As I mentioned way back in my last blog article, the chainsaw certification process is to be changed at some point in the future, and I had some doubt as to what the changes would be. However, NPTC had made the proposed schedules available and after reading through them and forwarding on my comments before the consultation period ended, I think (on the whole) the changes would be good. Find out more after the jump...
So what are the changes? Firstly they are proposing to amend the actual structure of the certification, as well as changing the schedules. Here, in brief, is a summary of those changes...
- The risk assessment, emergency planning and various other knowledge elements are to be brought together and made in to a 'knowledge unit' that is to form part of the foundation certificates. The CS30 is the other foundation course and, by and large, remains similar to the existing one.
- The CS31 small fell is to include rope / winch work (winching is currently part of CS32).
- The CS32 (medium fell) is to now include the felling of weighted trees. This is a major change and one which makes some sense as although the same cuts are used as small fell, the method of achieving them is different.
- The climbing and aerial rescue course is to be called CS38 (as it used to be!) and some major changes are being proposed for this; including... a tree identification element where the student will have to recognise 10 different tree species. The aerial rescue will also have to include a pole rescue as well as a 'tree' rescue. I think this is to be applauded and definitely a move in the right direction.
- The CS39, using a chainsaw from a rope and harness, is to have additional cuts added to the schedule. This will result in the student having to complete both horizontal and vertical cuts, which is basically simulating the cuts required for dismantling.
The above summary of changes is only a proposal at the moment, and I'm not sure that anything will happen until LANTRA get the National Occupational Standards approved - which could take some time.
For now, the courses and assessment schedules remain as they are - so I can get back to creating some new videos and writing some more about chainsaw maintenance and cross-cutting.