Northern Ireland header image

Chainsaw Training

You are here

Chainsaws are used for many projects involving the management of woodland, the removal of trees and the clearance of scrub. In inexperienced hands a chain saw is lethal and training and formal certification is now a requirement of most employers and insurance companies.

Training covers the basic skills needed to safely use and maintain a chain saw. Assessment is provided to the National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC) standards. Training and testing options are:

1) Maintenance and cross-cutting Unit CS30

This covers all aspects of maintaining the saw and in particular sharpening and maintaining the guide bar; as well as starting procedure, protective clothing and general safety. Cutting covers timber lying on the ground.

For many casual operators it is sufficient to cover unit CS30 as this allows all general cutting of wood and logs on the ground and also the felling of small bushes and scrub.

Training duration: two days of training and one day to complete the test with testing undertaken by an independent tester appointed by Forest Service.

2) Maintenance, tree felling, snedding and cross-cutting Units CS30 & CS31

This is the full introductory course for anyone who wants to do a varied range for work with chainsaws, and covers Unit CS30 as described above and Unit CS31.

Unit CS31 covers felling procedure, and the subsequent procedures for de-limbing and cross-cutting trees up to a diameter equivalent to the guide bar length of the saw.

Training duration: five days of training and two further days to complete the test with testing undertaken by an independent tester appointed by Forest Service.

For those who have completed and passed Units CS30 & CS31 it is possible to progress to other CS Units covering larger trees, damaged trees or tree surgery.

Availability and prior knowledge requirements for chainsaw training

Chainsaw courses are run with four participants on each course. Courses are organised to suit the needs of participants, when four participants are available. In cases where an organisation wants to send four participants at the same time there is greater flexibility of dates. Generally a course can be organised at four to six weeks notice.

Chainsaw work is physically demanding and also dangerous. Anyone who is thinking of undertaking chainsaw training should be physically fit and have a mature and sensible attitude to safety and other working practices. Candidates who pass the test should still be regarded as beginners in this field of work, and should ideally have some level of supervision by a more experienced operator during the first few weeks they are working with a chainsaw.