(Editor’s note: On 25 April 2012, the ECA Council voted unanimously to suspend the ECA Training Fund with immediate effect. If you have any queries, please contact the training team on 020 7313 4822.)
Following consultation on revised draft health and safety training standards, the UK Contractors Group (UKCG) launched a new training standard on 16 February. The UKCG represents the majority of the UK's largest construction contractors; ECA is an associate member and actively represents the interests of ECA Registered Members within the UKCG.
About the new standard & where it applies
The UKCG training standard details the minimum training requirements for all individuals undertaking work on UKCG construction sites at the following levels:
- Operatives (including new entrants)
Content and suitable training
The standard document is available to download from the UKCG website. It defines the categories, giving guidance on which personnel must comply with the new standard, and lists the training courses it has approved for each category.
In addition to the approved courses listed in the standard document, UKCG is approving a limited number of industry designed courses from recognised industry bodies, including the Sector Skills Councils (Construction Skills and SummitSkills), Trade Associations and internally developed company training.
Approved courses through ECA
To assist ECA Registered Members working on UKCG sites to comply with the standard, the ECA is able to offer approved courses in each category.
To help us to assess demand, please register your interest with our short course team via the contact information at the bottom of this Circular. We will schedule open access courses regionally based on the level of interest. Courses are also available for delivery at your company premises where numbers are sufficient:
- Director level:
IOSH Directing Safely (1 day)
IOSH Managing Safety for Senior Executives (1 day)
- Manager Level:
IOSH Managing Safely in Construction (4 days)
- Supervisor level:
ECA already offers the UKCG-compliant CITB Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS) (2 days)
■ Operative and New Entrant level:
ECA Health and Safety Awareness for Site Operatives (1 day) (This course is awaiting UKCG approval)
UKCG asks all its members and its supply chain to establish a credible programme to ensure that all site employees are working towards the training standard.
The Group intends to monitor the uptake of this training and, over time, will require everyone working on UKCG sites to comply with the standard. The priority will be to ensure those in leadership or supervisory roles are properly trained.
All companies to whom this applies (all those working on UKCG sites) are strongly advised to download the standard document and the UKCG’s FAQs that accompany it, which are available from the UKCG website.
Affected firms are encouraged to carry out an audit of their H&S training across the company and develop a programme to ensure that all relevant individuals are trained or scheduled to train to meet the standard, as required.
Apprentices and trainees on industrial training schemes, formal apprenticeships, advanced apprenticeships or trainee training programmes and undertaking H&S training as part of that programme already meet the standard and no additional training is required.
However, new entrants and operatives not on a formal programme will have to undergo H&S Awareness training in order to meet the standard.
Key questions and answers
Q. My firm does not work for a UKCG member company nor on a UKCG site; do I have to meet the standard?
A. No. However, it is good business practice to carry out regular audits of your H&S training at all levels, and develop a programme to ensure all employees are suitably trained in H&S to enable them to carry out their legal and work-related duties.
The new standard points clearly to what is required on larger construction sites and you might want to tender for such work in future.
Q. When does this come into effect?
A. UKCG is not enforcing a deadline by which the standard has to be met for Directors, Managers and Operatives; however it plans to carry out a progress audit during 2012 and this information will be used to direct the future implementation of the standard and establish compliance targets.
Note however that the UKCG's requirement for Supervisors to meet their minimum qualification level has been in place since 2009 (and the approved courses in this category have not changed). Hence all individuals working in supervisory positions on UKCG sites are expected to meet the standard now (or at the time of taking up the post).
Q. Can I get funding from the ECA Training Fund for the training I need to do to meet the UKCG requirements?
A. No. H&S training is a legal requirement and is regarded as a normal part of running a contracting business. The various courses recognised by the UKCG represent minimum standards of competence and are ineligible for support from the ECA Training Fund.
However, should an individual wish to undertake more advanced, higher-level qualifications in H&S, support could be available. More information about the ECA Training Fund can be found on the ECA website (please log in).
Q. Why has the standard been developed?
A. The new standard builds on the UKCG's previous requirements (2009) for site supervisors, and extends this to incorporate requirements on those that direct, manage and undertake. It is designed to support UKCG's work in increasing competency and improving leadership in health & safety by developing knowledge and skill.
ECA course information and advice
To enquire about forthcoming ECA course dates in your region, for an in-company training quote or to register interest, phone the ECA short course team on 0845 872 5361 or email email@example.com.
For professional advice on this subject, speak to John Corcoran, ECA Training Manager on 01732 471715 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.