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Planning lifts with excavators

We have doubled the grant rates for short course tiers 1 – 3. To address rising costs, you can now receive higher rates on course achievements from 1st April 2023

Grant Tier

Achievement date before 1 April 2023

Achievement date on or after 1 April 2023

Grant Tier 1

Grant Tier 1 Refresher





Grant Tier 2

Grant Tier 2 Refresher





Grant Tier 3

Grant Tier 3 Refresher






The purpose of this standard is to give lifting operation teams a clear understanding of regulation and guidance available to them to safely plan and complete lifts using excavators.

Standard details

CITB has developed this standard in discussion with industry


Minimum 1 day of 6 learning hours


The purpose of this standard is to give lifting operation teams a clear understanding of regulation and guidance available to them to safely plan and complete lifts using excavators.


  • picking the right excavator
  • identifying hazards and risk assessment
  • rules of combination
  • planning checklists
  • signalling techniques
  • completing a lift plan.

Occupational relevance

Training delivered against this standard would be relevant to the following occupational groups:

  • operative and craft
  • supervision
  • management and leadership.

Candidate pre-requisites

The candidates of the course must be able to demonstrate that they have prior knowledge of lifting and hold at least one of the following:

  • A59c Excavators used for lifting
  • A61 Appointed Person
  • A62 Crane Supervisor.


As a minimum, course instructors must be able to demonstrate that, in relation to this standard, they have:

  • a train the trainer or instructional techniques course certificate
  • successfully completed training to this standard
  • hold at least one CPCS advanced test in any of the candidate pre-requisites
  • a verifiable CV demonstrating occupational competence


Delivery may be in an on or off the job environment.

All materials and equipment must be of a suitable quality and quantity for candidates to achieve learning outcomes, and must comply with relevant legislation.

The class size 6 to 1 candidate/instructor ratio to allow delivery in a safe manner and enable candidates to achieve the learning outcomes.

The following methods may be used in the delivery of this standard:

  • classroom
  • a blend of classroom and practical

This standard is considered to contain 51 per cent or more theoretical learning.


For the successful completion of training, candidates must complete an end of course practical assessment or knowledge test that measures the learning outcomes and has a pass or fail criteria.

Quality assurance

Quality assurance against this standard will require initial approval of the training organisation and their content mapped to the standard. 

CITB will also conduct an approval intervention, either desk-based or centre visit, to ensure the training organisation can meet the requirements of the Training Standard. 

Approved training organisations (ATOs) will be required to present information on records of training and assessment upon request to CITB for desk-based analysis. They will also be visited annually by the CITB quality assurance team.


Mandatory refresher every 5 years.

Approval date

November 2018

Review cycle

Either on request or in 3 years from approval date.

Learning outcomes

Additional information about this standard:

This standard will help industry better plan and understand the requirements to effectively plan a lift in accordance with LOLER, PUWER, BS7121 & CPA Guidance.

Learning outcomes
The candidate will be able to Additional guidance to support learning outcome

Decide if the excavator is the most suitable machine

Plant available in the construct and built environment for undertaking lifts

Identify and select the correct excavator for the task

Use a verity of duties charts to identify the correct type of machine and confirm understanding

Identify the hazards and risks associated with lifting with excavators

Group discussion on risks associated with the task, scenarios led by the tutor.

Explain the rules of combination

Basic, intermediate, complex as outlined in the CPA Guidance

Complete a planning lifts check sheet and familiarisation checklist

CPA Guidance

Agree signalling techniques

BS7121, radios hand signals and other methods

Complete a lift plan

Scenarios given, select the lift category, select the correct machine using duties charts, and fill out the CPA checklists. Plan the work in a safe efficient manner.

This exercise will be marked by the tutor all mandatory parts must be correct and must be pass or differed.


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