The NPTC, who award many of the industry standard certificates of competence is undergoing a major review of the whole system. If you are interested in completing any of the chainsaw (CS-) units, or have an interest in the Forest Machine Operations units, read on after the jump...
Only yesterday (the 17th July 2008), NPTC put out a consultation document for Forest Machine Operations - you can find out more at http://www.nptc.org.uk/latest-news/detail.asp?dsid=305.
Perhaps of more interest to us, is looking at what is likely to happen to the CS units - the consultation period has actually finished for these units and it's looking like there will be a few changes in store. The one that peaked my curiosity was the CS30 (chainsaw maintenance and cross-cutting) was showing up as having a time-limit applied to the certification. It also looks like it's getting a re-write, so watch this space.
Other changes include the abolition of the CS33 large fell - this is probably a good move and (one assumes) will now be included as part of the CS32 medium fell assessment. Interestingly enough, the CS34 / CS35 (dealing with windblown trees) now only has CS31 small fell as a pre-requisite, whereas previously this had to be CS32.
It appears then that things are about to change, and that means that the training providers will have to sort out their provision to allow for the new changes. An interesting time in the industry and you can keep up to date with it by viewing the NPTC website - latest news - at http://www.nptc.org.uk/latest-news/.