First scaffolding Trailblazer Assessments take place

Five scaffolding apprentices have become the first cohort in the UK to successfully complete their Scaffolding Trailblazer End Point Assessment

Five scaffolding apprentices have become the first cohort in the UK to successfully complete their Scaffolding Trailblazer End Point Assessment (EPA) at NETA Training in Teesside. 

CISRS have said Michael Allan, an experienced CISRS instructor of JMA Contract Services, put the group through their paces over the 2-day assessment.

The delegates had to successfully erect a small structure individually, erect a Truss out scaffold as part of a group and pass a scaffolding theory test. 

They were required to read the drawings, work out materials lists and follow Risk Assessments and Methods Statements related to the exercises. 

The End Point Assessments had originally been scheduled for the spring, but due to COVID they were unable to take place, CISRS said. But also as an External Quality Assurance (EQA) body had not been appointed until recent months.

Mr Allan said: “Although this was the first-ever Scaffolding EPA, we have been carrying out Skills tests associated with the CISRS core scheme for many years, as such I was pretty confident the format would work. 

“The lads were understandably a little nervous, particularly when they heard that CISRS Scheme Manager was coming to the Centre to see how things went, but they did well with both the individual and group structures and all them came through successfully.”

What is a Trailblazer End Point Assessment?

Once an apprentice has completed their apprenticeship programme, they are deemed to at  “the gateway” and they will be cleared to demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities in an assessment.

The end-point assessment is conducted by a third party organisation and/or assessor that must be independent of the training provider. During the end-point assessment, the apprentice must show they can perform in their occupation in a fully competent, holistic and productive way.

This will include a theory test, an basic individual task such and an independent or a tower plus also a larger structure to be completed as part of a team e.g. a Truss Out. The assessor must ensure that each member of the group is given the opportunity to lead operations and show their ability to read the drawings, work out materials and safely erect and dismantle the job.

Sean Johnston Commercial Training Manager for NETA said: “We are really pleased to have got the first group of Scaffolding Apprentices through their End Point Assessment, albeit a few months later than we had originally planned. 

“We would like to thank Michael and JMA for a thoroughly professional job, I am sure the group are very pleased and possibly a little relieved to have successfully completed the programme. We hope they go onto to have a long, safe and successful career in scaffolding for years to come.” 

The original Scaffolding apprenticeship Framework has been withdrawn in England as of September, as such all future apprentices will be following the trailblazer programme. There are three other End Point Assessment Organisations in place, which should ensure that providers across the country can achieve timely completions for their apprentice cohorts.