Bolting Competency

Introduction

Pre-loaded bolted connections are in general usage in steel bridgework and other heavy steel constructions. They are designed according to national and international standards and are, in general, classified by the design performance of the completed connection.

The methods of managing the assembly of bolted connections are a critical stage in the construction and the BCSA Competence in Pre-loadable Bolting scheme provides for appropriate training, which will lead to qualification of the following personnel:

Level 3 – Bolting Co-ordinator
Level 2 – Bolting Inspector
Level 1 – Bolting Practitioner

Leading bridgework companies and their bolt suppliers have in place training schemes, which create an awareness of the principles of structural connection, but there are no recognised common standards for performance demonstration within the industry. The objectives of the BCSA Competence in Pre-loadable Bolting scheme are to give confidence in the effectiveness of training through performance demonstration at the appropriate level.

National Highways Sector Scheme 20 (NHSS 20)

National Highways Sector Scheme 20 (NHSS 20) came into force in November 2011 and is a mandatory requirement for Steelwork Contractors carrying out work for the Highways Agency. A requirement of the scheme is that steelwork contractors must have in place a qualified Level 3 Bolting Co-ordinator and a certified internal training programme for Level 2 – Bolting Inspectors and Level 1 – Bolting practitioners.
Achieving a qualified Level 3 – Bolting Co-ordinator and a certified internal training programme is a two stage process.

Stage 1 – Technical Knowledge

The Level 3 – Bolting Co-ordinator candidates must have successfully completed an approved course of training in preloaded bolted structural connections and taken and passed a theory examination consisting of 30 questions, which are of the single answer, multiple choice type. The E Learning courses encompass the topics listed in the BCSA Competence in Pre-loadable Bolting scheme and will costs £100 + VAT. On completion of the E Learning course a competency certificate will be made available. Successful candidates that would like to become Level 3 Bolting Coordinators can then prepare the documents required (as stated in the Bolting Standard) prior to going to the Stage 2 assessment.

The Level 3 – Bolting Coordinator candidate must ensure that the company has in place a Bolting Quality Management system that:

  • Covers the range of pre-loadable bolts used and the different tightening methods employed;
  • Provides the necessary training requirements for the Level 2 – Bolting Inspector and Level 1 – Bolting Practitioner; and
  • Addresses the following issues in the company’s quality manual:
    1. The roles, responsibilities and authority of the Level 3 – Bolting Co-ordinator, Level 2 – Bolting Inspector and the Level 1 – Bolting Practitioner;
    2. The requirements for procurement, storage and traceability of the pre-loadable bolts;
    3. The procedure for addressing non-conformities (in both procurement and installation);
    4. The provision of method statements for the installation of pre-loadable bolts. These should include:
      1. Preparation prior to assembly
      2. Method of assembly
      3. Range of equipment needed (together with method and certificates of calibration)
      4. Methods of tightening
      5. Methods of inspection and checking
      6. Safe working practices.

Stage 2 – Assessment

The company may apply to BCSA for a Stage 2 assessment when the Level 3 – Bolting Co-ordinator is confident that he/she understands the course material, has a training programme in place for Level 2 – Bolting Inspector and Level 1 – Bolting Practitioner and has a Bolting Quality Management System that complies with the above..
To arrange a Stage 2 –  assessment call or email Peter Walker at BCSA (tel: 01325 366328, Email: pete.walker@steelconstruction.org). The assessment will consist of the following two steps:

  1. Assessment to establish the technical knowledge of the Level 3 – Bolting Co-ordinator.
  2. A review of the company’s Bolting Quality Management system.

If the Level 3 Bolting Co-ordinator successfully completes the multiple choice assessment he/she will be given a Certificate of Technical Knowledge.
If the company’s Bolting Quality Management System fully complies with the requirements set out above in Stage 1 and the Level 3 – Bolting Co-ordinator successfully completes the multiple choice assessment the company will be give a Certificate of Competence in Pre-loaded Bolting.
The Level 3 Bolting Co-ordinator Certificate of Technical Knowledge and the company’s Certificate of Competence in Pre-loaded Bolting are required to demonstrate competence in Pre-loaded bolting to the certification body for National Highways Sector Scheme 20 (NHSS 20).

An assessment fee for RQSC and BCSA Members is £200 (£350 for non Members) + VAT is payable to BCSA for the Stage 2 – assessment.

Further information

For further information on the requirements for Bolting Competency or to arrange a Stage 2 assessment contact Peter Walker (Tel: 01325 366328) Email: (pete.walker@steelconstruction.org).
To arrange NHSS 20 assessment contact Stephen Blackman (Tel: 020 7747 8134; Email: Stephen.Blackman@steelconstruction.org)

To access the e-learning go to http://www.bcsamembertraining.co.uk

Publications

  1. BCSA Standard on Competence in Pre-loaded Bolting, BCSA
  2. Model Specification for the Purchase of Structural Bolting Assemblies and Holding Down Bolts, BCSA, July 2011