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CISRS Training Provision Expanded in South West

CISRS Training Provision Expanded in South West

Provision and availability of CISRS training in the South West has been boosted following investment by LTC Training Services.

The training provider has expanded its Plymouth training centre, enabling the firm to convert old offices into three extra training rooms. These facilities have already played host to CPD, COTS, Basic and Inspection courses.

LTC Training Services Ltd’s Managing Director Neil Gray has said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the new facilities at our Plymouth Training Centre and are now exploring the option of expanding the practical training area. This is further evidence that LTC is continuing to invest for the future.”

The company has also added CPD to the range of courses delivered at their depot in Cullompton and employed an additional CISRS Instructor to help meet increased demand for training in the South West region.

Following a recent accreditation visit to LTC’s Plymouth facility, Trevor Donoghue, CISRS Auditor, said: “LTC has obviously made significant investments in their facilities in Devon. The training delivery at the centre has always been of a very high standard, the specification to which they have fitted out the new classrooms and meeting areas are now equally impressive.

“It is really positive to see CISRS providers looking to develop their centres increasing capacity whilst improving the training delegates experience.”

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NASC Launches Safe Scaffolding Charter

NASC Launches Safe Scaffolding Charter

The NASC has launched a Safe Scaffolding Charter to recognise the ever-growing number of organisations that place NASC membership at the heart of their scaffolding contractor procurement policies.

The Charter is open to any organisation that has specified ‘NASC-only’ in their scaffolding-related tender documents and/or has had an established commercial relationship with a full NASC member for at least a year.

Signatories already include Nuclear New Build Generation – the company behind the development and eventual operation of Hinkley Point C – construction specialists DE Construct and principal contractors Knight Harwood.

Robin James, NASC Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to launch our Safe Scaffolding Charter. We feel it’s incredibly important to celebrate the various organisations that recognise the value of specifying NASC-only for their scaffolding requirements.

“Signatories clearly understand that NASC members are demonstrably safe, compliant and independently audited every year to ensure the high standards demanded in order to gain NASC full-contracting membership are maintained.

“They also understand how this benefits their business; including the reassurance and peace of mind gained by using experienced and expert scaffolding contractors.”

Ashley Daniels, Head of Temporary Works & Lifting at Hinkley Point C, said: “I am delighted with our membership and look forward to working together with an organisation that proactively contributes to the safety of the construction industry.

“Building on our own project values of humility, positivity, respect, clarity and solidarity, I also recognise the very significant contribution NASC provides to the scaffolding community. It’s clear that membership has a significant and long-standing positive effect in delivering safe and secure scaffolding across the largest project in Europe.”

Mike Robertson, Head of HSE at Hinkley Point C, said: “I am very encouraged by this approach from NASC. Anything that facilitates consistency of standards, common understanding, and drives improvement and development in this extremely high risk trade has got to be applauded.

“I am particularly proud of our own involvement with the NASC and look forward to seeing our positive contribution to change industry norms.”

Marc Smith, Group SHEQ Director, the DE Group of Companies, said: “Taking fully into account the high risk nature of scaffolding works it is vital that clients and key stakeholders have absolute confidence in the competence, quality and professionalism of their appointed contractor.

“The NASC Safe Scaffolding Charter is regarded by our organisation as a benchmark of these attributes and is something that we are very proud to support.”

Steve Fitzpatrick, Senior H&S Manager at Knight Harwood, said: “As the head of health and safety for a small to medium enterprise such as Knight Harwood, it is reassuring to know that our Quantity Surveyors and Project Managers only have NASC member companies to choose from when compiling bid lists for new projects.

“Scaffolding will always be amongst the most challenging aspects of the construction phase, especially during projects in urban areas. There is no higher benchmark than the NASC in the construction industry when engaging competent scaffold companies.

“Consequently, from a moral, civil and legal point of view, I am very comfortable signing this Safe Scaffolding Charter.”

For more on the NASC’s Safe Scaffolding Charter and to request to become a signatory click here.

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NASC Launches International Information Membership

NASC Launches International Information Membership

The NASC has launched an international information membership category in response to growing demand from companies based overseas to align with the confederation.

The new category is open to any non-contracting scaffolding industry organisation trading outside of the UK. This includes training providers, health and safety consultants, scaffold designers, insurers and other service providers to the access and scaffolding industry.

Robin James, NASC Managing Director, said: “In recent years we have found that more and more businesses involved in the scaffolding industry overseas have been looking to forge closer relationships with the NASC and enjoy the wide range of benefits already afforded to their UK-based counterparts through the NASC Information Membership.

“We are delighted to address this demand and look forward to welcoming international information members from across the globe into the NASC fold.”

NASC international information membership confers the following benefits:

  • Circulation of relevant NASC literature
  • Up to 50% discount on NASC publications
  • Opportunity to attend events such as the NASC AGM, Annual Ball and Awards
  • NASC international information membership certificate
  • Advertising opportunities within NASC publications
  • Promotional opportunities at trade events/exhibitions
  • Sponsorship and advertising opportunities at NASC events
  • Inclusion of company details in NASC publications e.g. NASC Yearbook
  • Inclusion of company details on the NASC website
  • Attendance at NASC meetings (by agreement)

NASC international information membership subscription is £800 plus VAT per calendar year.

For more information click here.

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Reverse Charge VAT Reminder

Reverse Charge VAT Reminder

HMRC is making major changes to the VAT for the construction sector. The changes, dubbed Reverse Charge VAT, will affect payments between contractors and subcontractors from October 1 2019.

It is important that you understand the changes and plan for them as the new scheme could have large repercussions for your cashflow. For more information click here.

The Joint Taxation Committee has produced a reverse charge vat training note and a draft letter for full contracting members to send to any VAT registered subcontractors they have informing them of the changes.

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NASC Publishes Mental Health Policy Guidance

NASC Publishes Mental Health Policy Guidance

The NASC has moved to provide scaffolding companies with a go-to mental health and wellbeing resource through its latest publication, SG38:19 Guidance on Mental Health Wellbeing.

Aimed at breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health within the access and scaffolding industry, this new guidance helps employers to better understand mental health, and to create an action plan for employees to thrive at work. It provides advice and contact details of other organisations who can also provide support.

SG38 was developed by the Current Affairs Committee in conjunction with the Health & Safety Committee and forms part of the NASC’s wider Head for Heights campaign, which aims to promote the importance of focusing on employee wellbeing in the workplace.

Robin James, NASC Managing Director, said: “We are pleased to have published this guidance, which we believe will play a huge role in empowering employers across the UK, enabling them to better support the mental health needs of their employees.

“This guidance provides employers with proactive steps they can take to improve wellbeing in the workplace as well as a host of useful links and services that they can signpost their employees to.”

SG38 can be downloaded for free via the NASC online shop. Hard copies may also be purchased via the same webpage.

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NASC and Apex Represent Scaffolding Industry at Big Bang Careers Fair

NASC and Apex Represent Scaffolding Industry at Big Bang Careers Fair

More than 2,000 pupils were switched on to scaffolding during the Big Bang South West careers fair in Exeter.

The daylong event saw 7 to 19-year-olds from across the region learn more about opportunities available to them under the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) umbrella.

The NASC, CISRS and NASC full contracting member Apex Scaffolding, based in Exeter, flew the flag for the industry, making the point that there is much more to scaffolding than being on the tools. Apex were attending as part of the ‘Construction Zone’, jointly co-ordinated by the Building Greater Exeter and Building Plymouth partnerships.

NASC Training Officer Henry Annafi said: “It was great to engage with so many keen schoolchildren, who all really took to our K’Nex scaffolding exercises, which mirrors the same structural principles seen on scaffolding structures of all shapes and sizes across the country.

“What was so encouraging to see was the pupils’ enthusiasm to get involved with the building tasks and also learn more about the broad range of careers available to them in the scaffolding industry; from the visible – labourers and scaffolders to the less visible – designers, inspectors and procurement professionals.

“We were delighted to accept Apex Scaffolding’s invitation to attend and hope that many of the young people we spoke to will go on to pursue a career in scaffolding.”

Matthew Cousins, NASC South West Regional Vice Chair and Chairman of Building Greater Exeter added: “Apex Scaffolding have been involved in the Building Greater Exeter partnership since its inception and were delighted to be able to work with the NASC to ensure that our industry was represented as a career opportunity as part of the construction zone at the Big Bang Fair South West.”

As part of its training and recruitment objectives, the NASC is forging ever-closer links with education providers and potential scaffolding employees of the future.

For more information please contact NASC Training Officer Henry Annafi via email here.

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NASC Hosts Temporary Works Seminar

NASC Hosts Temporary Works Seminar

More than 100 delegates converged on Birmingham last week for the first NASC and TWf Temporary Works Seminar.

The half-day event saw four speakers take to the lectern, delivering presentations on a range of temporary works topics.

John Underwood, HSE Inspector, gave an insight into what the HSE is looking for in terms of safe and compliant scaffolding when they step on site, and Simon Hughes, Managing Director of Simian Risk, spoke about the code of practice for the design and management of temporary works, touching upon the recently updated BS 5975.

Robin James, NASC Managing Director, gave an overview of the history, aims and objectives of the NASC and the projects and initiatives being rolled out and in development to help make the scaffolding industry safer. These include the Head for Heights mental health awareness campaign, a series of ‘refresher’ toolbox talks and production of an SG4 Preventing Falls site poster.

Duncan Reed, Digital Construction Process Manager at Trimble Solutions Limited, was the final speaker, delivering a presentation exploring the role digital solutions such as virtual and augmented reality, digital scanning and digital workflows can play in increasing safety and efficiencies in the scaffolding industry.

A number of NASC supplier members exhibited at the seminar.

Robin James, NASC Managing Director, said: “I’d like to thank my fellow speakers, all the delegates that attended and the NASC supplier members that exhibited at the seminar for making this event such a success.

“It was great to bring such a diverse group of professionals together in one room to learn more about temporary works, particularly how we can all work more efficiently and collaboratively to ensure works are carried out as safely as possible and to the highest possible standards.”

The NASC and TWf are co-hosting an event focused on the updated BS 5975 title later this month. This event has already sold out. A second NASC and TWf Temporary Works Seminar is planned for later this year.

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

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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NASC to Help Members Bring 400 Operatives Into Industry

NASC to Help Members Bring 400 Operatives Into Industry

The NASC has created a £50,000 funding pot to help its members bring new recruits into the scaffolding industry.

The training fund will enable NASC full contracting members to apply for £125 funding for each new employee that completes the CISRS Operatives Training Scheme (COTS).

This initiative, which will help bring 400 operatives into the industry, complements a similar CISRS CPD funding scheme launched by the NASC in 2017. To date, NASC members have claimed more than 500 payments of £125 to help cover the costs of their operatives undertaking mandatory CPD training – a total of £64K.

The new COTS funding initiative is the first scheme to be launched from a dedicated £500k training fund set up by the NASC in 2018 to assist its members with recruitment and training. A range of training initiatives are due to follow in the coming months.

David Mosley, NASC Training Director, said: “Through the £500k training fund, the NASC is giving tangible, bottom-line benefits to its members. This starts with the COTS funding scheme, which bookends existing NASC funding for CISRS CPD training.

“It means members will be able to apply for funding to help bring new people into the industry as well as defraying the costs of mandatory CPD training for their experienced operatives.

“This is just the beginning. It is envisaged that the £500k training fund will also provide members with the opportunity to apply for funding for a range of wider training, such as first aid and mental health training.

“It will also support ongoing NASC efforts to improve recruitment and careers opportunities in the scaffolding industry by producing a scaffolding careers website, working regionally with pre-employment training programmes, linking potential trainees with local approved providers and employers offering work experience placements and employment.

“The NASC has ringfenced a substantial sum of money in order to fund incoming NASC President Lynn Way’s initiative to work with the armed forces and provide career pathways for those coming out of the services”

The COTS funding scheme goes live on 1 July 2019. Members may also claim retrospectively for employees that have completed the COTS course and gained either the CISRS Labourer or Initial Trainee card since 1 January 2019. Members may claim funding for up to 10 operatives.

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HAKI Adds COTS Course to Training Programme

HAKI Adds COTS Course to Training Programme

HAKI Ltd, an NASC full non-contracting member, has unveiled plans to deliver the one-day CISRS Operative Training Scheme (COTS) – a move that will help bring more scaffolders into the industry.

The system scaffolding and temporary access provider will run the COTS course, accredited by CISRS, at its Milton Keynes training centre from next month.

The course covers the basics of the industry and how to work safely with scaffolding and access equipment.

HAKI technician and trainer, Chris Partridge said: “The addition of the COTS course to our training portfolio is just another example of HAKI’s dedication to providing safe working conditions, by helping train scaffolders to high standards at an early stage of their career.

“It’s also great that we can help get more people working in the scaffolding industry by delivering entry-level courses, like COTS, too.”

Dave Mosley, CISRS Managing Director, added: “We are always looking to get more people into the sector. HAKI has an excellent facility in Milton Keynes and we are very pleased that they will now be utilising it to offer COTS training.”

For more information or bookings, please visit or call 01908 580420.