Scaffolding courses, or courses intended to teach groups or individuals how to assemble and use scaffolding, can be essential to those working with the equipment for the first time. Choosing the best course is important because scaffolding can be difficult and even dangerous to use without proper training. It is important to ensure that the scaffolding courses one chooses involve the same general type of scaffolds that one will be using. It is also important to ensure that the course includes sections on both setup and use. Cost is another important part of choosing the best course, especially for employers who need to enroll many employees in the same course.
One of the simplest options for scaffolding training simply involves on-the-job training instead of formal scaffolding courses. This method confers no additional cost and, in most cases, little additional time. People without sufficient scaffolding training may, however, be a danger to themselves, to others, and to the project at hand. On-the-job training generally focuses primarily on the job, not on the training, so trainees may not receive sufficient instruction. Additionally, most on-the-job training does not result in any certification that people can use to demonstrate their competence with the setup and use of scaffolds in future jobs.
Formal scaffolding courses, though they are more time-consuming and expensive, tend to result in much more thorough and complete knowledge and understanding of scaffolding setup and use. Furthermore, such courses often provide certification that workers can show future employers to demonstrate that they are competent in the use of the equipment. By conducting training in a controlled environment, employers and instructors remove the risk of damaging current projects and reduce the risk of harming workers. All of the practice is supervised, so instructors of such scaffolding courses can stop or correct poor scaffolding use before it becomes dangerous.
There are a variety of disadvantages associated with formal courses. They may take many hours or days, during which time a worker cannot be doing any productive work. In many cases, the employer pays for workers to take the course, so money is lost on the course itself and on the sacrifice of work time. This can be particularly frustrating when the course is just a formality to get certification for a worker who already knows how to safely use scaffolding. It is important, then, to find scaffolding courses that balance the need for information and training with time and monetary concerns.