[Johannesburg, 2 March 2018]: In a bid to drive its mandate of supporting skills training and development in the timber construction industry, the Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA), SAQA-accredited professional body and watchdog for the timber building industry, recently launched its Online Certification Programme.

Designed to offer study materials and tests to improve skills in the timber roofing sector, the programme was initiated to support any individuals looking to establish and build a career in the roofing sector as well as roofing professionals who want to enhance and update their current knowledge base.

According to Amanda Obbes, ITC-SA National Coordinator, “Timber engineered structures are highly specialized and there are very few skills development and training programmes available that support the profession. As such, the ITC-SA continues to drive the development and offering of training programmes within the timber roof truss industry to ensure upliftment of skills in the sector and to encourage young engineers to take an interest in timber as a viable construction material. This forms part of our mandate, as a professional body, to ensure continuous professional development in the industry.”

“The motivation for establishing the programme was to offer affordable entry-level skills training at the user’s convenience and for industry role players, like local authority building inspectors, NHBRC inspectors and all interested parties, the option to enhance their knowledge of timber roof structures,” she says.

Course content

The online course conforms to the ‘deemed to satisfy’ requirements of SANS 10243 for the manufacture and erection of timber trusses. However, when circumstances require, these details may be overridden by the competent person, being the designer or engineer.

In the event that the roof truss manufacturer does not provide adequate information regarding truss erection, the details shown in the handbook will enable the erector to comply with the requirements set out in SANS 10243 with confidence.

The course covers the basics of roof erection, including:

  • Tools of the trade
  • Basic connections
  • Hip, valley, crank & geyser details
  • Bracing systems
  • Checklist, ie.:
    • Drawings on site
    • Spacing
    • Top & bottom chords
    • Plumb & level trusses
    • Trusses are tied down & wedges nailed
    • Girders (correct ply) & fully nailed
    • Required bolts & washers & tightening
    • Hangers fully nailed
    • Battens/purlins correctly spliced
    • Hips correctly installed
    • Valleys installed
    • Top & bottom chord bracing installed
    • ‘T’ bracing on webs installed

“It is not necessary to be a member of the Institute to participate in the programme; the purpose of this initiative is to offer much-needed education and training on the subject of timber roofing and it made sense for us to extend access to this programme to both industry professionals and untrained individuals who are interested in making their way into this sector.”

The current course on offer through the ITC-SA’s Online Programme is the Roofing Specialist Level 1 Course, which was specially designed to boost skills in this niche field. “We’ve made applications and engagement with this platform quick and easy for users; all they need to do is register with the programme here, log in, pay the minimum fee of R285 via EFT, download and study the course materials in their own time and take the online test when they feel ready,” she says.

“The course material, which was derived from the ITC-SA’s comprehensive Volume 1 Roof Erector’s Handbook, was developed by a professional ITC-SA-accredited engineer who comes with extensive knowledge of the timber roof truss industry,” says Obbes, concluding, “The Institute aims to build on this educational resource by developing further skills programmes going forward and looks forward to establishing its Online Certification Programme as South Africa’s go-to portal for skills training and development for the timber roofing and construction sector.”

Not all courses will include official certification, but a certificate of completion will be issued upon successful completion. To register for the ITC-SA’s Roofing Specialist Level 1 Course, click here and follow the prompts. For more information, contact Amanda Obbes on 011 974 1061, email enquiries@itc-sa.org or visit www.itc-sa.org.