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Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme Standardisation Programme Reaches First target

The New Year has brought with it an improved, fully revised and standardised CISRS Part 1 training package – which has recently been issued to all CISRS approved training providers.

Course standardisation is the culmination of around nine months work by a working party made up of representatives of the National Construction College (NCC), private training providers (Simian Skills and Safety & Access Ltd), former NASC President Bob Whincap, and the CISRS Scheme Manager, Dave Mosley, with the support of other instructors from participating CISRS accredited training centres.

The CISRS scheme has been around for over 40 years and is the recognised qualification for all those working within the scaffolding sector. The core scheme programmes Part 1, 2 and Advanced have undergone several transformations over the years – like the withdrawal of Industry Accreditation (“grandfather rights”) and the introduction of NVQ, Health and Safety testing and mandatory skills tests etc.

These improvements to the CISRS scheme – coupled with changes that have been enforced by new Health and Safety guidance or innovation in equipment and work practices – has meant that CISRS has had to evolve over the years in order to stay relevant.

CISRS has always provided accredited centres with scheme criteria, relating to practical facilities, instructor qualifications, and the delivery of their courses (e.g. minimum course requirements, course content, requirement for suitable drawings, risk assessments, method statements etc).

When the scheme was in its infancy, with only National Construction Colleges (CITB) delivering approved courses, it was a relatively simple task to ensure that course delivery and the information imparted to delegates remained standardised across all the centres.

However, as there are now 20 different providers across the UK offering CISRS core scheme training this has become much more difficult to manage – as instructors and centres look to introduce their own interpretation of the delivery requirement for CISRS courses, based upon industry experience.

The CISRS scheme is held in high esteem within the industry. But following the introduction of NASC TG20:13 tube and fitting best practice guidance in February 2014, a call from industry to include mobile aluminium tower training and scaffold inspection modules within the courses, and unanimous support from those attending the inaugural CISRS Instructor Conference in March 2014, CISRS agreed it was time for a radical review which would result in the production of a standardised training package for use by all centres.

The package includes updated paperwork for both the delegate and provider and includes the following: Course programme, session plans, example risk assessment and method statements, practical exercise marking papers, theory test papers, delegate feedback forms, and delegate declaration forms, plus drawings for practical structures, PowerPoints for each session, relevant industry videos, TG20:13 etc. And the electronic files are split into separate days (1-10) with all the required information for each day of the programme contained within.

A brand new full colour, 24-page Practical Scaffolding Module One document has been produced, which will include all the necessary information on scaffolding components, and the basic requirements needed to safely erect and dismantle scaffold structures within the Part 1 syllabus. A copy of this document will be given to each trainee within their trainee folder, which also contains relevant NASC Health & Safety and Technical guidance.

CISRS Scheme Manager, Dave Mosley said: “Following the Instructors Conference in March 2014 everyone agreed that producing standardised course materials was right thing to do. It has taken a little longer than we had anticipated, but we feel that this is a massive step in the right direction for the scheme. CISRS would like to thank all of those on the working party as well as those at participating centres who have put a lot of time and effort into putting this package together.”

Providers have been issued with the training package a few weeks prior to the course going live on Monday 2nd February, in order to have a chance to familiarise themselves with it and spot any typos, errors etc. The feedback to date has been positive – although it has not been without some degree of controversy, as the extended programme means that both delegates and Instructors will now be required to stay at their centres later on Friday afternoons when completing CISRS courses.

The CISRS working party are looking to start work on Part 2 next month. The introduction of the new courses will be the major topic for discussion at this year’s CISRS Instructor conference which will be held at NCC East in March 2015.

For further details about CISRS training courses, changes to training following the introduction of TG20:13, information and dates on courses available, a list of approved training providers, or to find out more about CISRS, please visit or email



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