Hand held disc cutter safety in construction

This training standard is also known as: Petrol Driven Cut Off Saws (PDCOS). The purpose of training delivered against this standard is to provide candidates knowledge and skills for the safe preparation and use of portable abrasive wheel cutters.


Minimum one day of 6 learning hours


The purpose of training delivered against this standard is to provide candidates knowledge and skills for the safe preparation and use of portable abrasive wheel cutters.

The scope of this standard covers:

  • health and safety regulations
  • petrol, electric and battery powered machines
  • storing and transporting
  • pre-start inspections 
  • procedure for dealing with defective equipment
  • refueling and recharging
  • dust suppression systems
  • operating machines
  • post-operational checks

Occupational relevance

Training delivered against this standard would be relevant to the following occupational group(s):

  • operative and craft
  • supervision.

Candidate pre-requisites

There are no candidate pre-requisites as part of this standard.


As a minimum, course instructors must be able to demonstrate that, in relation to this standard, they have:

  • a train the trainer or instructional techniques course certificate
  • successfully completed training to this standard 
  • at least 2 years relevant industrial experience
  • a verifiable CV.


Delivery may be in an on or off the job environment.

All materials and equipment must be of a suitable quality and quantity for candidates to achieve learning outcomes, and must comply with relevant legislation.

The class size and candidate/instructor ratio must allow training to be delivered in a safe manner and enable candidates to achieve the learning outcomes. 

The following delivery methods may be used in the delivery of this standard:

  • classroom
  • workshop.

This standard is considered to contain 51 per cent or more practical training.


For the successful completion of training, the trainer will be required to make a declaration of the learner’s contribution during the course and that they are confident the learner has understood the content of the course.

Quality assurance

Quality assurance against this standard will require initial approval of the training organisation and their content mapped to the standard. 

CITB will also conduct an approval intervention, either desk-based or centre visit, to ensure the training organisation can meet the requirements of the training standard. 

Approved training organisations (ATOs) will be required to present information on records of training and assessment upon request to CITB for desk based analysis. They will also be visited annually by the CITB quality assurance team.


Recommended refreshment: Health & Safety Executive (HSE), other relevant codes of practice or industry card scheme criteria recommend that the candidate completes a refresher of his/her training, (i.e. to ensure their knowledge and/or skills are up to date) every 5 years.

Approval date

November 2018

Review cycle

Either on request or in 3 years from approval date.

Learning outcomes

The candidate will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of health and safety issues involved, including PUWER
  • name suitable personal protective equipment required, for example eye protection
  • identify and select the correct type of portable abrasive wheel cutter and disc
  • describe how to store, handle and transport portable abrasive wheel cutters
  • undertake inspection and pre-start checks
  • describe the procedure for dealing with defective equipment
  • refuel or recharge a portable abrasive wheel cutter
  • identify and use dust suppression systems
  • operate portable abrasive wheel cutters 
  • perform post operational checks.

Additional information about this standard

For the duties of those people using abrasive wheels to be fully understood, the standard should be read in conjunction with the PUWER approved code of practice (ACOP):