NDTG calls upon main contractors to recognise demolition supervisor qualification.
Howard Button, chief executive of the National Demolition Training Group (NDTG) and National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC), is calling upon main contractors to recognise and accept the Demolition Supervisor qualification devised and delivered by the NDTG. Button says that a number of main contractors, including members of the UK Contractors Group, do not readily accept the qualification, even though it far exceeds the requirements set within the UK construction sector.
“There is currently a widespread failure to recognise the NDTG/CCDO qualification, primarily because many main contractors are simply unfamiliar with it,” he says. “But, the fact is, the demolition scheme is well-established, robust and exceeds the standards set by the equivalent qualification in construction.”
As of 1 January 2010, UK Contractors Group member companies require that all supervisors working on their sites can demonstrate that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to supervise their workers effectively. “The Demolition Supervisor qualification devised by the NDTG more than meets these stated aims,” says NDTG Group Training Officer, Sophie Francis. “Like the construction equivalent, it includes elements such as risk assessments, method statements, hazardous substances working at height, CDM Regs, personal protective equipment and occupational health. But it goes furthers still.”
Francis reports that the Demolition Supervisors qualification requires candidates to have previous demolition experience or a peer assessment, and includes industry-specific elements such as BS6187, asbestos awareness and high reach excavator deployment.
“The construction supervisor qualification can be achieved in a three-day classroom environment course,” she says. “The demolition course is also over three days but also includes a 12-week distance learning course and provides successful candidates with a recognised NVQ qualification.”
Howard Button believes that main contractors and UKCG members are not dismissing the demolition qualification. “They’re just unfamiliar with the qualification and the card and certificate that support it,” he continues. “Unfortunately, the message is not getting through at site level. But working with UKCG we are confident the problem can be resolved.”
The NDTG is planning a meeting with UKCG members in order to educate them on the robustness of the Demolition Supervisors qualification. “Our hope is that the demolition qualification will become as widely known and universally accepted as its construction equivalent,” Button concludes.
An audio interview with Howard Button and Sophie Francis can be heard below.