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Home / News / 2014 / TRAIN TO GAIN


The roofing industry today is a very different place to ten years ago. Recently the British Standard Code of Practice for roof slating and tiling went through a major overhaul which threatens to leave many roofers behind the times. If a roofer fails to comply with the new Code of Practice during a project, it could result in the roof being stripped and re-tiled.

The new BS 5534 came into effect at the start of September this year, although it won’t become mandatory until 1st March 2015. Due to the extent of change it carries, a number of organisations are striving to educate as many roofers as possible about what they have to do to make sure they are BS 5534 compliant.

Redland recognises that roofing as a profession is a major responsibility and the consequences of falling behind in legislation and best practices can be catastrophic. This is why it has a dedicated training facility in South Cerney.

In a bid to prepare its members for the impending change in legislation, the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) teamed up with Redland to provide a hands-on training course to educate those involved in roofing about the new methodology.

Kevin Taylor, Training Manager at the NFRC said: “So much has changed about roofing in the last ten years and the practice has been modified with the times. Now that the lessons of the last decade have been taken into account and made into a recommended Code of Practice, it is imperative that our members are on board and up to date, to protect not only themselves but also the customers they are catering for.”

The change will affect some roofers more than others. Those in the north of England and Scotland have been following working practices similar to those proposed in BS 5534 for some time now due to the more extreme weather changes they face on regular basis. In the south, where the weather is milder, the shift will be a much bigger leap.

Mat Woodyatt, Training Manager at Redland said: “We’re finding that contractors specialising in the new build market are much more on the ball with BS 5534. They’re keen to adopt the new way of doing things and are actively seeking out training on the subject. Whereas, those involved with the refurbishment sector work predominantly alone and may not even be aware of the new Code of Practice.”

Redland wants to encourage stakeholders within the industry to take part in the BS 5534 training so is also offering the course to merchants and specifers. The merchants are often the people who provide guidance and advice to their customers on what products and components they will need on any given job, making it equally important that they are aware of what the changes mean. Similarly, it is vital for specifiers to keep up to date with any changes in legislation and best practice guidelines to ensure that all the products they recommend for a project are fully compliant.

With 30 years of training experience, Redland has helped nearly 40,000 people gain better insight into the various aspects of roofing. Mat Woodyatt explains: “Simply creating a product isn’t the end of the line for manufacturers and it is important that everyone involved in the supply, installation and specification of roofs is well educated in the most up-to-date regulations, techniques and products.”

Redland is continually developing new training workshops on all areas of roofing and along with the NFRC course on BS 5534, run a number of RIBA accredited CPD seminars, including one on the new Code of Practice. The CPDs include everything from an introduction to pitched roofing, for those who are new to this area of building, to control of condensation and identifying defects in roof coverings.

The company also offers bespoke courses for manufacturers, contractors and other industry professionals who have a particular subject they would like assistance with. This can cover anything from demonstrations of new products, to brushing up on new roofing techniques.


Bolton takes aim at top prize

Full classrooms, new ways of working and the return of a motivating competition. Luke O’Gorman, roofing tutor at Bolton College, is looking forward to a year free from Covid-related restrictions and the chance for his students to win a top industry award.

Training in the time of Covid

As building colleges take in the latest crop of apprentices Total Contractor catches up with David Mallory, Roofing Lecturer at Leeds College of Building. Now that Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, he welcomes students back to the classroom and the return of the BMI Apprentice of the Year Competition.

A Knight on the tiles

Since featuring on our very first front cover, Tom Knight – Highly Commended in the BMI Apprentice of the Year 2017 – has continued to have great success in his roofing career. . Total Contractor met up with him on site near Truro for a chat.

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