Timber Truss & Frame Estimating & Design Project

Menu: Click across the green arrows to view active and completed project stages. Consultation takes place at every stage of the project.

Case for change

Housing is the primary area in which timber trusses and frames are used. Given the continued increase in housing and multi-development construction activity these structural components are in increasing demand.

These are integral roles in the day-to-day operation of a building project, and yet much of the work to estimate and design timber trusses and frames is commissioned overseas. These roles could be performed more efficiently and with better communication if performed locally. However, improved career pathways are required to make them appealing. This could be supported by reviewing and streamlining the current qualifications and units to make prerequisites and assessments less restrictive.

The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) approved this project out of the Forest and Wood Products Industry Sector IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2018-2021 (see pages 71-74).

Skills Impact and the Forest and Wood Products Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will manage this project, consistent with the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development.

Download Project Proposal (see pages 71-74)

 

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Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Forestry & Timber’ as your industry of interest.

 

 

Project Plan

Timber trusses and frames are an essential part of many modern homes and other buildings, providing the skeleton for walls and roofs. They’re designed to hold up the weight of a building, including any solar, air conditioning or hot water units, and to withstand weather, including strong winds. For this reason, timber systems designers play a crucial role in making sure a building is structurally sound, requiring knowledge of engineering, design and timber types. They’re responsible for making sure building codes and standards are adhered to and communication between the factory floor and construction businesses are fit for purpose.

The demand for timber roof trusses and wall frames is projected to grow in Australia over the next five years due to continued increase in housing construction (Australian Construction Insights). However, there is also a continued shortage of timber systems designers in Australia, with a lot of current work commissioned overseas. While this is one solution to a skill shortage there are advantages to employing local designers and estimators. When it comes to making sure codes are being met and communication is running smoothly, nothing compares to having eyes in the factory floor and on the building site.

Industry have indicated that the current qualifications and units of competency in timber truss and frame design do not meet current job titles, roles and practices. The entry level Certificate II contains assessments that are not permitted to be used by school-based trainees, restricting uptake, while the structure of the current Certificate IV presents a barrier in its high number of prerequisites. A restructuring of the qualifications will support strengthening career pathways and attracting new workers to this profession.

Project Scope

This project will review three qualifications and 39 units of competency relating to timber truss and frame design and manufacture. It will also develop at least two skill sets to support career pathways.

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Forestry & Timber’ as your industry of interest.

 

Relevant Occupations
  • Timber Systems Designers
  • Designer (Timber Truss and Frame)
  • Production Fabricator (Timber Truss and Frame)

FWPSSXXXXX Skill set for truss and frame estimating and design operations (new)

FWPCOR2201 Work effectively in the forest and forest products industry
FWPCOR2202 Communicate and interact effectively in the workplace
FWPCOR2203 Follow environmental care procedures
FWPCOR2207 Maintain quality and product care
FWPCOR3202 Conduct quality and product care procedures
FWPCOR3204 Visually assess materials
FWPCOR4201 Monitor safety, health and environment policies and procedures
FWPCOR4203 Monitor quality and product care procedures
FWPCOT2201 Stack and bind material
FWPCOT2210 Tally material
FWPCOT2219 Use hand-held tools
FWPCOT2227 Process orders and despatch products
FWPCOT2228 Store materials
FWPCOT2229 Dock material to length
FWPCOT2232 Cut material to shape using a saw
FWPCOT2235 Assess timber for manufacturing potential
FWPCOT3204 Prepare and interpret sketches and drawings
FWPCOT3214 Take off material quantities
FWPCOT3218 Quote and interpret from manufactured timber product plans
FWPCOT3220 Quote and interpret from computerised timber manufactured product plans
FWPCOT3236 Coordinate stock control procedures
FWPCOT3239 Create drawings using computer aided design systems
FWPCOT3241 Assemble timber wall frames
FWPCOT3242 Lay up timber roof trusses
FWPCOT3243 Operate a truss press
FWPCOT3263 Maintain and contribute to energy efficiency
FWPCOT3264 Build and maintain timber stacks
FWPCOT4202 Design timber structures
FWPSAW2205 Assemble materials using nail plates
FWPTMM2201 Cut material to length and angles
FWPTMM2203 Read and interpret timber truss, floor and/or frame fabrication plans
FWPTMM3204 Interpret designs to prepare timber roof truss drawings and documents using computers
FWPTMM3205 Interpret designs to prepare timber floor system drawings and documents using computers
FWPTMM3206 Interpret designs to prepare timber wall frame drawings and documents using computers
FWPTMM3207 Set up timber floor trusses
FWPTMM4202 Diagnose and calculate production costs
FWPTMM4205 Prepare and advise on a broad range of timber roof truss details using computers
FWPTMM4206 Prepare and advise on a broad range of timber floor system details using computers
FWPTMM4207 Prepare and advise on a broad range of timber wall frame details using computers

Project Team
Georgiana DaianHead of Skills Standards Development, ForestWorks gdaian@forestworks.com.au
Michelle ClaytonIndustry Skills Standards Specialist, ForestWorks mclayton@forestworks.com.au
Rob StowellIndustry Skills Standards Contractor

Project Timeline

July – August 2019

Initial Scoping

August – December 2019

Development of draft qualifications, skill sets and units

January – February 2020

Drafts available for broad consultation

March 2020

Validation of final drafts

April 2020

Finalisation of Training package components

June 2020

Submission for endorsement

Opportunities for stakeholder input

Stakeholder input and feedback is appreciated and welcomed throughout the duration of this project. Stakeholder contribution is essential so that the units and qualifications reflect real work experience, addressing the training meets the needs and requirements of the industry.

Opportunities to provide targeted feedback will occur when the draft materials are made available in January-February 2019, and again for validation of final drafts in March 2020. However, your feedback is welcomed at any time, and will help us in drafting the units.

If you work in the sector, your input and help would be appreciated. Please feel free to register your interest for project updates and consultation opportunities by following the newsletter subscription link below. Alternatively, please feel free to contact the project manager, Michelle Clayton on 03 9321 3500 or mclayton@forestworks.com.au

Technical Advisory Committee

A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) will be established to provide technical input on the review and development of units and qualifications. The TAC may include technical industry experts, industry associations, employee associations, regulators and training providers. The support that the project needs from the TAC includes:

  • Provide input with respect to the project on areas of industry skill development requirements, job roles and key tasks and activities
  • Provide technical expertise that will inform the content of units of competency
  • Review and provide feedback to the draft materials
  • Provide input to clarify potential differing views on industry requirements
  • Share project materials with other experts for their input.

If you are interested and able to volunteer your time to this project, please contact gdaian@forestworks.com.au

 

 

Development

Most modern homes and a range of other buildings rely on timber trusses and frames as an essential element of the building structure. The demand for timber systems designers is projected to grow over the next five years due to continued increase in housing construction (Australian Construction Insights). However, there is a shortage of timber systems designers in Australia. Industry have indicated that the current qualifications and units of competency in timber truss and frame design do not meet current job titles, roles and practices.

Consultation is underway to review and update three national qualifications, to better reflect job roles in the area of timber frame and truss design and manufacture, as identified in the 2018-19 IRC Skills Forecast. These qualifications are:

  • FWP20716 Certificate II in Timber Truss and Frame Design and Manufacture
  • FWP30916 Certificate III in Timber Truss and Frame Design and Manufacture
  • FWP40416 Certificate IV in Timber Truss and Frame Design

While the manufacturing job roles were not a priority area in the 2018-2019 Skills Forecast, they also need to be reviewed as part of this project because of the current configuration of the qualifications.

Next steps

The draft units of competency and qualifications will be made available on this webpage for broad stakeholder consultation and feedback from February 2020 (under the ‘Drafts Available’ menu above).

Thank you to those stakeholders that have been involved and provided feedback and advice so far.

The project will work with industry stakeholders over the next two months to configure the structure of the nationally recognised qualifications based on the feedback below.

Please feel free to register your interest for consultation opportunities by contacting Dr Georgiana Daian at gdaian@forestworks.com.au. Please also follow projects updates by following the newsletter subscription link at the bottom of this page.

Consultation and development activities so far

The project team has undertaken a range of site visits in Melbourne and Brisbane during August and September 2019 to gather information about the job roles in frame and truss plants. Key findings are outlined under the headings below.

The frame and truss industry consists of approximately 280 frame and truss manufacturing businesses and three large industry suppliers. Most businesses are small and medium-sized, with a few large businesses. The manufacturing plants are based and operate in areas with a high concentration of residential construction activity predominantly in NSW, VIC and QLD.

The suppliers produce and sell frame and truss equipment, connectors, ancillary products and design software to frame and truss manufacturers. Manufacturing businesses use the supplier software to design, estimate and detail costs of, and assemble and deliver frames and trusses for customers.

Job roles in Timber Systems Design

The industry faces a long-lasting shortage of truss and frame designers. In this job role, people produce accurate estimates and designs from architectural plans using design software.

The skill shortage led to a growth in offshore outsourcing services. However, the practice has proven not suitable for most small and medium-sized manufacturers, where the job is required to produce designs for custom output as opposed to volume output. The expertise needs to be local and in-house to handle orders, communicate and develop relationships, and work within timeframes for customers.

Job Roles in Manufacturing

Generally, there is low uptake and recognition of formal qualifications for the manufacturing job roles in the industry:

  • Training is done informally and in house.
  • Recruitment usually occurs on attitudinal skills rather than qualifications.
  • In most workplaces, the manufacturing jobs are limited to an area of truss and frame manufacture (such as a. frame, b. roof truss or c. floor truss) and a part of the manufacturing process (such as a. cut timber, b. assemble frames/roof trusses/floor trusses and c. bind/store the product), not the end-to-end process.

Workshop

Following the site visits, the project Technical Advisory Committee recently conducted a one-day face-to-face workshop in Melbourne to develop proposed pathways for both design and manufacture. These are currently being finalised by the Technical Advisory Committee.

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Forestry & Timber’ as your industry of interest.

 

Drafts Available

The timber truss and frame industry is critically important to Australia’s economy and its people, as a high proportion of modern homes and buildings require its products. This project aims to support the development of technical skills that are needed by employees to design and manufacture timber frames and trusses.

Industry experts have been consulted to review the job roles of people working in this industry and draft qualifications, skill sets and units of competency that are consistent with the workplace requirements to design and manufacture timber frames and trusses.

Thank you to those who provided feedback on the draft units, skill sets, and qualifications that were made available on this webpage for feedback from 12 February – 17 March 2020.

During this time, feedback was collected via the online feedback hub, email, and a consultation webinar. The drafts, including any comments made on the feedback hub, are still available for viewing below.

Feedback will inform the work on the final drafts which are expected to be available for industry validation in March 2020. A summary of the feedback and how it was addressed in the final drafts will also be available.

The drafts published at this stage included:

  • Three draft qualifications that were developed, corresponding to each job role within the timber frame and truss industry – timber systems estimators, timber systems detailers, timber systems fabricators.
  • Five new skill sets that were developed to provide for the technical skills required to perform at each workstation within the fabrication process.
  • Twenty-five units of competency that were revised and improved to meet current task requirements, resulting in a total of 20 draft units.
  • A new unit has that was developed for timber system designers to develop and apply knowledge of processes of timber systems design and work effectively with a broad range of individuals and teams.
  • Four current qualifications that were proposed for deletion.

To read about the changes that were been applied to these documents at this stage, please download the Summary of Changes Document linked below.

Download Summary of Changes Document document

Two draft qualifications were developed to replace the current Certificate III in Timber Truss and Frame Design and Manufacture by separating and streamlining the learning outcomes of the two distinct jobs that are designers (estimators) and fabricators.

In addition, the current Certificate IV in Timber Truss and Frame Design was updated to reflect the job role requirements of senior designers (detailers). The changes include a new title to reflect the current job role terminology in the industry, an improved structure and list of units that are relevant to the job requirements.

QualificationDescriptionLink to feedback
FWP3XXXX Certificate III in Timber Frame or Truss ManufacturingThis qualification reflects the job role requirements of fabricators in the timber truss and frame industry. It describes the skills and knowledge required to communicate and work in teams in a fabrication workplace and safely use specialist equipment to cut timber and assemble wall frames and/or floor or roof trusses.View draft qualification
FWP3XXXX Certificate III in Timber Systems DesignThis qualification reflects the skills and knowledge requirements of people who work in timber systems designer roles in the timber truss and frame industry. It describes the skills and knowledge required to create drawings, produce estimates of material quantities and costs for timber frames or trusses from architectural plans and drawings, and communicate effectively with customers and colleagues.View draft qualification
FWP4XXXX Certificate IV in Timber Systems DesignThis qualification reflects the job role requirements of people who work as timber systems designers in the timber truss and frame industry. It describes the skills and knowledge required to read architectural plans to calculate material quantities and costs, and produce building code compliant timber system wall and/or truss fabrication plans and documents.View draft qualification

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

 

Views were sought on four qualifications that are proposed for deletion due to:

  • Insufficient demand for training in these in the past and possibly in the future, based on the statistics available and feedback received during initial consultations.
  • Industry feedback suggesting that the skills of the Leading Hand job roles, to meet workplace responsibilities, could be served adequately by the FWP40216 Certificate IV in Timber Processing. Also, the management and business skills of people in the decision-making roles could be achieved through other relevant qualifications from the vocational education and training system, while the technical skills could be gained through the proposed FWP4XXXXX Certificate IV Timber Truss and Frame Design and the FWP40216 Certificate IV in Timber Processing.
FWP20716 Certificate II in Timber Truss and Frame Design and ManufactureView qualification on training.gov.au
FWP40316 Certificate IV in Timber Truss and Frame ManufactureView qualification on training.gov.au
FWP50216 Diploma of Timber Truss and Frame ManufactureView qualification on training.gov.au
FWP50316 Diploma of Timber Truss and Frame DesignView qualification on training.gov.au

 

Five new skill sets were developed to support fabricators who wish to develop technical skills related to a job function as opposed to a complete end-to-end manufacturing process. Each skill set is a subset of, and will provide credits toward, the proposed Certificate III in Timber Frame or Truss Manufacturing.

FWPSS000XX Cutting Timber to Length and Angle Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS000XX Timber Wall Frame Manufacture Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS000XX Timber Roof Truss Manufacture Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS000XX Timber Floor Truss Manufacture Skill SetView draft skill set and provide feedback
FWPSS000XX Stacking and Storing Timber Frames and Trusses Skill SetView draft skill set

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Twenty-five units of competency were revised, resulting in twenty units that were available for feedback. A number of units were re-titled to reflect the required skills and knowledge accurately. All units were reviewed and rewritten for clarity, sequencing and to reflect the Standards for Training Packages 2012. Eight units were merged into four units following feedback from experts in the industry. Content from FWPCOT3243 Operate a truss press was incorporated into two units (assemble timber roof trusses and assemble timber floor trusses).

To read about the changes that were applied to these units, please download the Summary of Changes Document linked below.

Download Summary of Changes Document document

FWPCOR2XXX Communicate and interact effectively in the workplaceView draft unit
FWPCOT2XXX Stack and bind materialView draft unit
FWPCOT2XXX Use hand-held toolsView draft unit
FWPCOT2XXX Store materialsView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Assess timber for manufacturing potentialView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Take off material quantitiesView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXXX Interpret and quote from manufactured timber product plansView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Create drawings using computer aided design systemsView draft unit
FWPCOT4XXX Design timber structuresView draft unit
FWPTMM4XXX Interpret details of timber floor systems to inform design of plans and production documentsView draft unit
FWPTMM4XXX Interpret details of timber roof trusses to inform design of plans and production documentsView draft unit
FWPTMM4XXX Interpret details of timber wall frames to inform design of plans and production documentsView draft unit
FWPTMM2XXX Cut material to length and anglesView draft unit
FWPCOR3XXX Conduct quality and product care proceduresView draft unit
FWPCOT2XXX Dock material to lengthView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Prepare sketches and drawingsView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Assemble timber wall framesView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Assemble timber roof trussesView draft unit
FWPTMM3XXX Read and interpret timber truss or wall frame fabrication plansView draft unit
FWPTMM3XXX Assemble timber floor trussesView draft unit

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

One new unit of competency was developed to provide designers who work in the timber frame and truss industry the skills and knowledge required to work effectively with a broad range of individuals and teams, and to develop a sound understanding of the processes of timber systems design.

FWPXXXXXX Work effectively in the timber systems design industryView draft unit

Want to download a copy of the draft? It can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Other notes

Fourteen units of competency of the original 39 units (project scope) were not revised because they were not included in the proposed qualifications or skill sets.

Summary of consultation to date

The draft qualifications, skills sets and units have been prepared in consultation with industry experts and a Technical Advisory Committee. Consultation involved a range of site visits in Melbourne and Brisbane during August and September 2019 to gather information about the job roles in frame and truss plants. It also involved a one-day face-to-face workshop in Melbourne with Technical Advisory Committee. Key findings from the site visits are outlined under the ‘Development’ stage linked above.

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Forestry & Timber’ as your industry of interest.

 

Validation

Timber trusses and frames are used to build the majority of Australian homes and many other buildings, and as such are integral to the Australian economy and its people. Industry has driven this project to revise and develop skills standards to support the technical skills needed to design and manufacture timber frames and trusses.

The final draft qualifications, skill sets and units of competency for jobs in frame and truss manufacture and design are now available for your validation. Please find the documents listed below, divided into groups.

They have been revised so that they better reflect industry job roles and occupations, particularly the different learning pathways and job outcomes for design and manufacturing.

Five new skill sets have been developed to support fabricators who wish to develop technical skills related to a job function they are required to perform. Each skill set is a subset of, and will provide credits toward, the proposed Certificate III in Timber Frame or Truss Manufacturing.

The draft Certificate III in Timber Systems Design and Certificate III in Timber Frame or Truss Manufacturing are proposed to replace the current Certificate III in Timber Truss and Frame Design and Manufacture. These two qualifications cover the skills and learning outcomes of the two distinct jobs that are designers (estimators) and fabricators.

A number of current qualifications are also proposed for deletion because of low demand for training and the availability of alternative qualifications.

The draft documents will be available on this webpage for validation and feedback until 6 April 2020.

 

Summary of consultation to date

Thank you to those stakeholders who provided feedback on the drafts that were made available from 14 February to 16 March 2020, under the ‘Drafts Available’ stage. During this time, feedback was collected via via phone, webinar, emails and online poll.

Prior to making the drafts available for comment, a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) was established to provide advice on updates to the units, skill sets, and qualifications. The project team met for a one-day face-to-face workshop in Melbourne with the TAC, as well as undertaking a range of site visits to gather information about the job roles in frame and truss plants. Key findings from the site visits are outlined under the ‘Development’ stage linked above.

A description of how feedback has been considered and applied in these final drafts can be downloaded below. Please click the ‘Download Summary of Feedback, Responses and Actions’ button.

 

How to participate in the validation process

Please click on the expandable menus below. After reading the final draft, click the ‘provide validation and/or further comment’ button and select the specific unit, skill set, or qualification you would like to validate and/or provide further comment on. Note: once you complete one unit in the group you will be asked if you would like to provide feedback on another unit in that group. There is also the option to provide feedback via email to Georgiana Daian gdaian@forestworks.com.au if you prefer. 

Feedback received supported the revised draft qualifications and new skill sets for jobs in timber systems fabrication. No changes have been made to the draft documents since the last round of feedback.

Click here to download a zipped folder of all skill sets in this group.

FWP3XXXX Certificate III in Timber Frame or Truss ManufactureView final draft qualification
FWP3XXXX Certificate III in Timber Systems DesignView final draft qualification
FWP4XXXX Certificate IV in Timber Systems DesignView final draft qualification

  

Alternatively, you can provide validation by emailing Georgiana Daian gdaian@forestworks.com.au. 

The following qualifications are proposed for deletion because of low demand for training at this level. While one stakeholder has indicated the importance of relevant higher level qualifications, including Diplomas for senior designers, to demonstrate their skills to certifying bodies, alternative qualifications are available at Diploma level.

FWP20716 Certificate II in Timber Truss and Frame Design and ManufactureView qualification on training.gov.au
FWP40316 Certificate IV in Timber Truss and Frame ManufactureView qualification on training.gov.au
FWP50216 Diploma of Timber Truss and Frame ManufactureView qualification on training.gov.au
FWP50316 Diploma of Timber Truss and Frame DesignView qualification on training.gov.au

  

Alternatively, you can provide validation by emailing Georgiana Daian gdaian@forestworks.com.au. 

Feedback received supported the revised draft qualifications and new skill sets for jobs in timber systems fabrication. No changes have been made to the draft documents since the last round of feedback.

Click here to download a zipped folder of all skill sets in this group.

FWPSS000XX Cutting Timber to Length and Angle Skill SetView final draft skill set
FWPSS000XX Timber Wall Frame Manufacture Skill SetView final draft skill set
FWPSS000XX Timber Roof Truss Manufacture Skill SetView final draft skill set
FWPSS000XX Timber Floor Truss Manufacture Skill SetView final draft skill set
FWPSS000XX Stacking and Storing Timber Frames and Trusses Skill SetView final draft skill set

  

Alternatively, you can provide validation by emailing Georgiana Daian gdaian@forestworks.com.au. 

Minor changes have been made to the Performance Criteria and Performance Evidence of some draft units, most notably to clarify assessment requirements and reword or remove items to avoid duplication.

Click here to download a zipped folder of all skill sets in this group.

FWPCOR2XXX Communicate and interact effectively in the workplaceView final draft unit
FWPCOT2XXX Stack and bind materialView final draft unit
FWPCOT2XXX Use hand-held toolsView final draft unit
FWPCOT2XXX Store materialsView final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Assess timber for manufacturing potentialView final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Take off material quantitiesView final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXXX Quote and interpret from manufactured timber product plansView final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Create drawings using computer aided design systemsView final draft unit
FWPCOT4XXX Design timber structuresView final draft unit
FWPTMM4XXX Interpret details of timber floor systems to inform design of plans and production documents View final draft unit
FWPTMM4XXX Interpret details of timber roof trusses to inform design of plans and production documentsView final draft unit
FWPTMM4XXX Interpret details of timber wall frames to inform design of plans and production documentsView final draft unit
FWPTMM2XXX Cut material to length and anglesView final draft unit
FWPCOR3XXX Conduct quality and product care proceduresView final draft unit
FWPCOT2XXX Dock material to lengthView final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Prepare sketches and drawingsView final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Assemble timber wall framesView final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Assemble timber roof trussesView final draft unit
FWPTMM3XXX Read and interpret timber truss or wall frame fabrication plansView final draft unit
FWPTMM3XXX Assemble timber floor trussesView final draft unit

  

Alternatively, you can provide validation by emailing Georgiana Daian gdaian@forestworks.com.au. 

Minor changes have been made to the draft new unit since the last round of feedback.

FWPXXXXXX Work effectively in the timber systems design industryView final draft unit

  

Alternatively, you can provide validation by emailing Georgiana Daian gdaian@forestworks.com.au. 

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Forestry & Timber’ as your industry of interest.

 

Finalisation

This stage has not yet commenced