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CISRS - Operatives Training Scheme (COTS)


Labourers, junior operatives and those just starting out in construction may soon want to level up their training. Beginning to work at height requires training by law, but also to be the most effective, productive and safe on-site as can be. With the proper training by learning and applying the legislation, industry best practice, and guidance via the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS), operatives can begin working with access equipment and scaffolding on projects and progress their career further.

This CISRS Operatives Training Scheme (COTS) qualification provides the knowledge and skills required to work safely with scaffolding and access equipment.

In addition, delegates will receive training in the various legislation associated with work at height and a background in the different additional pieces of equipment available to aid safety and prevent accidents. 

Course Outline

With a mix of practical and theory-based exercises and tutorials, delegates will cover the basics of scaffolding and general site safety and understand their responsibilities. In addition, they’ll gain knowledge of scaffolding equipment, working safely at height and how to report any health and safety issues. 

The course reflects national standards and industry best practices and is fully accredited in line with regulations. In addition, choose to learn with Citrus, and delegates benefit from our custom-built training facilities and customer-first approach.

Our occupationally and technically-experienced trainers coach delegates on this course, completing the session with a practical observation and theory examination. Delegates must pass a multiple-choice exam in order to gain your CISRS Certificate of Training

Course Programme

The one-day training is a mixture of classroom-based discussion and practical demonstrations focussing on knowledge and skills of Scaffolding and access equipment.

Delegates will review legal requirements, ensure safety compliance and inspections, and understand procedures, appropriate documentation and classifications.

The course content includes:

  • An introduction to Scaffolding and Scaffolding terminology
  • General responsibilities in Scaffolding
  • Servicing of equipment, tube, fixtures and fittings
  • Boards and Stock – Quality Control
  • Health, welfare, hygiene and housekeeping
  • Electrical safety
  • Fire prevention and control measures
  • Noise and vibration
  • Work at Height 2005 - procedures and regulation
  • Accident prevention and reporting
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Site transport safety (including loading and unloading)
  • Equipment and tools
  • Manual handling (including practical elements)
  • Lifting equipment using a rope and wheel

Assessment consists of a multiple-choice exam at the end of the session.

On Completion

At the end of the training, successful delegates will:

  • Have an understanding of the relevant legislation for Scaffolding
  • Understand the hazards of working at height and risk assessment
  • Identify key equipment and tools for Scaffolding and access equipment
  • Be aware of the PPE necessary to prevent falls from height
  • Understand the importance of safety in Scaffolding and access equipment

On successfully completing the course, delegates receive a CISRS Certification and Scaffold Labourer or Trainee card (included in cost), valid for five years.

Who Should Attend?

This Basic CISRS Scaffolder training course is for operatives carrying out labouring or driving duties only, in support of scaffold operations.

Existing CISRS Scaffolding Labourer (green) cardholders will need to retake this course every five years to update their card.

Course Duration

This comprehensive one-day training prepares delegates with a basic understanding of working with Scaffolding and access equipment.

Why Citrus?

We dedicate our efforts to unrivalled quality and the customer experience at Citrus Training, providing exemplary service to our clients and producing excellent results from our delegates. As a result, we are the leading UK-based provider of health, safety, and technical training and assessment services to the Built Environment and Utility sectors. 

To ensure we are always at the forefront of the industry, we take strategic input from impartial experts to identify risks and provide practical solutions to high-risk, high harm environments such as Working At Heights. Their professional advice, combined with our in-house expertise, means we can give hyper-detailed content on everything delegates need to know, including PPE and equipment, inspections, and servicing. 
Train with Citrus and delegates benefit from our in-house and employed Working at Heights specialist trainers, offering the very best training standards, consistency, and quality. Our professional, highly qualified instructors deliver all aspects of the course and guarantee a successful, exclusive and inclusive learning experience. 

Employers and delegates can choose from dedicated courses to suit customer-specific requirements, locations, and dates. As a result, we’ve successfully delivered training for over 20,000 delegates across the Working at Heights training category.

Things You Need to Know

CISRS would expect delegates to have awareness and experience of scaffolding structures, which would have come from time spent in their industry sector, e.g. construction, engineering, manufacturing, offshore etc. 

Delegates must provide a CV with contactable references and, or certificates. Examples of acceptable experience are:

  • CISRS Scaffolder/Advanced Card
  • A Scaffold appreciation/awareness course
  • A Scaffold Inspection course

Health & Safety Requirement – You must either be able to provide evidence of passing a CITB Health, safety and environment (HS&E) test within the last two years or equivalent. Get in touch for more information.

The training has practical elements, so delegates must inform their trainer if they have any serious health issues, physical problems, special considerations or are taking any medication, which may create difficulties in any elements of this course. In addition, delegates should also bring suitable PPE on the day of training, for example, safety helmets, safety shoes or boots, hi-vis and gloves.

Popular FAQ's

Yes - delegates need to have a good understanding of the English language to take the course.

No, but there are practical elements, so delegates must inform their trainer if there is anything they need to consider before starting the course.

No, we will process the relevant CISRS card application for you. 

The cards usually take four-six weeks to arrive.

For any new CSCS recognised card applications, you must have a valid Health, Safety and Environment test - which remains valid for two years. If this test is not in date within two years, we cannot allow you to complete the course or apply for your new card on completion.

Delegates must complete the courses listed below within two years of the date of application:

  • CISRS Recognised Scaffolding Apprenticeship Induction (Initial Trainee card only)
  • IOSH Working Safely/IOSH Managing Safely/IOSH Directing Safely/SHE For Constructors Workers/Safety Health & Environment for Construction Site Managers
  • NEBOSH (General/Construction/International) H&S Certificate
  • SMSTS Certificate
  • SSSTS Certificate
  • Site Safety Plus HSA

We will accept current copies of the following qualifications:

  • CCNSG Safety Passport (SCATS)
  • CCNSG Leading a Team Safely (SCATS)
  • MIST/BOSIET/OPITO Approved Offshore Certificate
  • SOLA Safe Pass

An operative will need to have held a Trainee Scaffolder or Scaffolding Labourer card for a minimum of six months before attending the Part 1 course.

The Scaffolding Labourer’s card is valid for five years. Scaffolding Labourers can only work from a safe, secure position, i.e. ground, building floor, fully protected roof or a fully completed scaffold platform. They are not permitted to erect, alter or dismantle scaffolding.

A Trainee Scaffolder card is valid for 18 months, which can be renewed for another 18 months whilst completing the training for a Scaffolder card. A person holding a trainee scaffolder card is permitted to undertake scaffolding activities if under the direct supervision of a qualified scaffolder.

Upon completing the COTS course, we will ask you which card you need.

Both cards require completing an HSE test (or recognised exemption) and a COTS course.

Yes, you can complete your Part 2 course in tube and fitting, even if you completed Part 1 course in System Scaffolding, but you will then be working towards a Tube and Fitting Scaffolder card.

No, training must be delivered at a CISRS-approved training centre.

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