Arcway Services PLC
#26th May 2018#

NASC - Almost 90% of Scaffolding Companies

As more and more clients and main contractors turn to stipulating the use of only NASC member companies for their scaffolding requirements so the influx of membership applications to the UK’s scaffolding confederation rises.

In 2009 there were 65 companies apply to join the NASC. Out of those 65 companies only 9 actually met the standard required and joined the confederation resulting in a surprising low conversion rate of 11%, from those that initially applied.

The two main areas of criteria where companies struggle to perform are on the percentage of operatives who are directly employed and the percentage of skilled operatives qualified to the CISRS (Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme) card.

The NASC demand over 90% directly employed operatives (as part of their total labour workforce) from their members to enable a thorough auditable process. Any lower percentage where a company is using a higher proportion of sub contracted labour and the ability to determine who that company uses on their sites becomes less easy to identify. A high level of directly employed operatives also ensures that the company will commit to the training of full time staff which will bode well for the future of the people they use on site.

The confederation also demands over 75% of the companies scaffolding operatives are qualified to a recognised CISRS level. The CISRS scheme is the only scaffold accreditation scheme that the NASC support, no other scaffold qualification is acceptable. The CISRS scheme is all encompassing and cards range throughout the spectrum from Labourer through to Advanced Scaffolder and scaffold Supervisor.

Furthermore the NASC insist that 50% of all the applying company’s operatives must be at least be qualified to Scaffolder or Advanced Scaffolder. No company will pass the membership criteria by having a labour force of semi-skilled CISRS operatives.

"Companies need to understand that it is not easy becoming a NASC member, not because we want to exclude companies but because we need to set high standards" states NASC President Bob Whincap. "Despite a large number of companies not meeting the criteria on their first attempt –these companies have listened to our advice on how to reach our criteria, and have gone away to implement the necessary changes required".

"The decision by clients and main contractors to take the policy decision to adopt NASC members has forced these prospective member companies to readdress the way they do scaffolding. Policy is pushing the scaffolding industry up to a higher level – not because the scaffolding confederation are saying so, but because their clients are saying so".

Despite the NASC's strict membership criteria numbers within the confederation are healthy. The NASC's current membership stands at 210 member companies, equating to almost 15,000 scaffolders throughout the UK. Research earlier in the year highlighted that you can find an NASC member in every corner of the UK and that 35% of NASC membership works on domestic work such as scaffolding a house. Further industry research indicates that the NASC membership in total equates to over 75% of the annual spend on scaffolding.