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 Categories : Forestry & Arboriculture


Where do you start with a Chainsaw.They are widely used and dangerous pieces of equipment for both work and leisure. To help explain why we need training and proof of competency, it is best demonstrated by starting with something that we all do – a risk assessment.

In the workplace if you have 5 or more employees a Risk Assessment should be written, but we all should, and probably do, make an informal risk assessment in our heads, the result of which is often described as “common sense”.  Lets start with the more formal Risk Assessment that will reflect the PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment) regulations, and the Management of Health and Safety Regulations. To spare you the details in the middle we could jump to the last page of your findings and see that there is a definite need for adequate training and proof of competency before use.

The training courses available cover the tree-work you are going to do. The range of chainsaw activities are delivered in a serious of training modules that are sequential.  You can’t start with felling the large trees or windblown timbers – you have to get to that point one module at a time.

The preferred forestry route would typically be as follows:-

Chainsaw maintenance and cross cutting

Felling trees up to 200mm or 380mm diameter

Felling trees over 3800mm diameter

Windblown Timbers.

The preferred arboriculture route would typically be as follows:-

Chainsaw maintenance and cross cutting

Felling trees up to 380mm diameter

Accessing a Tree Using Rope & Harness + Aerial Rescue

Aerial Cutting of Trees Using a Chainsaw

To follow the periods of training, there are separate assessment days arranged to present your skills and knowledge to a City & Guilds NPTC Assessor to achieve the Certificate of Competence.   There is also an option to achieve the Lantra Awards Certificates of Competency.

Of course the next question is what to do about all of this and where to go.   The answer to that is to find yourself a Training Provider offering Forestry and Arboriculture courses.

The last thing you have to remember requires a mental note for about 5 years  time you will be pleased to know.  Refresher training.   Often forgotten, but very important if you want to keep your initial Certification current and acceptable in the workplace.

You have a couple of options:-

  1. If you are working in commercial Forestry on Forestry Commission sites, you have to have a FISA (Forestry Industry Safety Accord) Refresher day.     As part of the industry response, FISA have now launched a commercial forest industry refresher course.
  2. If your work is not classed as commercial then the standard Lantra Awards chainsaw refresher certificate will comply with the current regulations.  The refresher certificate will cover exactly what your initial Certificate was for whether you are refreshing Lantra Awards Integrated Training & Assessment certificates or City & Guilds NPTC independently assessed certificates.

Be safe and enjoy.