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Crane Hot Line

CITB Details Success with Simulation Training


October 8, 2018 - At a July seminar that focused on the value of simulation-based training, speakers from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) spoke to industry professionals about CITB’s experience with the advanced training technology.


A levy-funded training and operator standards body for the UK construction industry, CITB has integrated simulation training into its processes. The result: more student practice time, lower costs, and better reporting of skill development and qualification readiness. 

The event was held Montreal, Quebec, and organized by CM Labs Simulations, developer of Vortex training simulators. Attendees included managers of crane operations and training, health and safety, fleet, and engineering for contractors, heavy-equipment rental firms, training schools, lift engineering firms, and municipalities from across the UK.  

In an effort to improve its processes and serve customers better, CITB bought six Vortex Simulator units with training packs for excavators, crawler cranes, mobile cranes, and tower cranes, and four Signalperson Training Stations. Housed in a purpose-built training building and run by dedicated simulator technicians, the simulators have become a fully integrated component of the training program. 

CITB’s perspective on using Vortex simulators for training is based on the organization having trained more than half a million apprentices in a wide variety of construction careers. In addition, it is responsible for maintaining qualifications and standards for the construction industry in the UK, including the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) certification.  

According to Chris Bushell, CITB curriculum manager, students get up to 40% more practice time at the controls because simulators do not suffer from the same downtime as live equipment, and training isn’t limited during winter months.  

Likewise, students can focus on specific tasks and skills, and trainers can vary equipment configurations in ways that are too cumbersome with live equipment. An integrated reporting system that tracks student progress through the curriculum aids their preparation for the CPCS exam. 

CITB has found that integrating Vortex Simulators enables the organization to increase its student-to-instructor ratio, increase availability of training, reduce fuel consumption, and, in turn, reduce CO2 emissions, reported Chris Blake, CITB plant program manager. 

“Beyond the practical benefits for students and the training organization, CITB has also discovered that their Simulator Lab is an excellent marketing tool,” said Drew Carruthers, construction simulator product manager for CM Labs Simulations. “It has increased their visibility in the heavy equipment training marketplace, and their clients are specifically requesting simulation training for the students they are sending through the program.”

He continued: “Vortex simulators are proven to provide a return on investment, save lives, and increase productivity. CITB’s experience is just one demonstration of how simulators are a training solution with benefits for everyone.”




Crane Hot Line is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.