Core training and certifications for scaffolders
The CISRS regulates training and qualifications for the scaffolding industry and there is plenty to keep you busy. It’s clearly structured and your manager or supervisor can help to guide you through it all.
First up, as a trainee you will be expected to complete a short COTS course to start your scaffolder qualifications. You can then work as a trainee for six months with a qualified supervisor, gaining experience and learning the ropes, before taking the CISRS Part 1. From then it is CISRS Part 2, NVQ Level 2 SCQF Level 5 and the CISRS 1 Day Skills Test. There will be some specific training along the way too, according to what type of scaffolding you are using.
You will also be expected to complete some health and safety courses which will teach you about construction sites and working at heights. These are generally online and fairly quick to complete.
There are particular time frames in which all of this needs to be completed, and no quick way in - it takes roughly three years to become an advanced level scaffolder.
Career progression and specialisation
There are plenty of opportunities to advance within the scaffolding industry and carve out a career that excites you.
First there is that move from trainee to advanced scaffolder, at which point you will be playing an integral role in the planning and erection of the scaffolding. You could choose to specialise in specific structures, like offshore rigs or historic buildings, or you could opt for a career in inspection, safety and supervision. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit you could also set up your own scaffolding company.