Training providers

Details of woodworking training courses

There are many specialist training providers based in the UK who are accredited to awarding bodies such as the City and Guilds Institute and PIABC.

City and Guilds Safe Use of Machinery Certificates of Competence list the machines on which an operator has achieved the minimum level of competence that anyone should have before being allowed to work on a woodworking machine alone.

These certificates can then be counted as evidence of progress to other qualifications, such as Level 2 in Machine Woodworking.

Qualifications have several levels:

  • Level 2 Machining requires a broad range of varied work activities across a range of 'classical' and CNC wood working machinery, which includes more complex and possibly non-predictable tasks. This should also include experience in the tool room. These should be performed with a minimum amount of supervision and also within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Level 3 Machining requires that competence is demonstrated in a broad range of varied work activities performed in a wide variety of contexts. There should also be considerably more responsibility and autonomy. Control or guidance of others is also required, for example work scheduling and job-planning, and the ability to demonstrate competence in their supervision.
  • Level 2 Sawmilling requires a broad range of varied work activities across a range of equipment and processes found in the sawmilling industry.
  • Level 2 Tooling Technology requires a broad range of varied work activities across a range of equipment and processes found in the saw doctoring industry.
  • Level 2 is generally considered to be the skill level of competence that a machine operator should aim to achieve.
  • Level 3 is the minimum competence required to perform supervisory tasks.

People undertaking NVQs must however be employed in the trade that they are being assessed in as the training consists of two parts. Their employer has to provide 'on the job' training as well as arrange for 'off the job' training.

'Off the job' training generally takes place at a training provider or college where training and assessment take place in modules that the workplace does not have. Additional background knowledge for the trade is also provided. In some cases 'off the job' training can be carried out by the training provider in the workplace.

'On the job' training is where the employee gets experience and competence in a working environment and where practical activities are assessed.

If learners do not have any employment they are still able to study at a training provider or college for a recognised qualification.

There are various training organisations that are registered to deliver qualifications such as the NVQ Safe Use of Machinery Certificates. For further information see City and Guilds  Woodwise and PIABC.

The Woodworking Machinery Suppliers Association promotes good practice in woodworking by assisting in the development of courses and classes as well as providing training facilities.

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Updated 2021-07-05