August 5, 2021

Exova BM TRADA succeeds in softwood grade training

Expert industry training provider, Exova BM TRADA, is hosting a series of softwood visual strength grading courses between April and November.

The five-day course is aimed at those who are involved in the selection and supply of softwood in the workplace, while the two-day refresher is geared towards those whose Visual Strength Grading Q-Mark Scheme registration has lapsed for 2 years or longer.

The course mixes both classroom and practical sessions, and upon completion participants will be able to: grade and assess their own stock; ensure that purchased graded timber meets the contract specification; re-grade machined timber; and provide clients with a better overall knowledge and understanding of softwood timber strength.

Both courses will be delivered by Phil O’Leary, Exova BM TRADA’s timber technology investigations team lead. He has extensive knowledge in timber failure, inspection and strength, while also being responsible for all of Exova BM TRADA’s timber strength, scaffold boards and roofing battens training.


The five-day softwood visual strength grading course will run on the following dates at Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire:


  • 25 – 29 April
  • 27 June – 1 July
  • 26 – 30 September
  • 14 – 18 November.

The refresher course runs alongside the last two days of the full visual strength grading course:

  • 28  – 29  April
  • 30 June – 1 July
  • 29 – 30 September
  • 17 – 18 November.


Exova BM TRADA’s timber strength grading is not limited to softwood. They also offer training in visual strength grading for temperate and tropical hardwoods and scaffold board grading.


Exova BM TRADA runs a full training programme throughout the year covering timber, fire, management systems and general business courses. These can be offered in-house or within a client’s premises.


For more information on these and other courses, or to book a place, go to: or contact 01494 569 750 or [email protected].


Further information on VSG softwood training is available to download here: