The RoofCERT programme to develop roofing’s accreditation standard has unveiled the Technical Competency Test for slating and tiling, the first of nine roofing disciplines that will be accredited under the national scheme.
Members of RoofCERT’s Accreditation and Standards Activity Group, which is made up of the NFRC, CITB, contractors, suppliers, and training providers, have spent the past few months devising a bank of questions that best demonstrate the technical ability of slaters and tilers.
The 40-minute multiple-choice test consists of 35 questions which are based on the BS 5534 code of practice and cover the entire range of tasks involved in slating and tiling, such as batten gauges for natural slate and fire-stops. SPRA, LRWA, MAC and FTRMC are leading on the development of Technical Competency Tests for liquid roofing, single ply, mastic asphalt, lead and hard metals, whilst the NFRC will continue to develop the content for roof sheeting & cladding and RBM.
Following a pilot period over the coming months, the online Technical Competency Test will be carried out at test centres across the UK and will become the lynchpin of the RoofCERT National Roofing Accreditation. It will be open to roofing installers in all disciplines with or without vocational qualifications. Installers with National or Scottish Vocational Qualification who wish to become Accredited Roofers must have at least three years’ practical experience in the discipline they want to be accredited for and also have passed their CITB HS&E test. Installers that do not hold vocational qualifications but have five years practical experience can submit evidence of their skills and experience and have one-to-one interviews with dedicated Skills Evaluators.
In addition to passing the Technical Competency Test, installers are also expected to complete or have completed short duration mandatory courses on working at height, asbestos awareness, abrasive wheels, manual handling, fire safety, emergency first aid and non-technical. These courses currently exist and are already available through training colleges and providers. Roofing-specific courses are also being developed by the NFRC in partnership external providers.
The accreditation process has been developed with flexibility in mind so that individuals can complete it at their own pace. It is therefore expected that the entire process can take around 30 hours to complete over a maximum of nine months, depending on experience and qualifications. Accreditation lasts for three years, at which point it will need to be renewed with key development (CPD) introduced. There is CITB funding to accredit 5,000 roofers between now and 2021, when the scheme will become self-funding.
Richard Miller, NFRC’s Head of Qualification and Standards, said: “The development of the Technical Competency Test for Slating & Tiling is a significant milestone in the delivery of the RoofCERT accreditation scheme, which could be a game-changer for our industry. Working with our partners, we have developed a robust test that demonstrates the technical ability according to the latest standards and best practice for all those that pass it.
“The Technical Competency Test is a crucial component of the RoofCERT National Roofing Accreditation scheme, which will provide individual roofers with visible proof of their roofing skills so that they stand out from those rogue traders that give us a bad name.”
A new website is currently in development which will enable installers to register on to the RoofCERT National Roofing Accreditation scheme, and upload their supporting evidence such as NVQ Level 2 training certificates and evidence of roofing work. The website will be launched in the spring of 2019.