Scaffolding procurement guidance

The selection of a competent scaffolding contractor is a key decision that will have an impact on the success or failure of a project.

Numerous clients have requested information and to help principal contractors and scaffolding users select a competent scaffolding contractor, we’ve developed some easy to understand guidelines which we hope you’ll find useful:

Relevant industry Legislation and Standards. 


Scaffolding must comply with the relevant provisions of the following main statutory Instruments:

  • The “Health and Safety at Work Act 1974”.
  • The “Work at Height Regulations 2005 (as amended 2007)”.
  • The “Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999”.
  • The “Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.


  • BS EN 12811 (Referenced in the “Working at Height Regulations 2005”)
  • BS EN 13374: 2013.  Temporary Edge Protection Systems.

Technical Guidance.

TG20:13 is the latest scaffolding standard, published in 2014 by the NASC to replace BS 5973.  TG20:13 is developed to ensure that scaffolding constructed from Tube and Fittings is configured to a standard that complies to the design requirements specified by BS EN 12811, as required by the Work at Height regulations. 

Not law but can be used in court as evidence of good practice so therefore has quasi-legal status.

Codes of Practice

BS 5975:2008:  Code of Practice for temporary works procedures and the permissible stress design of falsework.  Not law but can be used in court as evidence of good practice so therefore has quasi-legal status.

Temporary works must be installed to the same safety standards as the permanent works.

Scaffolding is defined as Temporary works, management of the scaffolding contract should comply to this code of practice.

Further Guidance.

A comprehensive list of Safety and Technical Guidance notes are available from the NASC.  Compliance to the guidance notes would be recognised as compliance to current standards and legislation.

Principal Contractor Documentation.

Principal Contractors should usually have developed comprehensive “Temporary Works Policy” and “Standards of Practice” which should lay out their minimum standards necessary to comply with current legislation.  The Principals Contractors standards may exceed that required by law.  Scaffolding contractors should be provided with this information,