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NASC Launches TG20:21

20th April 2021

NASC has launched the much-anticipated update to TG20:13 – the renowned scaffolding compliance software and guidance package.

The new version – TG20:21 – replaces the 2013 version that was originally launched in March 2014, and all three elements of the package are now available online, as part of a subscription via the NASC’s ePortal.

Existing TG20 users are able to take advantage of a period of free use, by using their TG20:13 serial number. The period of free use is a forerunner for the formal withdrawal of the 2013 version, currently proposed to be later this year, and in that regard, existing TG20 users are free to continue to use the 2013 version, for the short-term at least.

Dennis Brathwaite, NASC’s Technical Advisor, said: “Existing scaffolds constructed in compliance with TG20:13 and associated compliance sheets remain acceptable and do not require modification.

TG20:13 compliance sheets are still valid and may continue to be used for the next few months. It is anticipated that TG20:13 will be formally withdrawn, in favour of fully adopting TG20:21 in the Autumn.”

NASC has not clarified whether ongoing works should be reassessed for TG20:21 compliance, but Simian believe that TG20:21 compliance sheets will only be required for new work, after TG20:13 has been formally withdrawn, and therefore, existing TG20:13 compliance sheets will remain valid for the immediate future, as they will still offer a means of compliance with BS EN 12811. Any immediate requirement to adopt TG20:21 will likely be a customer specification, as opposed to one that has a basis in statutory compliance.

The gang at Simian HQ have this week had their first look at the new package and the early signs are very positive! The layout is modern and slick, and functionality is greatly improved, with each of the three key components (eGuide, Design Guide and Operational Guide) now being available online and therefore, on hand at the click of a mouse button!

The fundamental aim of the eGuide remains unchanged, with the end result being the production of a compliance sheet, which serves to demonstrate that the scaffold in concern can be safely constructed without bespoke design.

The interface for the eGuide element hasn’t moved too far away from the original version and operates on the same ‘click-by-click’ basis, but somehow feels smoother and has a far more modern look, whilst maintaining the same mode of operation for those comfortable with the way the TG20:13 eGuide works. Added to the list of choices for ‘scaffold type’ is an option for external birdcage scaffolds, which will be a huge bonus for those previously having to rely on bespoke design for any birdcage scaffolds constructed in areas exposed to wind.

We played around with various options during our run throughs and significant amongst the changes to the eGuide is the requirement to consider length as well as height for independent scaffolds – the maximum permissible length on the option we tried was 20 metres, whereas the 50m maximum height remains unchanged.

Other Changes of Note (for independent scaffolds)

  • The option to select a precise number of boarded lifts;
  • The option to add three inside boards (two were permitted by TG20:13);
  • The option to specify the precise location of any bridge sections;
  • The option to select a particular tie pattern, which is subsequently specified on the compliance sheet;
  • Sketches that closer resemble the scaffolds they represent;
  • Other notable changes from TG20:13 are detailed in section 19.3 of the new Operational Guide.

Whilst serving the same purpose as their TG20:13 predecessors, TG20:21 compliance sheets are clearer, more modern looking and contain additional detail, and, as stated above, illustrations that give an improved indication as to how the completed scaffold will look will save time having to explain to customers why the scaffold doesn’t necessarily look like the one in the compliance sheet!

Speaking of the new package, Simon Hughes, Managing Director at Simian said: “Our initial thoughts are that the updated package is very good! The operability of the eGuide is familiar, but at the same time, clearly very new, so those used to operating the old version should be able to make the transition seamlessly.

We haven’t by any means yet had the opportunity to give the package a full run out, but what we have seen indicates that the system is much improved, and it will be widely adopted very quickly by the industry. Our focus so far has been on the eGuide, but the Operational Guide, which has always served as an excellent point of reference, is now searchable, so key information is so much quicker to access.”

Our office phones have already been buzzing, with customers asking what they need to do to comply with the new standard, and while we will encourage timely adoption of the new system, it’s also important to note that the transition from old to new does not necessarily need to happen overnight.

Claire Oakes, Consultancy Manager at Simian commented, “We would advise customers already using TG20:13 to take up the option of the period of free use being offered by NASC, as this will give them time to familiarise themselves with the new system and to establish the levels of staff retraining that are required. That will leave plenty of time to ensure that they are in a position of compliance when stakeholder demand for the use of TG20:21 increases.

Watch this space for more news on TG20:21!

Customers with queries are free to contact us for assistance through the usual channels – by phone on 0345 602 2418 or via email