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 price per delegate - 
 £1375 + VAT


Course dates

COVID-19 update: This course is undertaken in a barn, with plenty of fresh air and ventilation, as per UK Government COVID-Secure regulations. 


28 March – 1st April 2022
6th – 10th June 2022
3rd – 7th October 2022


Please note: it is a legal requirement for all structural timber used in the UK to be strength graded, CE or UKCA marked and stamped in accordance with Annex ZA of BS EN 14081-1. In order to do this, companies that place strength graded timber on the market are required to join a certification scheme. Please contact us for further information.

Please note we also have a Refresher course aimed at graders whose registration to the Q-Mark VSG Scheme has lapsed for two years or more. Please see here for details.