Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) – The Lowdown

Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) – The Lowdown

14th September 2015

The Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) has been the industry recognised scaffold training scheme for more than forty years and is the preferred scaffolding qualification of all the major organisations, including:

·         The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

·         Trade Unions

·         The Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS)

·         The UK Contractors Group (UKCG)

·         The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC)

The CISRS was established in the 1960’s and now has mover than 50,000 card holders in the UK and 2.500 OSTS (Overseas Scaffolder Training Scheme) card holders abroad.  Scaffolders who have been trained overseas will need to carry out training and assessment at a CISRS approved centre in order to obtain a CISRS card. 

The CISRS provides a full range of practical and theoretical training and assessment courses aimed at scaffolding labourers, trainee scaffolders, advanced scaffolders, supervisors and managers and scaffolding inspectors.  The scheme is based on the principal of achieving a qualification via a combination of all of the following methods:

·         Formal off site training

·         On site work experience

·         Completion of S/NVQ accessing operations and rigging (construction)

·         A practical skills assessment

·         Health and safety training and testing

In contrast to many other trade schemes, CISRS does not offer a fast track route to qualification – all trainees must meet all of the criteria in order to maintain the integrity of the scheme.  Moreover, CISRS registration must be renewed on a regular basis (every 5 years) and in order to keep qualifications current, CISRS provide refresher courses and have introduced a requirement to repeat short duration training after a set period of time has elapsed.

The CISRS continues to expand and evolve and has now been divided into three categories:

1.      Scaffolding Operative Scheme

2.      Scaffolding Management and Supervisory Training

3.      Scaffold Inspector Training

The operative training schemes apply to all scaffolding operatives who are required to erect, alter or dismantle scaffolding.  An operative who has not achieved the prescribed levels of training, assessment or experience in scaffolding of any given kind should not be employed on such scaffolding work unless they are adequately supervised.  It’s the legal obligation of employers to demonstrate at all times compliance with the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act, the Work at Height Regulations, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations and any other relevant statutory provisions with regard to training, competence and supervision.

There are several types of CISRS cards available, depending on the level of training achieved and the type of work being undertaken.  The CISRS record card will bear the name and unique record number of the holder and display a current photograph that can be used to check identification if necessary. There are also Trainee cards – Initial Trainee and 2nd Trainee – available which are valid for 18 months only.  Trainees are expected to commence training and successfully complete a minimum of CISRS Part 1 within the second 18 month period, after which no further Trainee cards will be issued.  All other cards are valid for 5 years as previously stated.