- 1 The CISRS & CSCS
- 2 The CITB
- 3 The CISRS methodology
- 4 Why is the CISRS card programme so important to scaffolding businesses?
- 5 Types of CIRCS Card
- 6 CISRS Trainee Scaffolder Card(s) (Red)
- 7 CISRS Scaffolding Labourer Card (Green)
- 8 CISRS BASE (Basic Access System Erector) Card (Black)
- 9 CISRS Scaffolder (Tube & Fitting) Card (Blue), and CISRS Scaffolder System Card (Blue)
- 10 CISRS Advanced Scaffolder Card (Gold)
- 11 CISRS Basic Scaffold Inspection Card (Dark Blue)
- 12 CISRS Advanced Scaffold Inspection Card (Brown)
- 13 CISRS Scaffolding Manager/Supervisor Card(s) (Gold)
- 14 Summary
The main function of these cards is to provide industry stakeholders with a convenient way of identifying the skillset, experience, and capability level of scaffolding workers.
This article will explore the CISRS, or Construction Industry Scaffolding Record Scheme, in considerable detail. This will include discussion on the different card types, their respective qualifying criteria, and what kind of workers apply for each card.
The CISRS & CSCS
The CISRS card system has been in operation for over 50 years. Across the UK, there are more than 50,000 CISRS card holders operating in the scaffolding trade. Further afield, the CISRS also runs a separate programme for local workers engaging in activities overseas. The OSTS, or Overseas Scaffolding Training Scheme, boasts an impressive 2,500 members.
The CISRS card programme, which complements a comprehensive suite of training courses, is recognised by a host of leading construction and building industry organisations. This includes, but is not limited to Build UK, the National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC), and of course the aforementioned CSCS, also known as the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (more on all three of these organisations to follow).
Differences & similarities
The CISRS card is quite simply the scaffolding trade’s version of the CSCS card programme. Many trades adopt a similar approach, using the CSCS set-up as a base model, before adjusting certain qualifying requirements, and in some cases producing additional cards.
Furthermore, this process is used by trades to establish cards linked to specific, internal occupations. Examples of trades that have re-modelled the CSCS guidelines to make them more specific to their own ways of working include the plumbing industry’s ‘JIB-PMES’ card system, and the demolition & refurbishment sector’s CCDO cards.
Although these types of schemes encompass a number of variations to the central CSCS framework, there are also noticeable consistencies in how they relate back to this main card programme.
One of the main similarities is represented in the colours of each card, irrespective of which particular scheme they belong to. Each colour tends to relate to a specific set of competencies, job type, or seniority level.
Regardless of the card programme, whether aligned to a certain trade or the general CSCS system, there is ample crossover between the colours deployed in each. For example, in all CSCS-associated schemes, a ‘blue’ card is used to define someone who is a fully qualified, ‘skilled’ worker in their respective field. This includes the aforementioned JIB-PMES and CCDO programmes.
To acquire a card for any CSCS-related programme, including the CISRS initiative, you must take a CITB Health, Safety, and Environment test within the two years prior to the date of your card application. The CITB, or Construction Industry Training Board, is recognised by all major stakeholders across the trades sectors. Their main priority is to drive sector standards, and ensure workers feel supported in-role. It does this by offering learning tools and resources, facilitating training courses, and establishing fair and consistent testing criteria. The CITB is actually the parent organisation of the CSCS, and therefore plays an integral role in all trade-specific card programmes.
There are three different available versions of the CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test. These are the Operatives, Specialists, and Managers and Professionals (MAP) assessments.
The vast majority CISRS cards demand that applicants undertake the Operatives exam. This is the least complex assessment out of the three. However, the top-tier CISRS scheme, which can be split into two separate components, requires candidates to take either the Specialists or Managers and Professionals test.
The assessment you’ll take will depend on which specific card within this higher-level programme you’re applying for. In any context, you must take this test at some stage within the two years prior to your card application.
Please note that there are a handful of exemptions that apply to the CITB testing rule. If you’ve achieved one of these qualifications already, the CISRS determine that you’ve already proved your diligence in matters of health and safety awareness.
However, these exceptions vary dependent on the CITB test linked to your chosen card scheme. The higher-graded assessments (i.e. the Specialists and Managers and Professionals tests) have a more condensed list of exemptions.
These accepted alternative qualifications reflect the advanced nature of their associated card schemes.
All exemptions are listed below, complete with the CITB tests they serve to circumnavigate in brackets.
- CISRS Recognised Scaffolding Apprenticeship Induction. Please note that this can only be utilised when making an application for the 1st eighteen-month trainee card only. More on this card scheme to follow (Operatives test)
- IOSH Working Safely/IOSH Managing Safely/SHE for Construction Workers/Safety, Health & Environment for Construction Site Managers (Operatives test)
- Site Safety Plus HAS (Operatives test)
- MIST/BOSIET/OPITO Approved Offshore Certificate (Operatives test)
- CCNSG Safety Passport (SCATS) (Operatives test)
- SOLAS Safe Pass (Please note that this is an equivalent assessment to the CITB test, sat by workers operating in the Republic of Ireland) (Operatives test)
- IOSH Managing/Directing Safely (Specialists, and Managers and Professionals tests)
- NEBOSH Health & Safety Certificate (Specialists, and Managers and Professionals tests)
- SMSTS (Site Manager Safety Training Scheme – CITB) Certificate (Specialists, and Managers and Professionals tests)
- SSSTS (Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme – CITB) Certificate (Specialists, and Managers and Professionals’ tests)
- CCNSG Leading a Team Safely (SCATS) (Specialists, and Managers and Professionals tests)
When deploying these exemptions in order to be excused from a CITB test, copies of relevant certification must be made when completing the application form to your chosen CISRS scheme.
The CISRS methodology
The CISRS’ approach differs slightly from most other CSCS card variants. This is because there are specific, internal, CISRS training courses attached to each card type.
In most other programmes, qualifying requirements are based on nationally accredited qualifications, such as NVQs or academic certification. Although, these are also required in order to apply for certain CISRS cards, there are also sets of CISRS-produced modules which must be completed.
Ultimately, CISRS card applicants must engage in a combination of different types of training. These include off-site studies conducted at an educational institution or training centre, engaging in work experience attachments at a professional scaffolding company, and completing both traditional and CISRS-specific qualifications.
Throughout this journey, individuals will undergo skills assessments, and have access to health and safety-based training and testing. They’ll also potentially undertake a series of NVQ’s/SVQs (Scotland). These must be based on accessing operations and rigging within a construction environment context.
CISRS cards can be broken down into three main categories, with a specific learning pathway applied to each of these general groupings.
If you’re applying for either an entry-point or standard card, aimed at trainees and members of the general workforce, you’ll undertake the scaffolding operative’s scheme.
For current and prospective members of on-site leadership teams, scaffolding management and supervisor training is required.
Lastly, for those either targeting, or indeed already operating in, heavily compliance-based roles, the scaffolding inspector training approach should be adopted. Within this three-tiered training template, there is a total of nine CISRS cards in operation.
Why is the CISRS card programme so important to scaffolding businesses?
CISRS cards are of fundamental importance to scaffolding-based construction firms for both operational and legal reasons.
In relation to the day-to-day running of on-site activities, CISRS cards can support site leadership teams to make swift and effective decisions with regards to task allocation.
As previously mentioned, the cards offer a clear, visual indicator of a worker’s knowledge and experience. Therefore, supervisors and managers can efficiently distribute the right tasks to the right people. This not only supports a slicker operation and increases the chance of better project delivery, but also mitigates the risk of on-site accidents. Indeed, asking untrained personnel to execute activities they havn’t been suitably upskilled to do, could lead to dire consequences.
From a legal perspective, ensuring workers are affiliated to the CISRS programme demonstrates that employers are making efforts to comply with Construction (Design and Management) Regulations. This legislation, approved into law in 2015, demands that construction-related companies preside over safe and compliant workplaces.
If all workers are in possession of a CISRS card, this shows that businesses are equipped with a labour force of appropriately trained individuals. This is because CISRS cards are only awarded if the card applicant has demonstrated the required competencies under the scheme’s particular qualifying criteria. Therefore, supporting all employees to gain CISRS membership is a convenient way of highlighting a commitment to safety compliance.
Please note that it is not a legal requirement to own a CISRS card in order to enter a construction site using scaffolding equipment. However, for reasons outlined above, most employers make holding a valid CISRS card, relevant to your field, a compulsory requirement.
Due to the nature of scaffolding work, companies must also make sure workers operate in respect of statutory working at height directives. There are also standards, set by the National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC), which also must be met. Given its position as an organisation that represents over 400 contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers, the scaffolding industry recognises NASC as a legitimate provider of these internal regulations.
Guidelines are regularly updated to reflect new approaches and more developed schools of thought. This complements NASC’s main objective of consistently lifting, and sustaining, sector standards.
Types of CIRCS Card
As previously mentioned, there are nine different CISRS cards in circulation. We’ll now briefly review these individual schemes. In all cases, please take for granted that any CITB test taken must have been sat within the two years prior to your application. However, in some instances, please be aware that the red trainee card scheme may require two CITB tests to be taken. The rationale behind this is provided in the next section of this text.
All CISRS cards are valid for a period of five years, except the red ‘trainee’ card programme. As per the notes below, membership in this scheme is only valid for a combined total of three years.
CISRS Trainee Scaffolder Card(s) (Red)
In alignment with the core CSCS framework for training cards, CISRS trainee cards are red. There are actually two cards aligned to the trainee scheme, each representing an eighteen-month timeframe of studies.
The card’s main purpose is to ensure workers ‘in training’ can comfortably gain access to construction sites, and learn the key aspects of the scaffolding trade. All work conducted whilst in ownership of a trainee card must be supervised by a qualified scaffolder.
It’s worth also being aware that should you have recently assumed ownership of a trainee card, employers must ensure that several, basic training activities are covered in your initial induction. This includes entry-point working at height training, an introduction to the NASC’s SG4 standard relating to fall prevention safety, guidance on the use, maintenance, and inspection of harnesses, and a demonstration of standard rescue techniques.
Closing-out your scheme
After this 36-month period has been completed, it’s likely you would then apply for a blue ‘skilled worker’ scaffolder card (more on this to follow).
Please note that both trainee cards, unlike all other CISRS cards, are non-renewable. This is because it’s assumed that trainee card holders will have navigated the required training modules, and gained an appropriate level of experience, within each eighteen-month session.
Indeed, there would be no reason to hold onto trainee status, if you’ve already progressed to being a fully-qualified scaffolder. If you arrive at the end of your card’s validation term, and havn’t completed your training, you’ll need to pursue a different avenue in order to progress your career in the scaffolding industry.
However, don’t panic! This three-year timeframe offers ample space to complete your studies. Indeed, most trainees will find they conclude their learning modules much sooner than this cut-off.
Furthermore, the CISRS build additional time into training plans to accommodate any unforeseen issues that may cause disruptions to learning. Therefore, even if you hit a few bumps in the road, you should find yourself earning your certification, and feeling ready to formally enter the scaffolding sector, before the end of the three-year window.
What are the qualifying criteria for each CISRS Trainee Scaffolder Card?
In order to acquire your first, eighteen-month trainee card, you must have attended a ‘COTS’ course within the two years prior to your application date.
The ‘COTS’ qualification, or, to give its full title, the CISRS Operative Training Scheme, is designed to introduce new workers to the basic aspects of scaffolding works. As part of this course, you’ll be able to gain a better grasp of how the scaffolding industry generally operates.
Furthermore, you’ll also be made aware of the immediate safety considerations you’ll need to take into account when working with scaffolding and access solutions. As well as successfully passing the COTS course, you’ll also need to pass the Operatives CITB test. This certificate will also need to have been earned within the two years leading up to your application date.
In order to attain your second eighteen-month trainee card, you’ll need to have passed the CISRS Part 1 course. Again, you must have passed the Operatives CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test within the two years prior to your application. Please note that the CITB test certificate used to supplement your application for the first eighteen-month card, might not be valid for your second trainee card.
Although the trainee cards themselves are positioned just eighteen months apart, it’s clearly possible to have used a two-year-old CITB test pass to apply for the first trainee scheme. If this is the case, this would render your certificate invalid for the purposes of your second trainee card application.
What courses must I take whilst in possession of the two CISRS Trainee Cards?
Before taking on any formal training, which commences with the aforementioned Part 1 course, you’ll need to undertake six months of industry experience. This will enable you to sufficiently understand how workers implementing scaffolding structures function and operate.
Furthermore, it provides enough time for you to assess whether working as a scaffolder is definitely the right career path for you. In this way, both workers and employers can avoid investing time, effort, and resource into a training plan that is set to be discarded within a few months.
Once the opening six months have been successfully completed, you’ll then be able to participate in the COTS course. After this, you’ll then move onto the CISRS Part 1 & Part 2 training modules.
In the background of the CISRS-specific courses, you’ll also need to be working through either an NVQ Level 2, or SCQF Level (Scottish students) scaffolding-related qualification. For example, this could be the Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Accessing Operations and Rigging (Construction).
Presuming you pass all of these elements, you’ll finally sit a CISRS 1-day skills test. On receipt of your skills test certificate, you’ll be able to officially operate as a fully-fledged scaffolder.
CISRS Scaffolding Labourer Card (Green)
The CISRS labourer card is reserved for those who occupy labouring positions within the context of scaffolding work. Labourers ensure scaffolders are replenished with the required building materials and tools throughout works projects. As part of this role, they’ll deliver items both manually and via the use of construction site vehicles.
Labourers can only operate within fully secure locations. This includes working at ground level, on a fully-constructed building floor, on a fully protected roof, or on a fully signed-off scaffolding platform. They must not attempt to engage in any physical scaffolding works, such as the erection, alteration, or dismantling of scaffolding units.
The labourer card is valid for five years, and is renewable at the end of this period. Please note that if a labourer wants to transition towards becoming a fully-qualified scaffolder, they must work their way through the Part 1 training course aligned to the trainee card scheme. Therefore, as a direct consequence, they must apply for a trainee card.
What are the qualifying criteria for a CISRS Labourer Card?
Given that this role is focused on basic manual activities, the card’s qualifying requirements are suitably modest. If applying for a green labourer’s card, you’ll just need to have pass the COTS course. This card is valid for five years. Towards the end of this period, you’ll need to re-site the full COTS training module in order to renew your green card membership.
CISRS BASE (Basic Access System Erector) Card (Black)
Please note that the CISRS uses the colour black in a different way than most CSCS-related card programmes. Black cards are typically used to represent managers and senior leadership personnel. However, the scaffolding industry black card is pitched at an entirely different type of worker.
If applying for the BASE card, you’ll need to have undertaken the CISRS BASE course. This is targeted at those looking to be upskilled on how to erect, alter, and dismantle rudimentary scaffolding structures, whilst using a ‘specific system scaffolding product’. Different types of scaffolding are erected using a variable range of products, which are utilised dependent on the nature and scope of the works. As this course specifically targets those with no scaffolding experience, the products used are the most accessible and user-friendly available.
To pass this course, you’ll have to demonstrate that you can use a particular product to safely assemble scaffolding units. Furthermore, you must be able to demonstrate that you can do this in alignment with the manufacturer’s application instructions. You should also be able to perform this task when operating in the standard, restrictive working environments you’ll likely routinely come up against whilst ‘live’ in-role.
BASE card holders can only execute scaffolding works using the product covered during their initial training and assessments. The product deployed in the BASE course will only support relatively basic structures. Therefore, BASE card holders cannot erect scaffolding over 6m, or assemble a unit that falls within public space. Indeed, work of this nature must always be conducted by a fully-qualified scaffolder. Unfortunately, you’re not permitted to immediately commence working independently on receipt of your CISRS BASE card. Any initial tasks carried out must be conducted under the supervision of at least a reasonably experienced BASE card holder. Indeed, an accompanying, supervising BASE-graded worker must have held their card for at least a twelve-month period.
What are the qualifying criteria for a CISRS BASE (Basic Access System Erector) Card, and how do I renew my membership to this scheme?
As discussed, in order to successfully apply for a CISRS BASE card, you must have completed the sponsoring organisation’s 5-day BASE course. To renew your card, you’ll also need to participate on the 2-day SSPTS module prior to your scheme’s expiry date.
The SSPTS, or System Scaffold Product Training Scheme, is targeted at experienced scaffolders. Unlike the initial BASE course, this will offer information on a range of system scaffolding products, not just one isolated material. In similarity to the original BASE module, delegates will be provided with information for the safe use of these products in alignment with their respective manufacturing guidelines. Therefore, this qualification will equip you to expand on your current job scope.
CISRS Scaffolder (Tube & Fitting) Card (Blue), and CISRS Scaffolder System Card (Blue)
It’s worth mentioning these two cards together, as there is considerable crossover in their respective qualifying requirements. Therefore, workers of a similar experience level tend to apply for these two separate schemes.
In essence, these two cards represent fully-qualified scaffolders. They are therefore both often referred to as ‘skilled worker’ cards. This phrase is commonly used across the CSCS card network to describe its respective blue card schemes. The vast majority of blue card holders will have previously held a red ‘trainee’ card. Indeed, each blue card’s qualifying criteria determines that applicants must have already completed the training modules covered whilst in possession of a trainee card.
The key difference between the two CISRS blue cards lies in the nature of the scaffolding works the holder is permitted to conduct. This will depend on whether you’ve received additional training in a specific scaffolding approach, and your current workplace experiences to date.
If you have studied alternative methods, studied TG20 regulations, and worked alongside workers who erect scaffolding using tube and fitting structures, you’ll need to apply for the CISRS tube and fitting card. The TG20 regulatory guidelines outlines all compliance standards in relation to the implementation of tube and fitting scaffolding. Conversely, if you’ve taken the aforementioned BASE course, you should apply for the scaffolder system blue card. As referenced, the BASE module will upskill you on how to use a specific system product to build scaffolding units. When your ‘system’ card arrives, it will detail which product you’ve been approved to use, and which training course supported you towards becoming proficient in deploying that product.
On receipt of either card, scaffolders will be able to lead a scaffolding gang to build the respective basic structures endorsed on the reverse of their card. Both scaffolding types must be constructed in respect of industry standards and regulations.
What are the renewal terms for each card?
As you move towards your card’s expiry date, you’ll clearly need to consider whether you want to renew your membership to one of these schemes, or apply for an alternative CISRS card. If keen to continue using either blue ‘skilled worker’ card, you’ll need to complete a 2-day scaffolder refresher course. This is often referred to as the CPD, or Continuing Professional Development, qualification.
The main objective of the CPD module is to ensure workers are up-to-date with the latest industry developments and techniques. In theory, workers may not have received any formal training during their card’s five-year validity period. It’s likely that in this intervening period, best practice and preferred methods for approaching scaffolding tasks have changed to some degree. The CPD course is designed to plug this gap in knowledge. To support this endeavour, the CPD course will run through the most recent version of the TG20 and SG4 regulatory guidelines. This is currently TG20:21 (released in 2021), and SG4:15 (released in 2015).
CISRS Advanced Scaffolder Card (Gold)
The advanced ‘gold’ card is a direct step-up from the CISRS Scaffolder (Tube & Fitting) card. Holders of these cards have received training on how to erect, alter, and dismantle complex scaffolding structures. Therefore, the scope of works they’re authorised to perform is noticeably more varied than projects conducted by blue card holders.
What are the qualifying criteria for a CISRS Advanced Scaffolder Card?
In order to successfully apply for an advanced scaffolder card, you’ll need to address the following qualifying requirements:
- Have ownership of a CISRS Scaffolder (Tube & Fitting) card for at least twelve months.
- Attend the CISRS Advanced course, specifically designed for prospective advanced card holders.
- Successfully pass either a NVQ Level 3 or SCQF Level 6 (Scottish students). For example, this could be the SVQ Operations and Rigging (Construction): Scaffolding and Offshore Scaffolding course.
- Complete the CISRS 2-day Skills Test
If you’d like to extend your membership beyond the card’s five-year tenure, you’ll need to take the aforementioned CPD course.
CISRS Basic Scaffold Inspection Card (Dark Blue)
If you’d like to specialise in the inspection of scaffolding structures, and therefore assess whether scaffolding works comply with safety regulations, you’ll need to apply for this card. In order to become suitably proficient in this discipline, you’ll need to attend the CISRS’ 3-day basic scaffold inspection course.
However, in order to be accepted onto this training module, you must either hold a blue ‘skilled worker’ card, an advanced scaffolder card, or a supervisor card (more on this card scheme to follow). It’s also highly recommended that you’ve already gained some experience in checking the erection of scaffolding structures against the practices endorsed within the statutory Working at Height Regulations (2005).
If you’re not in possession of any of the listed cards, there is an alternative application method. A signed letter from your employer, validating your claimed experience of scaffolding structure works, and that you’ve worked for two years in a scaffolding-related occupation, will also be accepted as suitable evidence towards securing course attendance.
If hoping to extend your membership to this scheme, you’ll need to re-sit the full, 3-day inspection course at some stage in the weeks prior to your card’s expiry date. There is no condensed, refresher course available for this qualification.
CISRS Advanced Scaffold Inspection Card (Brown)
Highly-experienced stakeholders operating in the scaffolding industry may target the advanced scaffold inspection card. Given that this card is reserved for those that will be involved in inspecting complex scaffolding structures, its target audience tend to hold senior industry roles. Indeed, applicants to this card will include basic scaffolding inspectors, supervisors and managers.
What are the qualifying criteria for a CISRS Advanced Scaffold Inspection Card?
To enable you to meet the high pressures and demands of works associated with this card scheme, you’ll need to have extensive scaffolding industry experience. It’s also compulsory to attend the CISRS’ 2-day advanced scaffold inspection course.
In order to be accepted for this qualification, you’ll need to ideally have held a CISRS Basic Scaffolding Inspection card for at least two years. However, if you’ve alternatively been in possession of a standard blue ‘skilled worker’ or advanced ‘gold’ card for the last two years, then you’re likely to still gain access to this training module. This will remain the case whether or not you’ve attended the 3-day basic scaffold inspection course tethered to the basic inspection card scheme.
To renew your membership to this programme after five years, you’ll need to undertake the full, advanced inspection course once again.
CISRS Scaffolding Manager/Supervisor Card(s) (Gold)
There are two general occupations aligned to this scheme, and therefore two cards are available. Supervisors are accountable for the day-to-day operation of scaffolding works on construction sites. They will ensure that projects are appropriately staffed, and that workers conduct tasks in compliance with safety and regulatory guidelines.
Managers are ultimately accountable for the well-being and welfare of all on-site colleagues. Furthermore, they’ll communicate key objectives through to workforce teams, and support supervisors to execute their roles. It’s also likely they’ll have an influence on how project budgets are spent, and ensure clients and senior stakeholders are engaged in works progress.
Managers and supervisors form the operational on-site leadership team, and may be classed under a range of different titles. This list includes, but is not limited to, Contract Managers, Foremen, and Supervising Charge-Hands.
The CISRS 5-day Manager/Supervisor course
In order to apply for either of these gold cards, you’ll need to attend the CISRS 5-day Manager/Supervisor course. However, you’ll exclusively focus on the elements appropriate to your current or targeted occupation. This is a hugely detailed training module which reviews an extensive range of material.
Content is not just exclusive to advanced technical elements of the scaffolding trade, it also includes guidance on several important competencies. Therefore, areas like leadership, commerciality, and people management are also covered.
The full list of course topics included are listed below:
- Health & Safety
- Performance Standards
- Employment Basics
- Supervisory Skills
- Commercial Essentials
- Toolbox Talks
- Temporary Works Supervision
- Risk Assessments
There is also detailed focus given to relevant legislation and internal regulatory guidance. This session will include discussion on statutory rules, such as those present in the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations, Employment Law, and various pieces of Health and Safety legislation. Furthermore, scaffolding standards such as the aforementioned TG20 and SG14, will also be extensively reviewed.
For reference, this course is the scaffolding-specific equivalent to the CITB-sponsored SMSTS course. The SMSTS, or Site Manager Safety Training Scheme, supports construction site managers to gain a better awareness of health and safety considerations, and serves to support them in their critical role of keeping workplaces safe and compliant.
CITB test considerations
On top of this course, you’ll need to complete the relevant CITB test associated with your chosen card scheme. Those targeting Supervisor cards should sit the Specialists CITB test. Within this assessment, there are a number of specific sections dedicated to particular disciplines within the construction industry. Delegates need only answer questions contained in the Supervisory section. This test also includes the core elements of the Operatives test.
If applying for the Manager card, you’ll need to tackle the Managers and Professionals’ test. Unsurprisingly, this is the most challenging of the three assessments included in the CITB Health, Safety, and Environment testing series. Again, this references the key themes addressed in the Operatives test, but also covers a cross-section of questions from the various sections of the ‘specialist’ exam. In addition, specific managerial questions, based on several advanced topics, are also included.
To renew this card, you must engage in the 2-day Manager/Supervisor refresher course. This will reflect on the key learnings generated in the full course, and also update delegates on recent industry developments and technological advancements.
Hopefully, this article has illustrated the scope, nature, and importance of the CSRIS initiative. Whether you’re currently operating in the scaffolding sector, or just taking your first tentative steps, CSRIS cards are essential. They allow employers to efficiently identify your credentials, and highlight the skills you’ve developed within a specific discipline.
Furthermore, given that they permit employers to conveniently demonstrate their efforts under Construction (Design and Management) regulations, many scaffolding companies will make CSRIS card ownership compulsory.
You should now be familiar with the various different types of CSRIS cards available. Again, the card colours deployed to reflect various roles and capability levels are mostly the same ones used to portray equivalent positions in other construction-related fields.
Therefore, even if you decide to switch trades, you’ll still have a good grasp of what card colour you’ll need to seek out first. Indeed, most of the themes, guidance notes, and approaches captured in this article, can be easily transferred to the general CSCS card context. Quite simply, the CSRIS card programme is an extension of the CSCS framework.
When applying for a CSRIS card, you’ll need to decide which card programme is most suitable for your occupation and skillset. You’ll then need to consider whether you’ve addressed all of your chosen scheme’s accompanying qualification criteria. Clearly, the more advanced the card, the more challenging the qualifying requirements. In all cases, this will involve sitting a CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test (unless you have already completed an exempted qualification). If applying for the highest-grade ‘manager/supervisor’ gold card, you’ll need to sit either the Specialists (Supervisory) or Managers and Professionals test, dependent on the card within this scheme you apply for.
All cards, with the exception of the two eighteen-month term ‘trainee’ cards, have a five-year validation period. If you’re currently on a CSRIS programme, please regularly check your expiry date, and, should you wish to renew your membership, take the appropriate action to support your renewal application as early as physically possible.
Should you wish to find out any further information about the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme, we would encourage you to visit the CISRS website. Alternatively, you may want to liaise with your course tutor, or a trusted industry professional.
If you are about to apply for any CISRS card, we wish you the best of luck in your application, and hope that it supports you to take your next career step in the scaffolding trade!