In January SEMA are launching their new SEIRS Diploma, an intensive training course for installers of Adjustable Pallet Racking. We explain the changes to SEIRS training, why you should get SEIRS trained and talk to Thistle Storage, who attended our shakedown course, to get their views on the new approach.
In today’s fast paced warehouse environment, the need to improve standards is more important than ever especially at the point of installation. After all a well designed and manufactured racking system is only complete and acceptable if the installation has been built correctly and safely.
As the storage industry evolves so does the need to update training. From January 2022 SEMA will launch their new SEIRS Diploma qualification. A rigorous training course that will ensure each qualified installer has achieved a minimum level of assessed practical skill in the installation of storage equipment.
One of the biggest changes to SEIRS is that the course will now be delivered in two parts. Installers new to the industry will first attend the Foundation Course. Existing installers who already hold an in-date SEIRS card will only need to attend the Diploma Course once they have passed their pre-qualification (see below for more details).
Foundation Level –
This is a one-day classroom-based course which addresses generic and industry specific Health & Safety issues likely to affect installers on site. It will also cover the practical use of safety harnesses. There are no pre-qualification requirements for the Foundation Course unless an installer requires a SEIRS CSCS card. In this case the installer will need to pass the CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test which is conducted independently of SEIRS by the CITB at one of their test centres across the UK.
After successfully completing the course installers will receive a SEIRS trainee card which is valid for 6 months. To complete the qualification trainees will need to successfully pass the SEIRS Diploma – Part 2.
Diploma Level – Part 2
Part 2 is a two-day intensive course which will complete installers’ training to SEIRS Diploma standard. Through a mixture of classroom-based theory and a significant practical element, day one will teach delegates how to safely and properly install and dismantle storage equipment. As part of a small team-based assessment, day two will require the installer to erect and dismantle the storage equipment using mechanically assisted build methods.
Before the course installers are required to pass either hold a Mobile Elevated Work Platform MEWPS 3A and 3B operator certificate or the CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test.
Delegates will be assessed throughout day two of the course and on passing receive a diploma and full SEIRS card which is valid for 3 years. If an installer doesn’t pass the practical assessment they can re-apply, and it can be re-taken on the next available Diploma course.
After three years their SEIRS card can be renewed by successfully completing a General Refresher course or one of the higher-level courses – either the SEIRS Supervisor or the SEIRS Installers Managers course.
Don’t take our word for it!
Thistle Systems, based in Scotland, are members of the SEMA Distributor Group. They directly employ their own in-house installation team and fully understand the importance of having their team registered as SEIRS accredited installers.
As they currently hold in-date SEIRS Cards and the appropriate pre-qualification, Thistle Systems sent their installers directly on Part 2 of the course, the SEIRS Diploma Level. We spoke to Mike Cairns, Managing Director at Thistle Systems about SEIRS and the new course.
What does SEIRS mean for you as a company?
“When working in the warehouse industry the priority has to be safety in everything we do – from the design all the way through to the point of installation. After all it doesn’t matter how well you design a racking system, if the guys installing it don’t adopt safe and thorough practices by taking the correct approach then potentially a worst-case scenario could render the racking dangerous. This could ultimately put lives at risk.
“Unfortunately, there are too many bad practices within the racking installation market, but we know that SEIRS is a demonstrable stamp of quality. Through our SEIRS qualified installers we can clearly show that we are properly trained using the correct processes and systems, working at the very highest levels of safety.”
How important is it to get SEIRS trained?
“Anyone new to the storage installation industry simplifies the building a racking system, they think it’s just a big Meccano set. If you think you can just walk in and do the job with no training, then very quickly you will be found out and the potential consequences could be fatal.
“We know that our installation teams take their skills for granted but I cannot stress enough the high level of expertise and technical knowledge needed to be install racking safely and correctly. Training plays a vital role towards this.”
So, what did your installers think of the new SEIRS Diploma?
“New SEIRS is a tough and rigorous course that will be a real benefit to both experienced installers and anyone new to the industry.
“The course is very much back to basics, but this isn’t a bad thing as it reminds you to improve on any bad habits that you may have picked up. Our installers felt it was a chance to press a reset on their skills and really focus their attention on the finer details of installation.
“Let’s be honest, going through the rigorous assessment process and successfully passing first time is reassurance that we are following best practice and a real boost to the installer’s confidence.”
What is SEIRS?
For over a decade SEMA has operated the Storage Equipment Installers Registration Scheme or SEIRS. The nationally run programme aims to raise safety standards at the point of installation by providing the storage industry with a ‘safety passport’. As the established safety training programme for installers of storage equipment in the UK, SEIRS is the recognised route to a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card and meets the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) requirements.