Level 2 Chainsaw from a rope and harness

Started on May 18, 2024

C&G NPTC assessment unit 003923 (formerly CS39)

This two-day, field-based course is aimed predominantly at those looking to pursue a career as a climbing arborist or tree surgeon. However, it is suitable for anyone wishing to learn how to operate a chainsaw from ropes and harness safely. It combines the skills and techniques learned during the cross-cutting, small-tree felling and climbing courses.

The fundamental skills and knowledge gained will be the foundation upon which candidates will go on to learn during their careers as arborists. This course includes all the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to undertake the C&G NPTC Level 3 Unit 003923 assessment.

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the candidate will

  • understand the specific industry legislation and safety guidelines relevant to using a chainsaw from ropes and harness
  • successfully identify the hazards and risks associated with the working area
  • be able to carry out a basic level hazard evaluation of a tree
  • demonstrate techniques for hauling chainsaws into the tree and attaching them appropriately to the harness
  • carry out pre-start checks to the chainsaw and demonstrate cold and warm starting techniques
  • understand the importance of secure and comfortable work positioning while using a chainsaw from ropes and harness to improve safety and work quality
  • be able to explain the basic principles of natural target pruning
  • demonstrate the appropriate use of a variety of different cuts, including step cuts, sink cuts and natural target pruning cuts
  • use top-handled or lightweight rear-handled chainsaws in a safe and efficient manner to remove light- and medium-weight branches
  • be competent in the use of pulling ropes and slings to assist with the cut sections.

Equipment required

Top-handled chainsaw or lightweight rear-handled saw (petrol or battery, maximum of 15” bar), fuel/oil, maintenance tools.


Chainsaw trousers Class 1 type C, boots, mountaineering-style arborist chainsaw helmet with ear and eye protection and a chin strap, cut-resistant climbing gloves, full climbing kit (work positioning harness, minimum of two climbing ropes, of which one must be at least 35 m and one at least 25 m, minimum of eight auto lock triple action karabiners, adjustable strop/lanyard, one tape sling of around 120 cm, pair of climbing irons (spikes), wire core flip line, four prusik loops or equivalent friction cords, rescue knife with retractable/folding blade), first-aid kit with haemostatic dressing, large wound dressing and whistle. An in-date thorough LOLER examination certificate (or certificate of conformity/receipt for items less than six months old) will be required for all items of climbing equipment. All equipment is available to hire at an additional cost, including PPE. Please enquire for details.


Cross-cutting and chainsaw maintenance (003920 or CS30), Small tree felling (003921 or CS31), Climbing and aerial rescue (003922 or CS38).

Course duration

Two days training with an assessment on a separate day.


Training cost: £300 per person plus VAT. C&G NPTC assessment cost: £160 per person.

Refresher courses are also available, either with or without assessment. Please enquire for details.