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FITA’s New Cuddly Mascot

CFA training manager Tracy Gregory on the latest happenings in the world of training:
Harrogate 2014 has been and gone, and for the CFA and FITA it was a great year. FITA had two demo areas at the exhibition this year. Both attracted a lot of interest throughout the show. Much interest was also shown on the CFJ/CFA stand too. It was also a big year for FITA as our new cuddly mascot was unveiled. (See photo right).
At the start of the show the new recruit was unnamed. This inspired a competition at the show. The resulting interest in naming the FITA ‘dog’ attracted loads of entries, both at the show, and via Twitter.
The eventual winner whose name was chosen for the new mascot was Steve Nightingale who won the prize of a Festool Midi Extractor. And Steve’s suggested name, which we struck a chord with the FITA lads, was Gripper.
Gripper’s job is to travel around the country, very possibly to a location near you. After Harrogate he went to Lanzarote for a holiday (I won’t say in whose luggage he travelled!).
And on his return he was whisked off to Holland on a business trip. Since then he has been meeting members and giving advice where needed (speaking when you least expect it).
Remember that you can follow the FITA dog on Twitter: @fita_training
On a more serious note, it was good to attend the Harrogate show (my first time), to meet people I’d only spoken to and see just how busy it was. I was assured the final day quietens down around lunchtime, but this year the show was busy right through to closing. This would seem to support opinion across industry that things are picking up for our trade.
This is undoubtedly excellent news, and our members seem to be confirming this view when we talk to them, but it worries me that companies will now fall back on the excuse that they are too busy to train their fitters. This is the flip side to the complaint of the last few years, where the general consensus was that training couldn’t be afforded.
With the change in the rules for CSCS cards this year, this new complaint will lead to the same issue, many fitters having the wrong card to allow them onto site. At the moment this isn’t such a problem, unless your card expires in the near future, but sites are starting to request the correct card is shown to allow access, and without this fitters could be asked to leave the site.
CFA has put together an easy to follow flowchart (see below left), which explains exactly which card you need to hold to be able to access sites and be allowed to work on them. This flowchart also appears in the latest edition of the CFA Training Guide which is available to download from our website.
This will lead you to a point where you can decide what training your fitters need to have to carry on fitting in the commercial arena. That is where the CFA and FITA come in.
We have a series of qualifications that not only allow development to the correct level for your CSCS card, but to then confirm that quality level every five years through our QA card.
We see the NVQ as being very much like a driving test; it confirms your competence at that moment in time, and the QA card as Continuing Professional Development and confirmation of the fitter’s abilities. We feel that as an approach this allows you to best demonstrate that your workforce is fully competent moving forward.
For more details on any of FITA’s training courses, QA card scheme, Specialist Upskilling Programme, CSCS cards or any other training needs, just contact the Contract Flooring Association.
Give me a call on T: 0115 941 1126 or drop me an email:

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal. You can find them at