Who is competent to inspect a scaffold?
Who can supervise scaffolding?
How is competence recognised for the supervision of scaffolding?
What is the process for renewing my CISRS card?
Does a labourer working for a scaffolding company need a CISRS card?
Is a CISRS Scaffolding Labourer allowed to work on a scaffold structure, handling materials, whilst the job is being erected, dismantled or altered?
Are their any specific qualifications required to be a scaffolder?
What are the differences between the CISRS cards?
How much do CISRS courses cost?
Are there any grants available for training?
I have achieved S/NVQ Level 3 qualification, am I entitled to a CISRS card?
I have lost my CISRS card/Certificate, how can I obtain a replacement?
Q: Who is competent to inspect a scaffold?
Legislation specifies that anyone carrying out an inspection must be competent to do so. To be competent that person must have the necessary training, knowledge and experience.
As a minimum the NASC would recommend:
a) A CISRS Scaffolder cardholder would be deemed competent to inspect the scaffold structures that are covered in the CISRS Part 1 & Part 2 courses provided their employer can demonstrate they have the necessary knowledge and experience.
b) A CISRS Advanced Scaffolder cardholder would be deemed competent to inspect the scaffold structures that are covered in the CISRS Part 1, Part 2 & Advanced courses provided their employer can demonstrate they have the necessary knowledge and experience. The contents and overall objectives of the CISRS courses can be found in the CAP 609 General Information Booklet Appendix A-C pages 37-44.
c) A CISRS Scaffolding Supervisor cardholder would be deemed competent to inspect the basic scaffold structures that are covered in the CISRS Part 1 and Part 2 courses provided their employer can demonstrate they have the necessary knowledge and experience. If they also hold an Advanced Scaffolders card, then they would be deemed competent to inspect advanced structures. The content and overall objectives of the CISRS Scaffolding Supervisor course can be found in the CAP 609 General Information Booklet pages 22-23.
d) A person who has been on a CISRS Basic Scaffold Inspection Training Scheme Course SITS * (two days in duration prior to 1st July after which Basic SITS will become a three day course) would be deemed competent to inspect a basic scaffold structure provided their employer can demonstrate they have the necessary knowledge and experience and they have passed the knowledge test at the end of the course. This course is suitable for: Management/Supervision who are responsible for inspecting scaffolds and completing reports in accordance with the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Note: If candidates who have attended the Basic Course want to inspect more complex scaffolds, then they will need to complete the Advanced Course after they have gained sufficient experience inspecting Basic Scaffolds on a regular basis.
e) A person who has been on a CISRS Advanced Scaffold Inspection Training Scheme Course * (min. two days) would be deemed competent to inspect more complex scaffold structures provided their employer can demonstrate they have the necessary knowledge and experience and they have passed the knowledge test at the end of the course. This course is suitable for: Experienced Scaffold Inspectors, Management/Supervision who are responsible for inspecting, commissioning and handing over scaffolds, and completing reports in accordance with the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
A CISRS SITS qualification will remain valid for a 5 year period. At which point the delegate will be required to re sit to course and renew their CISRS SITS card in order to maintain their inspection status.
f) Persons who are required to carry out inspections of System Scaffolds must, in addition to the basic scaffold inspection course, have product knowledge of the system to be inspected. This may be sought via CISRS approved training providers, the manufacturer/supplier or as an absolute minimum by obtaining and using the information provided in the official product user guide. This would also apply to CISRS Scaffolder and Advanced card holders, however they could be deemed competent to inspect system scaffold if they already have system product endorsements on the rear of their cards.
Q: Who can supervise scaffolding?
When considering the direct supervision of a scaffolding gang i.e. a working foreman, leading hand etc, the operative in this role must be qualified to the grade of CISRS Scaffolder as a minimum requirement. For more complex scaffold structures, a CISRS Advanced Scaffolder must undertake direct supervision of the gang. Supervision of a Scaffolding project/site as a whole (liaising with client, deploying operatives, estimating, inspection, pricing, H&S issues etc) must also be carried out by a competent person, however this may not necessarily be a CISRS qualified Scaffolder. The 5 Day CISRS Scaffolding Supervisor training course is available from CISRS Approved Centres. It is aimed at scaffolding contractors first-line supervision i.e. Contract Supervisors, Foremen and Non-Working Charge hands. Upon successful completion of the above course the delegate is eligible to apply for the CISRS Scaffolding Supervisor Card. A Supervisory level CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test or Recognised Exemption is required.
Q: How is competence recognised for the supervision of scaffolding?
The UK Contractors Group (UKCG) have recently published some general guidance for the expected level of competence to be in place for persons in an active supervisory role on construction sites upon which their members have a principal contractors role from January 2010. A copy of the guidance is available at; www.ukcg.org.uk
The guidance outlines a syllabus which includes the basic fundamental aspects of health and safety within the construction related work place and the guide goes on to say that attendance of any such course to deliver the syllabus must be of at least two days duration. The guidance also states that supervisors will need to demonstrate having attended training which includes an understanding of behavioural issues, leadership and effective intervention skills. This training must include delivering effective presentations (e.g. tool box talks), role-play, have a form of testing and successful candidates must be issued with a certificate to demonstrate a suitable standard has been achieved.
The NASC would like to inform members that there are several courses commercially available that meet the criteria and also confirm that the established 5 day CISRS Supervisors Course meets all of the above requirements fully for member’s employees that have already attended this training or plan to in the future. The details of the CISRS Supervisors Course can be found within current CAP609 Guidance, available at; www.cisrs.org.uk/general-information
The NASC would also like to clarify the role of a Supervisor as one of a person or persons that hold a non-working or visiting role to the site(s) where scaffold operatives are working and to ensure aspects of safe working and quality control.
A supervisor’s role is not regarded as being one of a charge hand (or leading hand) that simply acts as the senior tradesman of any scaffold gang. To download a copy of this statement please click here
Q: What is the process for renewing my CISRS card?
All existing cardholders will be required to renew their cards by completing the relevant application form and passing the relevant level of CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test or Recognised Exemption within 2 years of renewal, and submitting the application form with a recent photograph and payment of £26.50.
Renewal Notices will be sent to the last known address approximately 3 months prior to the card expiry date.
Click here for renewal information for the different categories of CISRS cards.
Q: Does a labourer working for a scaffolding company need a CISRS card?
Even though this employee may never leave the floor he should still apply for a CISRS Labourer card. In order to apply they will need to complete a CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test or Recognised Exemption achieve the CISRS Operative Training Scheme (COTS) Course and complete the Employer Declaration/Labourer Application Form. When completed, the form should be returned with a photograph of the operative, proof of the Health, Safety and Environment Test, proof of the CISRS Operative Training Scheme (COTS) Course and a payment to CITB of £26.50.
This card may be useful in establishing the length of an operative’s industry experience prior to attending a Part 1 course.
Q: Is a CISRS Scaffolding Labourer allowed to work on a scaffold structure, handling materials, whilst the job is being erected, dismantled or altered?
A labourer is allowed to work on a scaffold structure during erection, dismantling or alteration, however he must only be involved with the handling of the materials and not actually be erecting or dismantling the structure.
* Please note that the Labourer must only be working from a section of the scaffolding that is fully boarded and fitted with double handrails and toe boards.
Q: Are there any specific qualifications required to be a scaffolder?
The CISRS scheme is the industry-recognised qualification for Scaffolding. There are several categories of CISRS cards
Labourer This entails taking a CITB Health, Safety and Environment test, achieving the CISRS Operatives Training Scheme (COTS) Course and submitting an application form endorsed by your employer. The card last 5 years and must be renewed with a current CITB Health, Safety and Environment test and achieving the CISRS Operatives Training Scheme (COTS) Course within 6 months of applying for renewal.
Trainee This entails taking a CITB Health, Safety and Environment test and one of the following : 1. CISRS Operatives Training Scheme (COTS) Course, 2. 2 week Scaffold Induction Course, 3. Part 1 and also completing an application form endorsed by your employer. This initial card lasts 18 months and within this time frame the operative must commence their formal training and complete a minimum of CISRS Part 1 Course (2 weeks off site training at a CISRS approved provider). This will allow the operative to apply for a 2nd Trainee card which will last a further 18 months in which time the operative must complete their CISRS Part 2 (2 weeks off site training at a CISRS approved provider) the Level 2 Access and Rigging Operations S/NVQ and a CISRS 1-day Skills Test.
Scaffolder When the operative has completed all of the above and have a current CITB Health, Safety and Environment test they are entitled to apply for his CISRS Scaffolder card.
Advanced Scaffolder Once the operative has held their Scaffolder card for a 12 month period, they will then attend their Advanced course (weeks off site training at a CISRS approved provider), complete their Level 3 Access and Rigging Operations S/NVQ, pass the CISRS 2-day Skills Test, complete a further CITB Health, Safety and Environment test and can then apply for their Advanced card.
Supervisor This entails completing the CISRS 5 Day Supervisory Course and completing the CITB Supervisory Health, Safety and Environment Test.
Basic Scaffold Inspection This entails completing the CISRS 2-day Basic Scaffold Inspection Course and passing the CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test.
Advanced Scaffold Inspection This entails completing the CISRS 2-day Advanced Scaffold Inspection Course and passing the CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test.
When employing scaffolders you would ideally want the workforce to be made up of a reasonable ration of the above categories, the types of works they can carry out is outlined in the course content which is covered on this website.
Some brief pointers:
Trainee scaffolders cannot work on their own they must be directly supervised by a qualified scaffolder working alongside them as part of a squad.
Advanced Scaffolder are only required in a squad if the works carried out is of an Advanced nature (i.e. complex design work, hanging scaffolds, support scaffolds etc).
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Q: How much do the CISRS courses cost?
The price may vary slightly from centre to centre and regionally so you will have to ring around for current prices. Please Click here for the list of training provider’s contact details. When booking a course you should ask if the booking fee includes S/NVQ registration as if this is not the case extra charges will be made later.
Please note this is only an approximate guide
CISRS Operative Training Scheme (COTS) £125 +VAT
CISRS Part 1 £900 +VAT
CISRS Part 2 £945 +VAT
CISRS 1 day Scaffolder Skills Assessment £350 +VAT
CISRS Advanced £945 +VAT
CISRS 2 Day Advanced Scaffolder Skills Assessment £465+VAT
CISRS Scaffolding Management and Supervisory Course £795 +VAT
CISRS Basic Scaffold Inspection Training Scheme £375 +VAT
CISRS Advanced Scaffold Inspection £375 +VAT
Q: Are there any grants available for the training?
There is very little funding available for an individual to claim, however there are several streams of funding for the employer to subsidise their operatives training. CITB do offer training grants to those companies who pay CITB Levy.
Based upon CITB 2013/14 Grant Figures
£50 per day Attendance Grant
£400 S/NVQ Achievement Grant
There is also funding available for apprenticeships, company training plans etc.
For more information please visit http://www.citb.co.uk/levy-grant/claiming-grants-available/
Q: I have achieved S/NVQ Level 3 qualification, am I entitled to a CISRS card?
No, there are 4 elements needed to obtain a CISRS card, CISRS practical training, S/NVQ, CISRS Skills Test and CITB Health, Safety and Environment test.
CISRS Scaffolder cards are only issued when the operative has undertaken the relevant CISRS training Part 1 and Part 2, achieved the S/NVQ Level 2 in Access and Rigging Operations, passed the CISRS 1-day Skills Test and passed a CITB Health, Safety and Environment test. To reach Advanced they must carry out all of the above plus the CISRS Advanced course, S/NVQ Level 3 in Access and Rigging Operations, passed the CISRS 2-day Skills Test and passed the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test.
Q:I have lost my CISRS card/Certificate, how can I obtain a replacement?
If you have lost your CISRS Card you can call the CISRS Helpline on 0844 8157223 for a replacement. The cost of a replacement card is £26.50.
If you have lost your CISRS Certificate you will need to contact the CISRS approved centre at which the training was undertaken, and request them to issue a Copy/replacement certificate. There may be an administration fee for this service. Usually you will need a certificate to apply for a card, if you are on the CISRS database already CISRS can accept that you have done the training, if you are not and you can no longer produce a certificate you need to contact the centre at which you did your training. If the centre cannot provide a duplicate or confirm the training took place, CISRS cannot issue a card. If the applicant has copies of joining instructions for the course or perhaps proof of grant payment for the training or some possible evidence that the training took place CISRS might be able to accept this on an appeal basis, however the applicant must make an appeal with the evidence in writing to:
CISRS, 4th Floor, 12 Bridewell Place, London, EC4V 6AP
Q: How do I make an appeal?
If you wish to appeal against a Record Scheme Ruling, you must complete this APPEALS FORM and return it with all requested information and documentation.
Q: I have been trained as a scaffolder in another country; do I qualify for a CISRS card?
CISRS will only issue a card based upon training and assessment that was carried out at a CISRS approved centre. Therefore you need to register as a CISRS trainee, initially completing the CISRS Operatives Training Scheme (COTS) course and a CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test or Recognised Exemption An employers signature is required for the application form.
The initial trainee card will last for an 18 month period within that time the operative must commence their training and carry out a minimum of CISRS Part 1 if they wish to renew their trainee card for a further 18 month period. They would then be required to complete CISRS Part 2, Level 2 S/NVQ in Access and Rigging Operations, CISRS 1-day Skills Test and another CITB Health, Safety and Environment test prior to being issued with a CISRS Scaffolder card.