From 1st September 2015 it will be a scheme requirement that anyone attending a CISRS Part 1 Scaffolding Training course must have held a valid CISRS trainee scaffolder or labourer card for a minimum of six months.
Since the scheme began 40 years ago, Part 1 course delegates have had to have minimum of six months on site experience as a as a trainee scaffolder or labourer working under the direct supervision of a qualified scaffolder. They were not, however, required to provide a copy of a valid CISRS card at this stage.
CISRS now considers this to be a loophole in its procedures, and one that has been highlighted by an ongoing standardisation programme. Two years ago the CISRS operative training scheme (COTS) course was introduced for new entrant trainees and labourers, which allowed a lot of the essential generic health & safety, manual handling and component recognition type training to be delivered in the initial stages of an individual’s scaffolding career. Anyone applying for a CISRS trainee or labourer card after June 2013 was required to complete COTS training.
The introduction of this course allowed the standardisation group to consider reducing time spent on those modules within the Part 1 programme in favour of more up to date industry guidance and best practice, such as TG20:13, and introduction to scaffold inspection. Some delegates were still attending Part 1 courses without having completed COTS training or holding a CISRS labourer or trainee card. There have been instances where a delegate has claimed to have the relevant prior on site experience but on attending the course it is apparent that this is not the case. They subsequently failed the course.
The new rule was initially going to be introduced with immediate effect but it was felt that industry should be given a short notice period to be made aware of the changes to the scheme. This would also accommodate those who have already booked a Part 1 course.
CISRS scheme manager Dave Mosley said: “We think that this is a sensible change of scheme rules and is basically a case of housekeeping. The standardisation programme has highlighted a few minor anomalies within current scheme criteria and these are now being addressed.”