Understanding how to correctly install anchors by completing a BS 8539 installer training is an important part of this process.

What are the benefits of joining MIDFIX Academy?

  • As an M & E contractor, you can be confident that all installers have been trained correctly. 
  • You will also receive a MIDFIX training card 

What  core online training courses are available?

  • BS8539:2012 awareness and best practice, aimed at the principle contractor and subcontractor, installers, site managers, project managers, procurement members etc.
  • Four installer training packs, covering deformation control anchors, through bolts, concrete screws, and resin anchors (chemical anchors)
  • Supervisor awareness training

How do I pass the MIDFIX Academy training courses?

All courses are carried out online and are currently available as guided (trainer-led) and self-directed (unguided) courses. Each candidate will need to obtain a minimum pass mark via an interactive questionnaire.

I want to enrol with the MIDFIX Academy, how can I find out more?

Why not join the other UK leading mechanical and electrical contractors and upskill and train your installers and supervisors?

Register my interest


In conclusion, there are two main options available to installers to ensure they are BS 8539 compliant. Whichever option you choose, it is incredibly important that nobody on-site is installing anchors that are not competent or capable of doing so.

Supplying the correct anchor on-site is important. 

Discover our comprehensive range of anchors 

Below is the MIDFIX guide to a compliant fixing installation which provides guidance for the selection, supply, installation, training, and testing of anchors.

MIDFIX Guide to a compliant BS 8539 Fixing Installation
MIDFIX Guide to a compliant BS 8539 Fixing Installation


For all anchor enquiries contact our expert team: 

0115 922 1585

Live Chat – simply click on the hexagon in the bottom right-hand corner to speak to our customer service team (Open Monday – Friday 7.30am – 5pm).