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New training course for metal web joist designers

13th November 2023

TRA members will soon be able to register their teams for a brand new course which offers training for metal web joist designers.

The Metal Web Designer Development Programme (DDP) closely follows the format of the Trussed Rafter DDP and will offer a complete training route for those wanting to prove their knowledge and experience in this important aspect of many TRA members’ work.

Metal web joists have continued to gain popularity over recent years as builders and trades want to take advantage of the flexible open web design. It is expected that there will be continued growth in metal web joists, as future building standards will require more mechanical heat ventilation to run through the floor zone. Metal web joists are the ideal product to support this, in addition to the already established benefits for routing pipework and wiring.

Richard George, technical director, Europe and Africa at MiTek, who is the chairman of the TRA’s training committee, says the new course looks set to be as successful as its trussed rafter predecessor: “The TRA is committed to helping build the skills required by our members to support the continued adoption of structural timber components used in construction.

“After the successful launch of our designer development programme for trussed rafters in 2022, we sought feedback from the membership on what our aims for 2023 should be. The overwhelming majority of members wanted us to focus on producing similar content for metal web joists.

“As most TRA members offer metal web joists in addition to the traditional options of roof trusses, it wasn’t a surprise the membership wanted to upskill their teams in this area.”

Trainees will complete an interactive workbook and log the real life design scenarios they are currently working on. Throughout the book there are links to notes and information which give advice to designers on what they should consider during the metal web design process.

The course takes trainees through each phase from information gathering and types of support, to basic design theory and compliance, estimating and quoting. Order processing and customer feedback are also included to give the full overview of the designers’ workflow.

Richard continues: “We have finished our level 1 workbook and will be beta testing with members who are actively involved in developing the content. We have also worked through the framework for future levels and foresee the need for training for floors, flat roofs, pitched roofs and cassettes, with level 2 work on flat roofs already underway.

“I’d like to thank the manufacturing businesses who have been involved namely, DWB, Pasquill, Donaldson Timber Engineering and National Timber systems. The work has also been assisted by Wolf systems and MiTek Industries.”

An assessor within the designer’s own business will sign off each section in the workbook to prove that they have the necessary awareness of commercial and technical aspects of the projects and knowledge of safety, efficiency, and best practice. For the higher levels of the programme sign off will be with an external assessor provided by the TRA.

There is no prerequisite for members to take advantage of the course and the training for the early levels is free for TRA members.  Richard concludes: “We aspire to have an industry where all designers are trained to the highest levels so our members can continue to offer the best possible service and solutions to the construction industry.”

For more information about the new programme contact TRA chief executive Nick Boulton at

To find out about the Trussed Rafter Designer Development Programme click here




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