Scaffold Supervisor

CISRS Card Holders Urged Not to Panic Following CSCS ‘Grandfather Rights’ Withdrawal Announcement

By David Mosley, CISRS Managing Director

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) has recently announced plans to phase out issuing cards under Industry Accreditation or ‘Grandfather Rights’.

The decision has been made to ensure all CSCS card applicants can demonstrate the achievement of a nationally-recognised construction-related qualification – either NVQ/SVQ or as a minimum registration to a vocational qualification (VQ) by 2024.

The CSCS proposal will have very little impact on CISRS card holders as those who hold current valid Scaffolder/Advanced cards but have not completed VQ (as it was not a requirement at the time of qualification into the scheme) will not be required to complete the qualification retrospectively.

CISRS withdrew Industry Accreditation over 30 years ago. NVQ/SVQ was introduced to the CISRS Scheme in 1996. All those commencing training after this date have been required to complete a VQ.

This would also apply for those who achieved through Assessed Route of Entry as a VQ was already a requirement.

The National Occupational Standard (NOS), which makes up the units of the VQ is based upon the practical and theoretical content of CISRS Scheme Part 1 and Part 2 for Level 2 VQ e.g. Health and Safety, Independents, Birdcage, Tower scaffolds etc and Advanced course content for Level 3 e.g. Organising of Equipment, Health and Safety, Suspended Scaffolds, Temporary roofs etc.

Course content has remained fairly stable since the formal introduction of the scheme in 1979, as such those who completed training prior to the introduction of a VQ have already covered the content of the NOS.

The introduction of CPD for scaffolders has also allowed the scheme to be viewed favourably as it can ensure that its workforce is kept up to date with the most recent guidance and regulation.


Inspection cards

The course content of the CISRS Basic Inspection Course is based upon the content of the CISRS Part1 and Part 2 courses as such it is mapped to the NOS/Level 2.

The same principle applies for the content of the Advanced Inspection Course is based upon the content of the Advanced course as such it is mapped to the NOS/Level 3.

The requirement for refresher training (to re-sit the course every 5 years) also ensures cardholders are kept up to date with the most recent guidance and regulation.



CISRS are currently in discussion with CSCS in regard of Supervisor cardholders. NVQs have been linked to CSCS Supervisory cards for some time and CISRS Scaffolding Supervisors will be required to complete a relevant VQ going forward. This could possibly be a general Occupational Working Supervision Level 3 VQ or alternatively a Scaffolding Supervisors VQ could be developed.

Once the most suitable qualification has been identified a date will be set for it becoming a mandatory scheme requirement. There are currently around 1,500 Supervisors cardholders, which accounts for approximately 2% of the total CISRS cardholders.

CISRS will need to confirm the route to qualification for these cardholders as some will have progressed via the Scaffolder/Advanced route as such would meet the content of the NOS, some may already hold a Level 3 VQ and others may have achieved other Supervisory/Management VQs.

Once this information has been ratified CISRS will consider the best way of addressing this issue. Existing Cardholders who do not hold the relevant VQ may be required to register for a supervisory VQ by 2024.

For more information please contact or visit the CSCS website here.



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