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CISRS Overseas Training Scheme (OSTS) Expansion


CISRS Overseas Training Scheme (OSTS) Expansion

Following the recent news that there are now more than 50,000 CISRS card holders in the UK, the CISRS Overseas Scaffolder Training Scheme (OSTS) has reached another milestone for the organisation – with 2,500 operatives having completed training and holding CISRS OSTS cards.

CISRS Scheme Manager & NASC Director of Training, Dave Mosley, said: “The news that we have trained 2,500 overseas card holders via the CISRS Overseas Scaffolder Training Scheme in such a short period of time is very positive indeed. We are really getting the message out across the globe that CISRS is the right training programme for scaffolders.

The Overseas Scaffolder Training Scheme (OSTS) was originally developed around 3 years ago by CISRS with support from 2 of its UK approved training providers, Safety and Access Ltd and Simian Skill Ltd. It is based upon the same sound principles as the UK training scheme, including on site experience and assessment. The practical course elements are almost identical to the UK programme, although Level 1 – Level 3 Scaffolder course delivery takes place in 5 day blocks as opposed to 10. Health & Safety and UK industry guidance remain an integral element of CISRS overseas training, and it is felt that this could provide a major boost to working practices in some countries where operatives may not always be required to adhere to the safest working methods for the erection and dismantling of Scaffolding.  After a relatively steady start OSTS is beginning to make a real impact within the regions in which it operates. These include UAE, Qatar, South Korea, India and the Philippines.


Simian Skill Dubai CISRS Training Centre

CISRS has been the established qualification for the scaffolding industry within the UK for over 40 years. Occasionally there is a misconception internationally that CITB is the relevant industry qualification for scaffolding in the UK, when in fact CITB’s main role in relation to scaffolding training is to issue cards on behalf of CISRS and provide grant funding. The CITB logo did historically appear on CISRS cards however this was removed around 15 years ago. The National Construction Colleges, including NCC East (Bircham Newton) are accredited by and deliver CISRS scaffolder training. Through further promotion of the OSTS course, CISRS are seeking to establish themselves as the brand of choice for scaffolder training worldwide.

CISRS OSTS centres are operated either solely by or in partnership with accredited UK providers, which allows their experience, knowledge, and good practice established over the years to be directly transferred to the overseas centres. UK approved instructors carry out the training and local instructors are required to qualify via OSTS and shadow UK instructors prior to gaining accreditation to deliver training in their own right.


Cape Industrial Services Ltd’s CISRS Training Centre in the Phillipines

Cape’s centre in the Philippines was the first ever CISRS training centre to operate outside the UK (2006). Although initially operated to CISRS UK criteria it has since moved on to deliver CISRS OSTS.

Mike Harding, Director (Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and PNG) stated: “We have always been big supporters of the CISRS scheme, and we feel that training our operatives to these standards has given us the edge over our competitors within the region. Moving over to the OSTS scheme will allow us to retain the quality and rigour of the UK scheme whilst the shorter duration training modules will help us operationally and logistically when programming courses for scaffolders who are working all over the world and are often away for considerable periods of time.”

To have the support of major players within the sector is essential to the success of CISRS OSTS. This has become apparent in South Korea, where a partnership between Safety & Access and Samsung Heavy Industries has seen OSTS courses run continuously since the centre initially gained accreditation in July 2013. Several hundred scaffolders have now completed both Level 1 and Level 2 OSTS training with regular Scaffold Inspection and Scaffolding Supervisor courses being completed within the same period. The aim ultimately is to put all scaffolders and supervisors on site through the CISRS OSTS programme.

The most recent addition to OSTS has seen a brand new purpose built scaffolding training centre opened in Chennai (Southern India) by UG/Safety & Access UK (PVT) Ltd. There are currently thousands of Indian scaffolders working all over the world, with very few of them having undertaken any formal or industry recognised training. More often than not they have been trained ‘in-house’ or on the job once arriving in the country where they are working. To provide a CISRS facility at source in India will allow high quality training to be completed prior to operatives arriving on site.

Rick Statham, Joint Managing Director for Safety & Access Ltd said: “It’s been a real pleasure helping to get OSTS off the ground and assist in cementing CISRS’s reputation across the globe. We are confident that the scheme’s solid start will continue to snowball and we hope to be celebrating further milestones in training completed and CISRS cards issued as the scheme develops.”


Scaffolders undertaking CISRS OSTS training at Safety and Access/Samsung Heavy Industries S. Korea

In April CISRS will be returning to Dubai, Ajman and Qatar to carry out an annual audits on both Simian Skill and Safety & Access approved training centres in the region. Whilst there they will be meeting with clients within the oil and gas sector in order to further promote CISRS OSTS.

“There is so much work going on across this region with many very large and important companies operating in the sector. A lot of these multinational companies do promote safe working conditions and look to train their workforce to a high standard. In the UK they would insist on CISRS qualified scaffolders working on their projects. It’s now the job of CISRS and its accredited providers to make them aware that their training programmes are available locally and as such they can then impose the same requirements across the UAE and surrounding areas“, said Ian Fyall, Operations Director at Simian Skill.

CISRS OSTS has made a very positive start in a relatively short period of time and is hoping that it can continue to grow as news of its arrival on the world stage reaches more of those within the sector.

For further details about CISRS Overseas Scaffolder Training Scheme (OSTS), a list of approved training providers, or to find out more about CISRS, please visit or email

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NASC and CISRS Exhibit at Network Rail Events

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NASC and CISRS Exhibit at Network Rail Events

NASC and CISRS exhibited at two key Network Rail safety events at the end of January, with the assistance of safety and training experts, Simian Risk Management Ltd. This is part of an ongoing NASC/CISRS 2015 events campaign which aims to spread the safe scaffolding message of both organisations.
Both events were organised by Network Rail Infrastructure Projects and took place on Thursday 29 January. The event at Donington Park in the Midlands was entitled “Safe Start 2015 Day” with over 700 delegates in attendance, and was attended by Simian Risk Safety Director Dave Randles. The second event was at the Novotel London City South, where Simian Risk Managing Director Simon Hughes gave a presentation on TG20:13, the industry best practice guide for tube and fitting scaffolding.

The events were part of a national safety “Stand Down Day” which was created with the aim of highlighting Network Rail’s safety initiatives, and showcasing industry innovations which are designed to improve health and safety standards. Both events were attended by principal contractor representatives and suppliers to the rail industry.

Simon Hughes said: “I delivered a presentation to more than 40 delegates on behalf of the NASC entitled ‘A Scaffolding Update.’ The main topic was how TG20:13 can be used in the rail sector, and how CISRS scaffolding training schemes have been affected by TG20:13. This went down very well.”


Dave Randles attended the Donington Park event, where NASC and CISRS were represented on a trade stand shared with NASC member company, JFE Attridge Scaffolding Services Co Ltd. Dave Randles said: “There were about 700 industry people at the event – mainly rail professionals. Many were not aware of TG20:13 because current Network Rail standards require bespoke designs for scaffold structures. However, the eGuide demonstrations were very well received, with many delegates expressing their belief that the simplicity of the eGuide and its associated compliance sheets could add real benefits to their scaffold management processes, not least in terms of cost savings and the reduction in turnaround time for design approval. There was a lot of interest in the work of both organisations. It was a very positive event.“

James Attridge (JFE Attridge Scaffolding Services Co Ltd and NASC Technical Committee Chair) added: “The TG20:13 eGuide was particularly well received. As a result of the demonstrations, one of the Regional Directors wants to set up a further meeting to see how the eGuide might be implemented into future procedures. The time saving on waiting for leg loads and ‘high street environment’ designs would have a huge beneficial impact for all concerned.”

Robin James, NASC Managing Director added: “These events are part of a continuing commitment by both the NASC and CISRS to ‘get out there’ and meet professionals from all industry sectors – spreading the message about the NASC setting the standard in scaffolding and CISRS providing industry recognised training qualifications. We are very grateful for the expertise and support of Simian Risk Management Ltd in assisting us with this mission, and are pleased with the response from the rail sector for our work, especially TG20:13, at both events. Feedback was extremely positive.”

In addition to these Network Rail safety events, the NASC and CISRS will be sharing a trade stand at Health and Safety Scotland, 22-23 April at SECC Glasgow, also at the largest European safety event, Safety & Health Expo at London’s ExCeL, on 16-18 June. In addition to TG20:13, the focus at these events will be on the benefits of using NASC member companies, CISRS training, and the forthcoming launch of SG4:15.

For details about NASC and CISRS 2015 events, becoming an NASC member, and to find out more about TG20:13 and the NASC – the UK scaffolding industry trade body – please visit or email: And for more details on CISRS training, including a list of current providers, please visit: