Reminder: Changes to Scheme rules regarding COTS and CISRS cards, coming soon

As of 1st March 2024, delegates attending a CISRS Operative Training Scheme (COTS) course will only be eligible to apply for a CISRS Labourer card.
An initial 18-month CISRS Trainee Scaffolders card will only be issued upon successful completion of a CISRS Part 1 course. This will mean that all operatives holding the Trainee card will have received industry recognised training, in basing out, erecting, and dismantling a range of scaffold structures including towers, birdcages, independents plus an introduction to relevant industry guidance and best practice such as SG4, SG6, TG20, Risk Assessment, Method Statements, selection of materials etc. prior to carrying out these jobs on site.

This change allows the operative the full 3 years (2 x 18 months cards) to complete their relevant on-site experience, Part 2 course, S/NVQ2 and skills test.
Under the previous/existing rules if some opted to apply for the Trainee card after the COTS “the clock was already ticking” on their first trainee card, if they did not complete their Part1 course until the end of this period it meant they needed to complete all other relevant training, experience within the next 18 months life cycle of their 2nd card.
CISRS has noticed comments on social media stating that the change to the requirement from 6 months to 3 months of holding the Labourer card prior to attending the Part 1 could possibly shorten the training and assessment cycle. This is a minimum time requirement aimed at giving those who may have had some prior informal experience the option of starting their full formal CISRS training programme. The Labourer’s card lasts for 5 years so there is no need to rush this initial stage. Very, few employees would take on a new entrant and look to book them on a Part 1 course after 3 months.

Under the new rules an operative will need to have successfully completed the Part 2 course in order to be eligible to apply for their 2nd 18-month Trainee card.

Dave Mosley CISRS Managing Director said “Following these changes to the scheme rules CISRS will monitor the industry feedback from Training Providers, delegates, and employers to ensure Part 1 content remains relevant and achievable. We want people to take advantage of the full life cycle of both trainee cards, as such will also keep an eye on the timescales that most operatives are taking to complete the required training, experience, and assessment.