Coronavirus update/alternative arrangements for 2020/21

Read more

Coronavirus update for customers

NOCN Group offers a wide range of services including regulated qualifications, EPA for apprenticeships, Job Cards in construction, Access to HE Diplomas, bespoke accreditation, and educational and skills support training.

As you will be aware the government imposed a third national lockdown from Tuesday 5th January 2021. You will find out more operational detail on the implications for each of these services through the following links:

Please note that NOCN Group will be following the guidance issued by the ESFA, IfATE, Ofqual, CCEA Regulation, QAA, and Qualifications Wales, and will update our customers as things change.

If you have any concerns or would like to discuss the impact on your centre, apprentices or learners please contact us on or 0300 999 1177.

Update 29th March 2021

On 24th March, Ofqual published the VTQ Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF) which allows NOCN to provide centres with awarding arrangements for learners who have had their training and assessment disrupted in 2021. To view more information on the arrangements in place by NOCN, please click here.

Using Xbox to Access Online Learning

It is possible for learners to access their online work from home using a gaming console. For guidance on how to do this please download the document here.

Skip navigation

Preparing and operating trenchers to excavate ground in the workplace

Level 2
Credit Value
Guided Learning Hours
The aim of this unit is to illustrate the skills, knowledge and understanding required to confirm competence in Preparing and operating trenchers to excavate ground in the workplace within the relevant sector of industry.

Learning Outcomes Assessment Criteria
The Learner Will The Learner Can
1 Interpret the given information relating to the preparation and use of trenchers to carry out excavating operations.
  • 1.1 - Interpret and extract relevant information from drawings, specifications, schedules, risk assessments and manufacturers' information.
  • 1.2 - Comply with information and/or instructions derived from risk assessments and method statements.
  • 1.3 - Describe the organisational procedures developed to report and rectify inappropriate information and unsuitable resources and how they are implemented.
  • 1.4 - Describe different types of information, their source and how they are interpreted in relation to:
    - drawings, specifications, schedules, method statements, risk assessments, manufacturers' information, and current regulations governing the operation of trenchers for excavation work.

Organise with others the sequence and operation in which excavating operations using trenchers are to be carried out.

  • 2.1 - Organise the work according to given information or instructions.
  • 2.2 - Describe how to communicate ideas between team members.
  • 2.3 - Organise and communicate with team members and other associated occupations.
  • 2.4 - Describe how to organise resources prior to and during excavating operations using trenchers.

Know how to comply with relevant legislation and official guidance when carrying out excavating operations using trenchers.

  • 3.1 - Describe their responsibilities regarding potential accidents, health hazards and the environment whilst working:
    - in the workplace, below ground level, in confined spaces, at height, with tools and equipment, with materials and substances, with movement/storage of materials and by manual handling and mechanical lifting.
  • 3.2 - Describe the organisational security procedures for tools, equipment and personal belongings in relation to site, workplace, company and operative.
  • 3.3 - Explain what the accident reporting procedures are and who is responsible for making reports.

Maintain safe and healthy working practices when preparing for and carrying out excavating operations using trenchers.

  • 4.1 - Use health and safety control equipment safely and comply with the methods of work to carry out the activity in accordance with legislation and organisational requirements during excavating operations.
  • 4.2 - Demonstrate compliance with given information and relevant legislation when carrying out excavating operations using trenchers in relation to two or more of the following:
    - safe use and storage of plant or machinery
    - safe use and storage of tools and equipment
    - specific risks to health.
  • 4.3 - Explain why and when health and safety control equipment, identified by the principles of protection, should be used, relating to trencher use, and the types, purpose and limitations of each type, the work situation and general work environment, in relation to:
    - collective protective measures
    - personal protective equipment (PPE)
    - respiratory protective equipment (RPE)
    - local exhaust ventilation (LEV).
  • 4.4 - Describe how the relevant health and safety control equipment should be used in accordance with the given working instructions.
  • 4.5 - Describe how emergencies should be responded to in accordance with organisational authorisation and personal skills when involved with fires, spillages, injuries and other task-related activities.

Request and select the required quantity and quality of resources to prepare for and carry out excavating operations using trenchers.

  • 5.1 - Request and select resources associated with trenchers in relation to consumables, materials, attachments, tools and ancillary equipment.
  • 5.2 - Describe the characteristics, quality, uses, sustainability, limitations and defects associated with the resources, and how they should be used correctly, relating to:
    - consumables, lubricants and fuels
    - attachments and excavation aids
    - hand tools, ancillary equipment and accessories.
  • 5.3 - Describe how the resources should be used correctly and how problems associated with the resources are reported.
  • 5.4 - Explain why the organisational procedures have been developed and how they are used for the selection of required resources.
  • 5.5 - Describe any potential hazards associated with the resources and methods of work.
  • 5.6 - Describe how to identify quantity, weight, length and area associated with the method/procedures to carry out excavating operations using trenchers.

Minimise the risk of damage to the work and surrounding area when preparing to and excavating materials.

  • 6.1 - Protect the work and its surrounding area from damage in accordance with safe working practices and organisational procedures.
  • 6.2 - Prevent damage and maintain a clean work space.
  • 6.3 - Dispose of waste in accordance with current legislation.
  • 6.4 - Describe how to protect work from damage and the purpose of protection in relation to general workplace activities, other occupations and adverse weather conditions.
  • 6.5 - Explain why the disposal of waste should be carried out safely in accordance with environmental responsibilities, organisational procedures, manufacturers' information, statutory regulations and official guidance.

Complete the work within the allocated time when preparing to and excavating materials.

  • 7.1 - Demonstrate completion of the work within the allocated time.
  • 7.2 - Describe the purpose of the work programme and describe why deadlines should be kept in relation to:
    - types of progress charts, timetables and estimated times
    - organisational procedures for reporting circumstances which will affect the work programme.

Comply with the given contract information to excavate materials using trenchers to the required specification.

  • 8.1 - Demonstrate the following work skills when preparing for and excavating ground using trenchers:
    - checking, adjusting, communicating, operating, manoeuvring, positioning, excavating, measuring and removing.
  • 8.2 - Use and maintain hand tools, ancillary equipment and/or accessories.
  • 8.3 - Prepare, position, set up and operate trenchers to excavate a variety of ground and form trenches to given working instructions.
  • 8.4 - Shut down and secure trenchers.
  • 8.5 - Describe how to apply safe and healthy work practices, follow procedures, report problems and establish authority needed to rectify, to:
    – identify the characteristics of the trenchers used for excavating operations
    – carry out function checks for excavation work
    – identify the area to be excavated
    – prepare, set up and adjust for operational requirements
    – carry out pre-operational checks for obstructions, stability, safety and security of the work and surrounding area
    – identify geological, environmental and material changes and report.
  • 8.6 - Describe how to apply safe and healthy work practices, follow procedures, report problems and establish authority needed to rectify, to:
    – check to avoid damage to structures and utilities service apparatus
    – recognise and determine when specific skills and knowledge are required and report accordingly
    – excavate accurately to line and level
    – use equipment to gauge and measure
    – be on the public highway
    – excavate materials safely and securely
    – shut down and secure trenchers
    – use hand tools, ancillary equipment and accessories.
  • 8.7 - Describe the needs of other occupations and how to effectively communicate within a team when preparing for and carrying out excavating operations.
  • 8.8 - Describe how to maintain the plant and machinery, hand tools, ancillary equipment and accessories used to excavate materials.
Assessment guidance and/or requirements
This unit must be assessed in a work environment, in accordance with the ConstructionSkills‘ Consolidated Assessment Strategy for Construction and the Built Environment.
Assessors for this unit must have verifiable, current industry experience and a sufficient depth of relevant occupational expertise and knowledge, and must use a combination of assessment methods as defined in the Consolidated Assessment Strategy.
Workplace evidence of skills cannot be simulated.

Qualifications offering this unit

Reference Title Sector Level