CITB has made changes to its plant standards to standardise training and testing requirements across the construction industry.
The changes will start being introduced in January 2023 and follow consultation with employers and stakeholders from across the plant sector. The new standards will ensure safe, consistent and high-quality plant operations throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
The first phase of the changes will see new standards introduced for eight of the most used plant grants. These are:
- Excavator 360, above 10 tonnes (tracked)
- Forward tipping dumper (wheeled)
- Rear tipping dumper/ dump truck: articulated chassis (all sizes)
- Ride on Roller
- Telescopic handler: all sizes excluding 360 slew
- Industrial forklift
- Plant and Vehicle Marshaller
- Slinger, Signaller: all types, all duties
Alongside the new standards, the grant rates for plant training and tests will also be changed and improved. Currently, three smaller grants are available for practical test, theory test and short course training, which employers can claim in different ways. Under the new changes a larger single grant will be available for all CITB registered employers.
To claim grant, employers will only need to give their CITB registration number to the Approved Training Organisation (ATO) delivering the training and testing. By making these changes we aim to make claiming grant for plant training and testing simpler and straight forward for employers.
Training related to the new standards from January 2023 will only be grant eligible if it meets the following criteria:
- is delivered by one of CITB’s Approved Training Organisations (ATO)
- is quality assured by the provider, the relevant card scheme displaying the CSCS logo and CITB
- leads to a card displaying the CSCS logo.
From January 2023, a separate, higher grant rate will be available for employers who are putting staff through plant training, who have never had experience in the type of machinery they are being trained in. This is to help respond to the industry’s need for more people to become highly skilled and competent plant operators.
Plant operations have been identified as a priority skills area, with 1,330 new entrants needed every year to keep pace with expected demand. The changes being made to standards and the grants scheme are designed to support employers to train more employees by increasing CITB’s overall investment in plant grants. In addition, the new standards have been designed to improve the quality of the plant training available and increase the safety of everyone working on sites with plant operations. There is currently no industry-wide standard for plant operator training.
The next phase of changes is due to take place in the next financial year and more information on these changes will be published nearer the time.
Christopher Simpson, head of quality and standards, CITB, said: “The introduction of our new standards is in direct response to feedback from the sector.
“The introduction of these changes will help standardise and improve the quality and consistency of plant training; increase the amount of plant training that takes place before testing; and increase the number of people trained in plant operations, particularly new entrants to construction.
“By responding to the changing needs of the sector, we continue to focus on our priority of supporting the construction industry to have a skilled, competent and inclusive workforce now and in the future.”