CPD 2017

IMG_1216As of July 2017 all CISRS Scaffolder and Advanced cards can only be renewed with a CISRS 2 Day Scaffolder Refresher Course.


Background to CPD Introduction

The issue of CPD and refresher training for Scaffolders has been discussed on many occasions over the last 10 years.

The HSE wrote to CISRS in June 2014 requesting that CPD should be incorporated into the scheme.

At the ASITO meeting in September 2015 following lengthy discussions on the topic of CPD, including likely content, method of delivery, course duration etc. a working Party was set up, which included an ex NASC President and representatives from contracting scaffolding companies.

The Working Party held its first meeting January 2016, at this meeting the proposed content, duration and method of delivery was agreed, based upon previous discussions at ASITO.

In March 2016 this information was passed onto NASC members at the regional meetings and then to industry via press releases, website postings etc. It has received a mixed response, however there are many across the whole of industry who have welcomed the idea. Much of the initial opposition to the introduction of CPD appears to be cost and who will pay for the course rather than the principle of CPD itself.

The introduction of CPD has been driven by the HSE and the wider industry. It has been recognised that the necessary levels of practical skills can be achieved via approved training, assessment programmes and experience in the workplace, however the operative needs to ensure that they are kept up to date with current best practice, changes to legislation etc.

Following the publication of the Industrial Strategy for Construction in 2013, the construction industry has refocussed its efforts on ensuring the workforce is appropriately qualified. Continuous professional development (CPD) is an effective method of ensuring all construction workers keep up to date with the latest developments and processes. CSCS welcomes the introduction of CPD as part of the renewal process for a CISRS card, further reinforcing the highly skilled reputation of UK scaffolders.”

Graham Wren

Chief Executive

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)


The introduction of CPD for Scaffolders has not been driven by Training Providers and cannot be described as a “Knee Jerk” reaction. It is an agenda that has been pushed by wider industry for many years, particularly the HSE in the case of scaffolding. CISRS and ASITO have been convinced it is the right thing to do for our safety critical sector.

To read an Introduction to the CPD Course please click here


We already train our operatives?

All good employers will strive to keep their employees up to date with the relevant information through additional training, tool box talks etc, however this is not the case in all instances.

Some scaffolders may not have received any additional training or information since initially obtaining their scaffolder card, which could have been many years ago and possibly through Industry accreditation/Grandfather rights.

CISRS would find it very difficult to verify exactly what additional training had been received by individual scaffolders in the previous 5 years of holding their cards. Other issues would include what the qualifications were held by the person who delivered the additional training, what was the method of delivery, where it was delivered etc.

In order to ensure that all CISRS card holders receive the correct information, regardless of whether they work for a responsible employer or otherwise, it is essential that they all attend the 2-day course with an approved training provider prior to renewing their card.


Why do we need CPD?

Scaffolding is often viewed as a high risk occupation, when carried out properly this is not the case. However, we need to ensure that the operatives have the correct and up to date information and knowledge that will continue to allow them to work safely.

“‘HSE Inspectors sometimes come across scaffolders on site who are not up to date on current accepted practices with respect to safe erection and dismantling of scaffolding. This is an issue that is easily resolved through CPD and HSE welcomes the introduction of this into the CISRS scheme. This brings the scheme into line with many other construction trades and it will have a very positive effect, particularly for those who may not have received any formal training in many years. It should help employers demonstrate that their operatives have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to fulfil their duties under the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015.”

Ray Cooke

Head of Construction Sector Safety Unit

Health & Safety Executive

Why Now?

CPD has been on the agenda for a long time, when it was agreed to incorporate it into the scheme, we decided that a long lead in time was required to ensure that industry was ready for its introduction. Whatever date was chosen to introduce a new requirement, there would always be those who fall either side of the deadline. We were aware that 2016 was going to be a large card renewal year. Around 8000 operatives due to renew their cards this year. In 2017 this figure will drop to around 4000, with the introduction of CPD in July 2017, approximately half of these operatives will miss the CPD programme this time round. CPD had to start sometime and it was agreed with a one year lead in time, it would be July 2017.

Other trades don’t do it!

CPD and other additional training on top of trade competence is already in operation across a wide range of sectors, Plant, Steeplejacks, Lightening Engineers some of these trades e.g. Plumbing/Gas Fitters are required to undertake a minimum of 30 hrs CPD on an annual basis (150 hours over 5 years) CISRS are looking to introduce 2 days in effect 14 hours of CPD on a 5 yearly cycle.

What will be included in the 2 Day Course?

SG4- Inclusive of SG19 and Harness Training.

TG20- Inclusive of Masonry Anchors.


SG6- Manual Handling- Inclusive of Ropes and Wheels and Knots.

MATS (Mobile Access Towers for Scaffolders).


Trends in Accidents, Accident Reporting.

Part Two Re-cap.

Impact Wrenches.


Communication- Inclusive of Scaffolder Responsibilities and Behaviour.

Edge Protection and Roof Works.

Drugs and Alcohol.

PPE- Responsibilities of Employer.

Incomplete Scaffolds- Inclusive of Signage and Access.

System Scaffold Awareness.

Protection of the Public.

Final statement to advise scaffolders will need to access additional information and where they are able to get.

Module Knowledge Tests

H&S Testing

Why does it need to be 2 days?

It was apparent when considering the proposed content, that this could not be covered in 1 day.

Other than that ensuring that all individuals were up to speed with the latest relevant industry guidance TG20, SG4 etc. at the time of card renewal the working party was looking to include as much value added training as possible.

Scaffold inspection modules are now included in Pt1, Pt 2, and Advanced Courses. In order to maintain this status, we have included a scaffold inspection module within CPD training. This will also allow those who qualified several years ago to have their cards endorsed accordingly, Scaffolder cards endorsed with Basic Inspection and Advanced cards with Advanced Inspection.

Mobile Access Tower training for Scaffolders (MATS) modules are now included in Pt1, Pt 2, and Advanced Courses and a MATS endorsement is put onto the card. In order to maintain this status, we have included a MATS module within CPD training. This will allow those who qualified several years ago to gain the MATS endorsement on their card.

The CPD programme will include a H&S test which will negate the need to complete a separate CITB HS&E Test. This will save the time which is lost having to do this separate test.


How much will it cost?

CISRS does not set prices for courses delivered by their providers, the market sets the price. However, prices are expected to be in line with current rates for short duration courses (COTS/SSPTS/SITS) ranging from around £250 – £350 +VAT (these are estimated prices you will need to contact the centre directly). These may vary due to location and centre status, as some centres have charitable status and do not charge VAT.

The courses will attract attendance grant funding (£50 per day) for those who pay CITB levy and ASITO will approach CITB to see if there would be any additional funding available to offset the costs of CPD.

Will I still need to pass the CITB HS&E Test?

No, a health and safety element will be included in the 2 Day CPD Course which will negate the need for the CITB HS&E Test.


For news about upcoming CPD Pilot Courses please click here



This page will be kept updated with any new information and any new FAQs.