In his latest column, James Talman, NFRC CEO, gives an update on RoofCERT which, despite lockdowns and other challenges, is making good progress but still needs further sector support. As James explains, the focus now turns to working with housebuilders and moving forward with the Experienced Worker Route to accreditation, which will really get things moving…
Despite three lockdowns, CITB spending cuts, and roofing contractors being exceptionally busy, RoofCERT, through adaptation and innovation, has still been able to accredit over 100 roofing operatives over the last year, with 700 more in the pipeline.
As training and assessment restrictions start to lift, the programme can now support those in the pipeline to achieve their full accreditation. We are also able to proceed with a several exciting initiatives which have been delayed due to lockdown.
Partnership with housebuilders
One of the key focus areas for RoofCERT this year will be the home building industry. We are pleased to have the support of the Home Building Federation (HBF)’s Home Building Skills Partnership and are currently working collaboratively with several large housebuilders, one example being Redrow Homes.
The quality of new build homes is in the spotlight currently and this is reflected in the strategic aims of virtually all of the top ten housebuilders as set out in their Annual Reports.
RoofCERT is designed to help housebuilders improve quality and productivity, as well as help them to identify any skills and knowledge gaps. This in turn will lead to the development of learning and training content as part of the Continuous Professional Development of operatives.
Experienced Worker Route (EWR) moves one step closer
There are two main routes to RoofCERT accreditation for operatives, qualified roofers – those who hold a vocational qualification – and experienced roofers with more than five years of experience through the Experienced Worker Route (EWR)
Due to the impact of Covid-19, we have not yet been able to launch EWR so have had to rely solely on roofers with a vocational qualification. However, as lockdown has started to ease, we are now scheduling 100 EWR assessments as part of a pilot programme with the CITB. This will provide essential feedback for the roll out of EWR for those thounsands of experienced roofers who don’t have a vocational qualification and whose CSCS card will need renewing by 2024. All CSCS cards renewed through the Experienced Worker Route will clearly recognise the RoofCERT on the card with full details of the indiviudal’s skills on the card’s microchip. We will be publicising more details on this shortly.
We need your support
So whilst we are progressing in several areas, we cannot do this alone.
We are one of the few sectors in construction that have created an initiative like this, and we should be proud of that. Our initial ambition is to achieve 2,000 accredited roofers which will provide a platform to develop a sustainable model for industry to run itself. To achieve this we really need your support.
If you are a contractor, sign your operatives up; if you are an operative, start the RoofCERT journey by booking a knowledge test; if you are a training provider or part of a training group, could you help us facilitate health and safety training and knowledge tests? If you are able to help in any other way, let us know.
In a year’s time, I hope to be able to come back and write to thank you all for coming together and helping RoofCERT reach its target. Our industry will be viewed on how we respond to this challenge, are you ready to meet the challenge?