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Devon Association of Smallholders

Courses are only available to members. Non-members should join DASH by following this link. If your membership has lapsed you can renew here.

11 Chainsaw Competence
Venue: Ogwell, near Newton Abbot TQ12 6AH
Cost: £235 price includes NPTC certification
Tutor: Mark Isted
What you need to bring: Full protective clothing: chainsaw protective boots, helmet, gloves, trousers. Chainsaw and toolkit. Also bring packed lunch and flask.

Who is this course designed for?

Anyone who needs to use a chainsaw.

The course will cover the following:


This course is for occasional users. Occasional user applies someone that may have a need to use the chainsaw as part of their work, such as Farmer, fencing contractor, smallholder, gardener, volunteer worker, game keeper etc.

This is a 2 day course for the amateur chainsaw operator. The course covers Chainsaw Maintenance, crosscutting and Operations (tree felling up to 150mm) for occasional users. NPTC assessment included, successful candidates will receive an NPTC certificate. The NPTC certificate it has no expiry date, so you do not have to re-certify.

The following is an extract from the HSE leaflet Chainsaws at work:

All workers who use a chainsaw should be competent to do so. Before using a chainsaw to carry out work on, or in a tree, a worker should have received appropriate training and obtained a relevant certificate of competence or national competence award, unless they are undergoing such training and are adequately supervised. However, in the agricultural sector, this requirement only applies to first-time users of a chainsaw.

This means everyone working with chainsaws on or in trees should hold such a certificate or award unless:

  • it is being done as part of an agricultural operation (eg hedging, clearing fallen branches, pruning trees to maintain clearance for machines); and
  • the work is being done by the occupier or their employees; and
  • they have used a chainsaw before 5 December 1998.

In any case, operators using chainsaws for any task in agriculture, or any other industry, must be competent under PUWER 98. See the HSE leaflet Training and certification for further guidance on the level of training and certification appropriate for treework.

How to book this course

Please call Mark Isted, the course tutor, on 07941 088092 or 01626 332376 to check that the course is suitable for you. This course is for occasional users. If you are planning a career in tree surgery you will need a different course. Mark will be able to advise you. While you are on the phone make sure you discuss the chainsaw and protective clothing (PPE) required. If your saw is not new, please do NOT have your saw serviced prior to the course. Maintenance is part of the course.

When you are satisfied that the course is suitable for you and you know what equipment you will need to take part, send your full name and address and a photo directly to Mark Isted, the course tutor. This has to be provided before you attend the course and is required for the certificate.

Next, send an email to training@devonsmallholders.co.uk asking to be booked on the date you require and confirming that you have completed the steps above with the course tutor. We will confirm a provisional booking or offer an alternative date. Make a bank transfer for the full course fee. We do not issue invoices. We will issue a receipt when payment is received.

Please note that we cannot guarantee the course will go ahead on the date you have selected. We may move your booking to an alternative date. If we do this you have the option of a full refund of the course fee but DASH has no other liability. If you need to book accommodation or time off work to attend the course please contact us prior to booking to make it clear that alternative dates are not acceptable. Do not book anything without discussing it with us first.

Pay by faster payments:
Bank Account Name: DASH
Bank Account Number: 31351460
Bank Sort Code: 77-09-21
Bank: Lloyds
Reference: your membership
number and course number

Cheques can be sent to:
DASH Training
Higher Worthygate
Horns Cross
EX39 5EA
Make cheques payable to Devon Association of Smallholders

To book your place on a course please email to check availability. training@devonsmallholders.co.uk

Please note: If for any reason you need to cancel your place on a course, 2 weeks notice prior to the course date will be required to receive a full refund. If you have reserved a place, please make sure we receive payment 3 weeks before the course (6 weeks for non-members). Thank you.

Most of our courses are aimed at adults and are quite intensive, so they are not aimed at children. If you would like to bring a child on a course please discuss it with the training manager before booking. It is assumed that bookings you make are for adults. Only people who have paid the course fee are allowed at the training venue. Do not bring pets or other animals to the training venue unless you are required to do so as part of the course. Most venues are working smallholdings and dogs or other animals (even if left in your car) are disruptive and compromise biosecurity.