The MATS Group continues to closely monitor the ongoing Covid-19 situation and the announcement of the second national lockdown in England from 5th November. We encourage all training providers and delegates to continue to follow all Government and devolved Government advice. At present, the majority of training providers are continuing to provide safety training in covid-secure safe environments to ensure that our key workers within the industry can continue to be provided with essential training and maintain safety certification during these challenging times. ...

In March 2020, due to the restrictions imposed by the UK Government due to COVID-19, the MATS Group proposed an interim extension to certain certifications required for working at height. This original training extension expired on 20th September 2020. The MATS group has reviewed the options available to us in order to support our industry in maintaining the infrastructure that enables key services to be provided. In order to work at height on MATS Group telecommunications structures, a worker is currently required to have the following in date certificates as a minimum: -  MATS Basic Climber and Rescue Flat roof / Rooftop Access Emergency 1st AidClimbers MedicalRF Safety Awareness Apart from Emergency 1st aid where the HSE has agreed an extension to 31st October 2020 (see below), there will be no further extensions to any of the other certification.  Training providers are still operating and able to take bookings for courses though it is worth noting not to leave booking a course until the last minute to ensure there is enough availability. Emergency 1st Aid Training- Extended to 31st October 2020 First aid providers have resumed first aid training and assessment. In some cases, there remains a back log or limited availability. FAW or EFAW certificates that expired...

The MATS Group Autumn Newsletter 2020 is available now. The newsletter features the groups latest reaction to the Covid-19 outbreak, an update on the 2021 MATS Group Conference as well as looking at the new working at height training course. Download - Mats Group Autumn newsletter 2020 ...

The MATS Group has revised and updated Guidance Note GN-005 "Medical Requirements for Climbing Masts & Towers". We are now inviting all stakeholders for feedback/suggestions for this draft document and we welcome your views. Click to download Guidance Note GN-005 Please send your comments/feedback via email to enquiries@matsgroup.info and put "GN-005 feedback" in the subject line.This consultation period will close on Friday 16th October 2020. ...

Please note that some climbers will have been issued with EUSR registration cards that have a 14 month period stated on them. This was created to offer climbers a grace period from which if you missed the course expiry date, you would not be deleted from the EUSR database for 2 months. This has resulted in the misconception that the expiry period is actually 14 months. This was never the intention and we are putting steps in place with EUSR to resolve this going forward. In the interim period, please note that you are expected to renew your certificate within the 12 month period. You may experience difficulties with gaining access to sites if you are relying upon the database entry showing 14 months. This will apply to cards issued before the 1.9.20.  From the 1st September 2020, the EUSR processes will have been adjusted to reflect the above and all cards will state a 12 month period. For anyone with an EUSR registration for the Basic Tower Climbing & Rescue scheme' please note that we have introduced a 12 month 'away from industry' period where you will still be able to apply for a revalidation course...

In March 2020, due to the restrictions imposed by the UK Government due to COVID-19, the MATS Group proposed an interim extension to certain certifications required for working at height. This original training extension is due to expire on the 20th June 2020. The MATS group has reviewed the options available to us in order to support our industry in maintaining the infrastructure that enables key services to be provided. In order to work at height on MATS Group telecommunications structures, a worker is currently required to have the following in date certificates as a minimum: -  MATS Basic Climber and Rescue Flat roof / Rooftop Access Emergency 1st AidClimbers MedicalRF Safety Awareness Whilst the MATS Group acknowledges that some training providers are now offering face to face courses, there are still different rules from the UKs devolved Parliaments in terms of what business is ‘allowed’ and after risk assessment, some Employers will still not allow their people to travel extensively, stay in overnight accommodation or attend face to face training courses.  With this in mind, the MATS Group will allow conditional extensions in accordance with the following:- MATS Basic Tower Climbing & Rescue- Extended to 20th September 2020 Conditions:- The full revalidation course and registration with EUSR should...

We would like to thank everybody who purchased tickets and who agreed to exhibit at our 4th MATS Annual Conference which was originally due to take place in April and then October due to the Covid-19 situation. Leading up to the event our top priority remains the safety, health and well-being of you all. After consulting with stakeholders, we have decided we have no option but to postpone the conference again to next year.  We have secured a revised date from the Ricoh Arena of Tuesday 5th October 2021. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this second postponement may have caused but having consulted with all key stakeholders we believe a gathering of around 300 people this year simply would not be appropriate. We would like to place on record our thanks to sponsors and exhibitors who have all been very supportive and we look forward to a fantastic event next year when the implications caused by the pandemic should be over. More information will be issued in due course but if anyone has any urgent queries please email conference@matsgroup.info and we will do our best to reply to you as soon as we can. ...

As we approach the end of 2019 here is an update regarding the Basic Tower Climbing & Rescue scheme. EUSR have carried out a number of approval visits of training providers and overall this appears to have flowed quite smoothly.  One area where we have noted common issues is around the formal IQA qualification required to achieve scheme approval. Consequently, we have applied logic and are providing a temporary addendum. The temporary addendum will be offered where you have evidenced that you meet all of the other requirements for both Provider and Scheme approval, but do not have a qualified IQA in place.  Signing the temporary addendum will allow you to gain approval for the scheme for a period of 6 months whilst your appointed IQA trainee is registered for, and successfully gains the formal IQA qualification. It will be a big step forward for the industry when we can say that all persons accessing our infrastructures have all attended an approved course and have an assured process to ensure standards are maintained. So far, we have around 18 applications either completed or being progressed. EUSR has commented on how helpful and professional our industry training providers have been during this project...