Scaffolders Furious at Mandatory CPD Plan

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Scaffolders Furious at Mandatory CPD Plan

UK Scaffolders are furiously protesting against the plans for a mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course to be introduced from next June as a condition of renewing their Scaffolder or Advanced Scaffolder card which allows them to work.

A petition complaining about the imposition of the course and its cost to workers on online petition website change.org was started by Simon Vassallo on 6th July and in just five days attracted 1,658 supporters who have signed the appeal.

Other social media including the scaffoldersforum.com and a scaffolding work facebook group page show similar levels of negative comment about the CPD plans.

The Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) announced in early June 2016 the plan to impose the compulsory CPD scheme, reported in the Roofing Today Bulletin, after HSE had urged them to formalise the existing CPD to ensure the scaffolding industry’s partly “transient workforce” were kept abreast of the latest safety requirements.

Although the online scaffolder protesters agree with the aim of the CPD: to keep cardholders up to date with the latest legislation and industry guidance, signatories to the petition are concerned about the increasing costs of compliance as scaffolders, saying “enough is enough”. The protest petition calls attention to the cost the CPD plan will impose on scaffold workers not just to attend the two-day course but in the wages lost, estimated to be in the region a total of £500.

Scaffolders commenting on the petition website highlight the falling wages in the scaffolding industry and many suggest different ways scaffolders could be kept up to date with regulatory changes using online media. They also call into question the quality of the training they receive alleging that trainees are never failed on courses they have attended. Many of the comments on the petition accuse the industry’s regulators as simply imposing another ‘money-making scam’ for their own benefit. Other petitioners compare scaffolders to other work at height trades, where enforced re-training and renewals aren’t imposed or charged for.

Most gain for Least Pain
Dave Mosley, CISRS Scheme Manager said: “The basic principle of CPD and/or refresher training is a good one. However, we are all too aware that this comes at a cost not only for the training itself, but also loss of production etc. As such we are looking to ensure that the course provides the most gain for the least pain and offers the scaffolder and their employer some real value added training.”

CISRS are reportedly looking into how the CPD plans could be funded and ensuring that the training offered is right for the industry.

CISRS and its umbrella organisation, the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) are non-profit making organisations. They point to the increased professionalism and safety record of the scaffolding industry. The latest NASC safety figures – covering 14,954 UK scaffolding operatives – show a consistent fall in both fatal and major injuries over the last decade.

NASC President Alan Lilley commented: “We require all scaffolders to work to NASC safety guidance at all times to ensure they go home safely from their place of work, in the full knowledge that injury can be avoided with good practice.”

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