48.3 Training

The Secrets of Scaffold Design

Are you interested in expanding your knowledge and skills in scaffold design? Look no further!

48.3 is proud to offer an exclusive and highly sought-after training program tailored to meet the specific needs of our industry. We invite you to join us for an exceptional learning experience that will enhance your understanding and appreciation of scaffold design.

We understand that effective learning is best achieved in a supportive and interactive environment. That's why our classes are conducted in small groups, ensuring personalized attention and ample opportunities for discussion and practical application. Over the course of two days, you will be immersed in a relaxed classroom setting that encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing.

The training course is delivered by Ivik Masek, our Technical Director, and Alwyn Richards, a highly regarded associate at our company. With a combined experience of over 60 years, they bring a wealth of knowledge and practical experience to the classroom.

Throughout the training, you will be exposed to a balanced mix of theoretical concepts and practical examples, all carefully selected to illustrate real-world scenarios. We take pride in designing our course to cater to different learning styles and accommodate individuals from various roles within the industry. 

Don't miss out on this exceptional opportunity to enhance your scaffold design expertise. Secure your place on our next course and join a community of industry professionals dedicated to continuous learning and growth. We can't wait to welcome you and embark on this exciting educational journey together.

Enroll today and unlock the secrets of scaffold design!

Register Your Interest

Secrets of Scaffold Design - Course Description

"We help to equip individuals, teams and organisations with scaffold design expertise to enable them to increase their knowledge base, improve their service level and win more business." - Ivik Masek | 48.3 Director & Course Tutor

How do you know if the course is right for you?

  • Are you working with scaffolding as a scaffolder, supervisor, contracts manager, estimator or inspector and use scaffold designs on a regular basis?
  • Are you checking scaffold designs regularly and would like to know what you should be looking out for?
  • Do you work for a Principal Contractor or Sub-Contractor and have scaffolding on your site? Do you have a scaffolding contractor working for you on a regular basis who provides designs for you?
  • Are you a Temporary Works Co-ordinator managing and responsible for scaffolding and scaffold design on a site? Would you like a clear understanding of the scaffold design process?
  • Are you looking to develop you and/or your teams skills, knowledge and commercial awareness to improve estimating and tendering scaffolding work?
  • Are you up-to-date on CDM 2015 compliance and how it affects the scaffolding industry? Would you like to know where and when you can use TG20:21 compliance sheets and the eGuide?
  • Are you confused by certain aspects of Scaffold Design? Would you like to know exactly what you are looking at and exactly what your scaffold design should be like?
  • Do you struggle with technical or design terminology? Would you like a
    simple and clear explanation so you can communicate effectively in meetings?

If you answer ‘YES’ to any of these then this course is right for you!

Useful Files

Download our PDF sample to find out what's in our course manual!

All delegates receive a full colour printed, 120-page Course Manual with detailed course notes and diagrams to take home for future reference, along with sample drawings, calculations and design risk assessments.  

All yours, to keep, forever.

What this course offers you

New Skills

New Skills







Commercial Awareness

Commercial Awareness

Course content summary:

  • Design guidance for scaffolds
  • Design methods
  • Properties of scaffold components
  • Drawings & draughting protocols
  • Loading bays
  • Protection fans
  • Loads - Self weights, Imposed and Environmental (Wind, Snow & Water)
  • Codes and legislation
  • Design terms
  • Site survey
  • Calculations & considerations
  • Working platforms & edge protection
  • Q & A followed by examination

Guidance, Codes, Design Methods and Terms

Design Guidance for Scaffolds

  • Designing with TG20:21 Standard Designs and how to use the TG20 'eGuide'. Which scaffolds require a design and which do not. The criteria for 'compliance' and special scaffolds.
  • System Scaffolds: summary of the main system scaffolds available and what makes them unique.
  • Scaffold Design Process: full flow-chart and explanation of the design process for scaffolding from enquiry to delivery, including details for Network Rail projects.

Codes of Practice and Legislation (UK)

  • Summary and explanation of the key contents for the main codes of practice used to design scaffolding: BS EN 12811-1, BS 5975, BS EN 1991-1-3, BS EN 1991-1-4, and BS EN 1991-2.
  • Summary and explanation of the key contents of NASC produced guidance documents: TG20, TG11, TG9 and SG4.
  • Review of the main UK legislation applicable to the scaffolding industry and design in particular: Work at Height 2005 and CDM 2015, plus the differences between CDM 2007 and 2015. Detailed review of the role and responsibilities of the 'designer' linking to hazard mitigation and risk management in scaffolding design.

Design Methods

  • Permissable Stress Design Method - key details, explanation of use, factors of safety and application. Stress / Strain curve.
  • Limit State Design Method - key details, explanation of use, partial safety factors and interpretation for scaffolding design.
  • TG20:21 Design Method - permissable stress design using limit state theory.

Design Methods

  • Permissable Stress Design Method - key details, explanation of use, factors of safety and application. Stress / Strain curve.
  • Limit State Design Method - key details, explanation of use, partial safety factors and interpretation for scaffolding design.
  • TG20:21 Design Method - permissable stress design using limit state theory.

Design Terms

  • Four most common modes of failure for any scaffolding component: Axial Load, Shear Force, Bending Moment and Deflection.
  • Standard Units (SI Units) for defined terms - explanation, use and application.
  • Explanation of defined terms, how they occur and how to calculate. Formula and diagrams explained.

Components and Loading

Properties of Scaffolding Components

  • Structural properties of standard couplers used in scaffolding (right angle, swivel, putlog, Band & Plate etc), their uses and load capacities, and how to check them in design. References to published data also provided.
  • Structural properties of non-standard couplers in scaffolding (Gravlock, girder clamps, Klawz, couplers for hoarding etc), their uses and load capacities, and how to check them in design. References to manufacturers, suppliers and published data.
  • Structural properties of prefabricated beams used in scaffolding - details of main suppliers and variations in capacities identified and explained, scaffold boards and timber (ply, sleepers etc).

Loading - Self Weight & Imposed Load

  • Mass of common materials and the loads they impose onto scaffolding. TG20:21 and BS EN 12811-1 load classes.
  • Detailed explanation of buffeting load effects from passing trains and how that impacts scaffolding adjacent to and above the rails, plus the process to follow to calculate buffeting load from BS EN 1991-2.
  • Dynamic loading from plant and machinery and the load factors associated with it for vertical and horizontal loads, loads from falling objects in relation to protection fans and gantries, their magnitude and an overview of calculation process.

Loading - Environmental: Wind

  • Detailed calculation process flow chart for wind loading using BS EN 1991-1-4, including step-by-step guide from ‘Basic Wind Speed' (Vb) to the wind force induced on the scaffold structure (including all main coefficients used in calculation process).
  • Example calculations provided in context of a real scaffold design with annotated notes within the calculations for easy reference.
  • Considerations for scaffolding sheeting, netting and shrink wrap (including main pit-falls in application), and advertising banners and hoardings attached to the scaffold.

Loading - Environmental: Snow & Water

  • Detailed calculation process flow chart for snow loading using BS EN 1991-1-3, including step-by-step guide for calculating ‘Ground Snow Load’ (Sk). How snow forms and what to consider when assessing the implications of snow on scaffolding.
  • How to calculate the load effects of flowing water and where to find reference information in British Standards.
  • Design tips and tricks for scaffolding that is impacted by water - floating objects, trapped debris, flood conditions, foundations and buoyancy effects.

Site Survey and Design Documentation

Site Survey

  • How to complete the perfect site survey for gathering scaffolding design information - what to do, what to measure, what information to collect and how to collect it.
  • Step-by-step guide to effectively recording information, completing sketches and using photographs to do the hard work for you.
  • EXCLUSIVE CONTENT: '4-step process' for the identification of hazards on a site visit that will directly affect your scaffold design, plus how to assess and record them to ensure you meet your CDM 2015 designers obligations.

Design Documents: Design Risk Assessment

  • Direct link to 4-step identification process - continuation of process: eliminating hazards through design and effective control measures.
  • Example Design Risk Assessment for all delegates, detailing the layout, structure and use of the document along with it’s significant parts.
  • Practical risk and control measure communication exercise using real design projects - exclusive guidance on how 48.3 communicate the details of these items to ensure we operate to industry best practice.

Design Documents: Design Drawings

  • Example Design Drawing for all delegates, detailing the layout, structure and use of the document along with it’s significant parts.
  • Detailed explanation of each part of a scaffold design drawing including layout for clarity, title blocks and ‘general information’ misuse, sizes and scales, projection, lines, notes, details, view types etc.
  • Specifications for what a scaffold design drawing should include and what it should (and should not) be like in order to meet the needs of the scaffolder and end users.

Design Documents: Design Calculations

  • Example set of Design Calculations for all delegates, detailing the layout, structure and use of the document along with it’s significant parts - call-out notes, comments and explanation provided within the example calculations to aid understanding and future reference.
  • Step-by-step explanation of the calculation process, how the document is created and put together, what each part means and where the information comes from.
  • Reference information, document navigation, and how the information in the calculations can be found on the design drawings.

Design Considerations for Scaffolding

Beams in Scaffolding

  • Detailed explanation of the configuration, lacing and bracing requirements for beams, along with why each item is important, what purpose it serves, and the implications of removing it.
  • The difference between simply supported beams and beams with multiple supports - detailed explanation of how and why the spacing between supports is so critical.
  • Practical beam demonstrations showing the impact of lacing and bracing, simply supported and multiple support beam configurations.

Standards, Effective Length and Ground Bearing Pressure

  • How standards are restrained effectively, what a ‘node point’ must do, and how that effects the load bearing capacity of the standard.
  • Detailed explanation of ‘effective length’ as defined in TG20:21 for scaffolding standards, how different scaffold configurations impact the effective length, common misconceptions with practical demonstrations to highlight key concepts.
  • Ground Bearing Pressure defined, pressure vs. load, foundations and sole board arrangements, the capacities of common soil & rock types and what a design engineer could (and should) do to limit bearing pressure and ensure the stability of the structure.

Stability & Rigidity

  • Explanation of what ’stability’ and ‘rigidity’ are and how they occur, how these failure modes are checked and prevented in scaffolding design.
  • Bracing models and practical examples of freestanding scaffolds impacted by wind loading - walls, signboards, temporary roofs (flat, mono and duo pitch)
  • Bracing configuration, restraint options (Kentledge, anchors, ground anchors, buttressing), factors of safety used in design.

Ties & Anchorage

  • TG20:21 requirements for tube and fitting scaffolds, testing (preliminary and proof), tie patterns, tie mechanisms and systems including the criteria for tying to standards and ledgers away from the node (and how to calculate what is actually needed!).
  • The loading of scaffold ties, how to design tie mechanisms to suit the anchor, shear load vs tension, system scaffolding tie patters and requirements (Layher All-round, SGB Cuplok, Haki Universal, Kwikstage)
  • Types of anchors and TG4 guidelines, requirements for different anchor types and anchor use into different materials (concrete, brickwork), scaffold tying checklist for determining and designing anchor types and the tie mechanism, examples of common market products.


Places are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.


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