Visual Strength Grading - Softwood training course

A practical five-day course to grade softwood to the visual strength grades set out in BS 4978: 2007+A2:2017 'Visual strength grading of softwood. Specification'. 

Through classroom based interactive learning, practical days spent in the timber yard and a practical examination, this course will provide delegates with: 

  • An introduction to timber, including the uses of strength graded timber 
  • The meaning of strength classes, an explanation of strength grading and the marking systems 
  • An understanding of the responsibilities of the grader and the grading company 
  • An introduction to the natural growth characteristics of wood using hand held samples 
  • Practical exercises grading lengths of softwood timber

The course also includes: 

  • Practical exercises 
  • A written test

You should attend this course if you:

  • Are involved in the selection and supply of softwood for structural use

Pre-course requirements

During the course, 3 metre lengths of timber will be handled on a daily basis.

All delegates must bring suitable clothing such as hi-vis vest/jacket and protective safety/footwear.

Delegates must also be aware of the correct manual handling techniques.


Course costs (2020) 

£1250 + VAT
£1125 + VAT (TRADA members)


Course dates in 2020

  • 24 - 28 February - near High Wycombe
  • 27 April - 1 May - near High Wycombe
  • 29 June - 3 July - near High Wycombe
  • 21 - 21 September - near High Wycombe
  • 9 - 13 November - near High Wycombe

Please note: it is a legal requirement for all structural timber used in the UK to be strength graded, CE marked and stamped in accordance with Annex ZA of BS EN 14081-1. In order to do this, delegates are required to join a certification scheme operated by a Notified Body such as BM TRADA.


Download the booking form 
here.