FWM Framework for Competence

December 2023 - FWM Competency Framework has been updated - Download here

Changes include:

  • Table of contents
  • Reference to the parallel roles and responsibilities of the FWM in terms of Environmental Management, in reference to the Confor published and FIEG authored Guidance on Responsibilities for Environmental Protection in Forestry
  • Expansion of the range of roles and responsibilities of a FWM to include arboricultural support works/amenity tree work/utility arboriculture
  • Importance and role of Higher Education. Experiential Learning, Training, Instruction and Information in establishing and maintaining competence.
  • Removal on the table of Operational Hazards and its replacement with a table showing a range of FWM work scope, and relevant industry recognised qualification standards supported by widely available training.

The Forestry Works Manager (FWM) role and associated responsibilities are laid out in the FISA Guidance on Managing Health and Safety in Forestry (GMHSF) document.

The FWM is pivotal in ensuring safety, health and welfare standards are established, implemented, and maintained with the aim of protecting all site personnel along with others who may be affected by the work including third party visitors and members of the public.

The FWM is the person or organisation who commissions the work on a forestry site. The full duties of a FWM may be met and/or supported by an organisation, rather than any individual employee of an organisation.

The framework lays out the core areas of Health & Safety Competence required for those with FWM responsibilities and supports the role as defined in the GMHSF document.

It is essential that those fulfilling the role of the FWM be competent to do so. This includes identifying limitations within organisations and individuals and recognising when it is necessary to acquire competent assistance. 

Typical tasks that may be delivered by those engaged in the role of a FWM, fully or partially, are indicated in the Core Health & Safety Skills and Operational Hazard tables in the framework.  Organisations and individuals may use these tables to identify or review competency, both within their organisations or in the individuals involved;

  • for the work scope they deliver
  • for a change or extension of their scope of work
  • following a change in their management structure which may affect the delivery of the FWM role.

The framework outlines the main areas of responsibility held by the FWM along with emphasising the essential skill of effective leadership.  This will help towards a ‘safety first’ culture on a worksite where each and every person feels they can make a positive contribution to improving the safe working practices and the health of all those engaged in the operations. The absence of strong leadership is often at the root cause of unsafe work practices.

All sectors undergo both technical skill development changes. All organisations and individuals involved in the delivery of the FWM role shall look to ensure a suitable program of Continual Professional Development (CPD) is in place.  This can be a maintaining of the Core Skills, gaining knowledge in other Operational areas or new technologies or Complementary Soft Skills.

Records of CPD should be documented and maintained. Many organisations will have their own systems for doing this. A simple example is given in the framework.

As an interim position, the existing FWM one day awareness training remains to support during the industry adoption of the new FWM CPD system. For those still wanting this course please contact the training providers shown at the top of the page.

FWM Awareness Training

Provision of FWM Awareness Days

Details of providers will be listed here - please go direct to the provider to arrange this training.

  • Focus on Forestry First - new dates - Inverness 15th October; Stirling 16th October; Hexham 22nd October; Pickering 23rd October - go to website for more details.
  • Forsyth Forestry Training - website, 07342 652585