Masonry Heater Association
of North America

Policies and Procedures of the Certification Program

(Revised 3/12)

 1.  Introduction

The MHA is a professional association of masonry heater builders that was formed to advance the technology of masonry heating in North America and to increase the knowledge and skills of professional heater masons.  The MHA fulfills its mandate by sponsoring laboratory research into masonry heating technology and by publishing information of interest to practitioners.  The MHA also maintains a professional training and certification program to recognize the competency of qualified heater builders.

This manual has been prepared to assist candidates in achieving and maintaining MHA certification, and to guide the administration of the program.  The requirements presented in this manual have been established by the MHA Board of Directors and it is its sole responsibility to apply and interpret them, primarily through its administrative designate.  The manual may be amended from time to time to account for changing conditions.

2.  Application for Certification

2.1  Application Procedure

To initiate the application procedure, a person must be an MHA member* in good standing and apply in writing to the MHA administrator and provide:

(a)  a completed application form

(b)  a check or money order in the amount of US $300.

*If a person becomes an MHA member and applies for certification in the same year, $100 of the application fee can be waived.

2.2  Administration

Upon receipt of a completed application form and fee, the administrator will supply the applicant with:

(a)  a copy of the MHA Heater Mason’s Reference Manual,

(b)  a copy of the Occupational Analysis Manual,

(c)  a copy of the Policies and Procedures Manual,

(d)  and such other documentation deemed necessary to prepare the applicant for the certification

 3.  Requirements for Certification

3.1  Professional Credentials Required

       A candidate for MHA certification must demonstrate a working knowledge of relevant housing and fuel burning regulations, and sufficient knowledge of masonry work by    providing proof* of successful completion of at least ONE of the following:

(a)  a bricklayer apprenticeship program

(b)  certification issued by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) (rev. 3/12)

(c)  certification issued by Wood Energy Technology Transfer Inc.

(d) Successful completion of a Level 1 HMED class or an equivalent professional credentials deemed  acceptable  to the MHA (rev.3/12)

AND at least ONE of the following:

(e)  40 hours of work under the direct supervision of an MHA certified heater mason

(f)  successful completion of an MHA Hands-on Workshop and Test

*Proof of certification or participation, i.e. copy of certificate, diploma, letter of successful completion.  Other credentials can be judged for their equivalence.


 3.2  Field Experience                                                                                                                       

      A candidate must provide evidence of a working knowledge of masonry heater design and construction as set out in the MHA Occupational Analysis Manual.  The required evidence must consist of verifiable documentation of THREE masonry heater construction projects professionally contracted and completed within the past five years.  The candidate must have served as the lead mason on at least TWO of the required projects.  One of those 2 projects must have a firebrick firebox (rev.3/12)    Required documentation for EACH of the three projects must consist of the following:

(a)       12  photos of the project: (rev. 3/12)

                                Photo’s required:

         Base pad and first course
        Core at floor level
        Core at firebox level
        Completed core
        Facing with soot doors or 1 foot from floor
        Facing at lintel level
        Downward picture of channels just before capping slab
        Completed heater front
        Completed heater  rear
        Chimney connection

        Full post break-in fire through door

(b)  a thorough description of the heater including firebox dimensions, overall dimensions, wall thicknesses, main materials used, including scale drawings with plan sectionals.

(c)  the name and address of the client, and the date of construction.

(d)  a completed “New Owner Survey” for both of the units built as the lead mason.  (Rev.3/12/)

3.3  Examination

(a)  The candidate must achieve a passing grade on the MHA examination.  The passing grade is 70 percent.

(b)  The taking of the examination may be administered by the MHA or

(c)  The examination may be proctored by an independent agency such as a public library which is deemed acceptable by the administrator.  The MHA will pay the proctor for  service.  All other costs related to the proctoring of the examination will be paid by the candidate.

(d)  The fee for the administration of the examination is US $100 which must be received by the MHA before administrative arrangements are made.

(e)  The candidate may take the examination before the other certification requirements are met, but certification will not be granted until all requirements are satisfied.

3.4  Summary of Certification Requirements

To achieve certification under the Heater Mason Program, the candidate must:

(a)  supply a completed application form                                 2.1(a)

(b)  pay the application fee of $300                                         2.1(b)

(c)  provide proof of relevant professional credentials               3.1

(d)  provide documentation of three heater projects                  3.2

(e)  pay the examination fee of $100                                         3.3(d)

(f)  achieve a passing grade on the MHA examination                3.3(a)


4.  Maintaining MHA Certification

   4.1  Annual Certification Renewal

To maintain MHA certification in good standing, a certificate holder must be a MHA full voting member and pay an annual renewal fee of $50.  The fee covers administrative costs, validation of renewal and information updates. Failure to pay the annual renewal fee will result in the withdrawal of certification after two payment notices have been sent and no response is received by the administrator within 90 days.


   4.2 Continuing Education Requirement

Within each five year period after certification, the certificate holder must accrue MHA continuing education workshop points, or other relevant professional credentials deemed equivalent by the MHA.   Points accrued must be a minimum of 3 to 5 each year or 30 or more for the five year period. Continued Education Credits are awarded by the following: (Rev. 3/12)

-          The instructor of a MHA sponsored workshop would be awarded one CEU per 3 hours of instruction.

-          The assistant instructor of a MHA HMED class would be awarded one CEU per 4 hours of instruction.

-          Participation in a MHA sponsored workshop would be awarded one CEU per 4 hours of instruction. 

-          The instructor of a non sponsored MHA workshop would be awarded one CEU per 4 hours of instruction.

-          Participation in a non sponsored MHA seminar or workshop would be awarded one CEU per 5 hours of instruction.         

-          Holding an elected position in MHA warrants 2 c.e.u.’s per year.

-          Chairman of a MHA committee warrants 2 c.e.u.’s per year.

                -          Documentation of a site built masonry heater with written description, firebox plan drawing, owner contact
                        Information above and at least 12 photo’s would be awarded  3 c.e.u.’s 

                                Photo’s required:

        1.        Foundation
Base pad and first course
Core at floor level
Core at firebox level
Completed core
Facing with soot doors or 1 foot from floor
Facing at lintel level
Downward picture of channels just before capping slab
Completed heater front
Completed heater  rear
Chimney connection
Full post break-in fire through door

 -          Owner Survey must be completed and is part of the documentation required in the above for 3 c.e.u.’s


Failure to comply with the continuing education requirement will result in withdrawal of certification after two notices have been sent and no response is received by the administrator with 90 days.

  4.3  Leave of Absence

Any Certified Heater Mason leaving North America or becoming inactive as a working mason must remain a paid Associate Member of MHA and keep annual certification fees up to date.


 Example of Homeowner's Survey ( 3.2 & 4.2)  (Rev.3/2012)

Dear Homeowner,

 Thank you for choosing to help save the environment by installing a masonry heater. With your help we are one step closer to eliminating our dependency on fossil fuels. 

 You are receiving this survey because the masonry heater builder you contracted is in the Masonry Heater Association of North America’s “Certified Heater Mason” program.  He /She is required to submit a completed questionnaire along with photo documentation and plans, as proof that they have  successfully completed your project, one of many requirements needed to maintain his/her "Certified Heater Mason" status. 

 The Masonry Heaters Association's certification committee will use this brief survey to insure our program certifies only the highest quality heater builders. It is imperative to maintain a certification program that is relevant, up to date and meets the builder, architects and homeowners expectations. Without your honest evaluation and feedback it is impossible to insure our program is working for the betterment of the masonry heater industry and you, the customer.

 Please take a few minutes to answer the following questions:

(On a scale from 1 to 5, 1 = poor, 5 = extremely well.  Feel free to use the space provided for additional comments.)


                Were you given a break-in and Homeowner’s Safety Manual?

                                Yes                         No


                Were you instructed in the proper use of well seasoned (25% moisture content or less) and properly sized wood?

                                Yes                         No


                Does the fire start easily and burn vigorously?

                                1        2          3        4          5


Does the glass on the door stay clean thru out the burn?

                                1        2          3        4          5


                 Was your heater equipped with a chimney damper, bypass damper and/or air supply damper and were you instructed in their proper use?

                                Yes                         No


Some masonry heaters are fitted with shut-off, by-pass or air supply dampers.  If yours  has any or all: Were you instructed in the proper use of any dampers that are installed in your masonr heater?


                                Yes                         No                           Not Applicable



Heater completion date______________________________

Site Address_______________________________________




Please use the reverse side for any comments you would like to make. Please return the survey to: Masonry Heater Association of North America, 2180 S. Flying Q Ln., Tucson, AZ. 85713 – Fax:480-3711139 – Email: