Occupation overview

Scaffolding offers an exciting, physically demanding and financially rewarding career path for those who wish to enter into the industry. Qualifying as a Scaffolder provides opportunities to work in many different sectors including Construction, Infrastructure, Nuclear, Oil and Gas, Rail, and Events across the UK and internationally. The primary role of a Scaffolder is to provide access solutions or structural support which allows other trades to carry out their roles safely whilst working at height. Upon completion of this apprenticeship, the operative will have achieved the established trade competency for the scaffolding industry which will enable them to erect, alter and dismantle a wide range of scaffolding structures as covered by this training and assessment. Scaffolding is a safety critical trade and each individual working in the sector must be aware of their responsibility to themselves, those they are working with, the end user of the scaffold and also others who they may come into contact with whilst carrying other their role e.g. other trades, clients, members of the public.


On completion the Scaffolder will be able to:

  • Make adequate provision for the safety of themselves, the workforce, the public affected by scaffolding work, and future users of the scaffold structure by working to the relevant British and European Standards, National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) guidance e.g. Technical Guidance (TG)20 (Good Practice guidance for Tube and fitting Scaffolding Safety Guidance, SG4, (Preventing Falls in Scaffolding Operations) SG6 (Manual Handling in the Scaffolding Industry) and statutory regulations
  •  Visually inspect and select serviceable materials such as; tubes, boards and fittings
  • Carry, raise, lower and use scaffold materials correctly and safely on a working platform
  •  Visually inspect, select, assemble and install prefabricated beams into scaffold structures
  •  Support scaffold protection fans according to requirements of current industry practice
  •  Erect scaffolds on pavements and public places safely and correctly, with regard to Local Authority regulations
  •  Install spurs and rakers within the correct operating angles. Attach check fittings, droppers and puncheons in the correct positions to scaffolds
  •  Install anchor ties and other specialist fixings to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Testing and reporting in accordance with TG4 Anchorage Systems for Scaffolding
  •  Select, space, install and test the correct number of ties to restrain sheeted and unsheeted scaffolds to current industry practices
  • Determine the material requirements for independent and putlog scaffolds with returns, towers and birdcages up to three lifts high. Lay out materials, set out scaffolds and overcome obstacles to erect scaffolds safely
  • Determine the materials required to set out, erect and dismantle in a safe sequence.
  •  Inspect gin wheels for serviceability, position and fix securely, reeve, rope, tie knots and correctly use gin wheel to haul up scaffold tubes, boards and fittings. Take down gin wheel and coil rope
  •  Inspect Basic scaffolds prior to handover.



On completion the Scaffolder will have the following core knowledge:

  • The relevant British and European Standards, NASC guidance e.g. TG20, SG4, SG6 and statutory regulations applicable to the correct and safe erection and dismantling of scaffolds and where to find additional information e.g. NASC website, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website
  •  The types, uses and methods of inspection, and the purpose of various scaffold materials e.g. tubes, boards and fittings in common use.
  •  The methods of handling, stacking, and servicing scaffold materials e.g. tubes, boards and fittings
  • The types, uses and purpose of prefabricated beams, and the rules for their assembly and connection to scaffold structures.
  •  The purpose, types, uses and loadings of protection fans. The methods of supporting fans by scaffold tubes and wire ropes
  •  The methods of founding scaffolds on differing types of surface (e.g. soft ground, concrete and steel)
  •  The correct and safe means of attaching and spacing transoms to support working platforms and strengthen the scaffold structure.
  • The correct methods of attaching spurs, rakers, check fittings, droppers and puncheons to scaffolds
  •  The safe and correct method of erecting and dismantling Aluminium towers
  • The correct and safe methods of erecting independent and putlog scaffolds with returns, towers and birdcages at three lifts high in tube and fittings
  •  How to calculate the number of ties, the spacing and test requirements to restrain sheeted and unsheeted scaffolds depending on the capacity of the tie arrangements
  •  The regulations governing the inspection of Basic scaffolds
  •  The statutory requirements for access including ladders and ladder towers and stairways
  • How to interpret design layout drawings and determine the correct and safe methods of erecting and dismantling the scaffolds
  • How to organise materials to lead a gang of Scaffolders carrying out Scaffolding operations as well as the practical skills needed to erect, dismantle and alter scaffolding to the correct configurations and tolerances, a scaffolder will be required to have knowledge of the relevant British and European standards, National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) guidance and statutory regulations.



  • Effective communication: oral, written, listening, body language, presentation.
  •  Team work: work effectively with others with limited supervision.
  •  Independent working: take responsibility for completion of your own work.
  •  Logical thinking: use clear and valid reasoning when making decisions to undertake work instructions
  •  Time management: use own time effectively to complete the work instructions to schedule.
  • Respect: apply equality, diversity and inclusion in dealing with others
  • · Compliance/instruction: abide by employer procedure/company values, site inductions, Risk Assessment and Method Statements, tool box talks


Entry Requirements

Individuals without Level 1 in English and Maths will need to achieve this level and complete the test Level 2 English and Maths prior to taking the end-point assessment.



18 – 24 months


Professional Qualifications / Recognition

This is a Level 2 apprenticeship. 

This standard has been designed to allow the individual to meet the requirements of the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS). Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship the Scaffolder will be eligible to apply for a CISRS Scaffolder card. Progression from the Level 2 Apprenticeship could lead to undertaking Advanced Scaffolder training. This apprenticeship also provides a foundation for the Scaffolder to further develop their career by moving into Supervision, Management, Scaffold Inspection, Scaffold Design, Estimating, Surveying, Health and Safety or Training


Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


Recruiting school leavers? We can help