Safe Control of Operations

About the Scheme

The Safe Control of Operations (SCO) scheme ensures that individuals working on the gas network are trained to do so safely by understanding gas network procedures and correct permitry.

The SCO scheme is the knowledge-based part of a Competent Person’s or Authorising Engineer’s route to network registration and is followed by the competence-based part of the overall requirement.

The introduction of IGEM/GL/6 Edition 3 has introduced an increased emphasis on risk-based management of gas safety systems and gives gas distribution companies the flexibility to develop their own gas safety procedures based on meeting the common requirements of GL/6. The SCO scheme is based around the requirements for meeting GL/6 compliance.

The SCO scheme consists of an Initial programme for newcomers to the industry and a Renewal programme for those with existing and current SCO registrations.

SCO Initial training programme

SCO Initial training programme consists of the following modules:

  • Module 1: SCO Core
  • Module 2: Permit to Work (PtW)
  • Module 3: Non-Routine Operations (NRO)
  • Module 4: Routine Operations (RO)
  • Module 5: Form of Authority (FoA)

An individual may undertake as many of the modules as required for their specific job role. The employing organisation’s Responsible Engineers decides the individual role (e.g. Authorising Engineer or Competent Person) and work type (e.g. Network >2bar -7bar). For example, an individual may have a role as an Authorising Engineer for Permits to Work and Routine Operations but limited to Competent Person for Non-Routine Operations, in which case they would be expected to complete module 1: SCO Core, module 2: PtW, module 3: NRO and module 4: RO.

The Initial training programme is designed for Trainer-led face to face delivery only and is the same for both Authorising Engineers (AEs) and Competent Persons (CPs). However, Permit to Work is an exception where CPs and AEs have a slightly different assessment route which means that they have specifically identified registrations, e.g. Permit to Work (AE) and Permit to Work (CP). Trainers will ensure that individuals complete the assessment appropriate for their role.

Renewal training programme

The Renewal training programme is available either as a Trainer-led or an e-Learning/e-Assessment programme.

E-Learning/e-Assessment Renewal

The e-Learning/e-Assessment version of SCO Renewal is available for Gas Distribution Networks (GDNs) and Contractor organisations where they are able to demonstrate a clear and robust process for the delivery and quality assurance of assessment. The e-Learning/e-Assessment version of SCO includes both singular modules (Full & Lite versions) as well as combined modules for individual’s renewing several modules at the same time. The pre-requisites below also apply to the e-Learning version of SCO Renewal. The full structure can be seen in more detail on the specific e-Learning/e-Assessment page.

Trainer-led Renewal

The Trainer-led, face to face Renewal training programme is a new addition to the SCO scheme.  Each module is a focussed refresh of the initial training programme covering the key elements of SCO permitry. The modules emphasise the ongoing elements of practice and knowledge that individuals need to know in order to manage best practice health and safety in their day to day SCO activities and on the areas of SCO that have previously caused concern across the networks, e.g. full completion of forms, emergencies etc.

SCO Renewal comprises a route to registration for those individuals who have previously completed the SCO scheme and wish to renew their SCO EUSR registration.

SCO Renewal consists of 5 modules in total covering safe controls of operations in the gas industry:

  • Module 1: SCO Core Renewal
  • Module 2: Permit to Work (PtW) Renewal
  • Module 3: Non-Routine Operations (NRO) Renewal
  • Module 4: Routine Operations (RO) Renewal
  • Module 5: Form of Authority (FoA) Renewal

Full and Lite versions of Renewal modules

The following renewal modules have a Lite version as well as a Full version:

  • Module 4: Routine Operations
  • Module 5: Form of Authority

The Full version of these renewal modules contain all the knowledge required of a standalone module taken alongside the SCO Core module. The Lite version of these modules contains the key knowledge relevant to the permitry being covered but where the  individual is taking/has already taken a related permitry module within the last 6 months and, to avoid duplication, does not need to repeat certain common elements.

There are no Lite versions of modules for Module 2: Permit to Work and Module 3: Non-Routine Operations. These modules represent a higher risk level in the SCO hierarchy and, therefore, should be completed in full.

In order to renew their registration on EUSR using SCO Renewal, individuals must have a relevant, in-date, SCO registration. SCO Renewal must only be used for this purpose; all individuals who are new to SCO and do not have a relevant, in-date, SCO registration must take the relevant module(s) from the Initial SCO scheme.

Each module is standalone, and individuals can take as many modules as required.

SCO GL/6 Update

The GL/6 Update is a video designed to update individuals with current and valid SCO registrations to the new standard.  It consists of a series of slides together with a commentary that highlights the significant changes that the IGEM GL/6 (Edition 3) Standard brings to gas network SCO working practices and procedures from 2019/20. Completing this update is a requirement for all those currently trained on SCO to ensure they are working to the current standard.

The GL/6 Update is available for completion through the following:

  • Approved SCO Trainers – delivered face to face or via e-Learning
  • Approved Contractors – via e-Learning
  • Gas Distribution Networks (employed staff) – delivered face to face or via e-Learning

All individuals are required to have seen the GL/6 Update within a year of it becoming available, i.e. by mid-October 2021

The GL/6 Update will result in a registration on EUSR.  This registration permits individuals to undertake the renewal modules, rather than the initial training programme modules, when their SCO registrations are nearing expiry.

All those new to SCO will be trained under the new SCO scheme initial training programme, which incorporates the IGEM GL/6 requirements.

Scheme pre-requisites

Initial training programme

The following pre-requisites apply:

SCO Core is a pre-requisite for anyone wishing to undertake and achieve any other registration categories.

Permit to Work is a pre-requisite for anyone wishing to take either/both Non-Routine and Routine Operations.

Renewal training programme

The GL/6 Update is a pre-requisite for any individual wishing to undertake SCO renewal.

Module 1: SCO Core is a pre-requisite for anyone wishing to take any other SCO Renewal module.

Module 2: Permit to Work is a pre-requisite for anyone wishing to take either/both Module 3: Non-Routine Operations and Module 4: Routine Operations in SCO Renewal.

Equivalents of the new modules (from SCO 1 & 2, SCO 4 and SCO 5) are also permitted as pre-requisites for Renewal purposes. So, for example, where an individual has an in-date, existing SCO 1, 2 and 5, it would be permissible for them to take the new SCO Renewal module for Permit to Work.

Converting current SCO registrations to the new SCO Scheme

  • Holding an in-date SCO 1 and 2 means an individual is eligible for SCO Renewal modules, module 1: SCO Core, module 2: PtW and module 5: FoA
  • Holding an in-date SCO 4 means an individual is eligible for SCO Renewal module 3: NRO
  • Holding an in-date SCO 5 means an individual is eligible for SCO Renewal module 4: RO

Note: where the existing registration is not in date, or if the individual wants to add an endorsement, then they will have to take the Initial programme

Eligibility for SCO Renewal modules 3 and 4 assumes an individual is holding an in-date SCO 1 and 2 as well as SCO 4/5.

Registration on EUSR

Registration is based on successful completion of the training programme and assessment.

Each EUSR registration category for SCO is valid for 5 years.

SCO registration categories for individuals completing either the initial or renewal programmes are as follows:

  • SCO Core
  • SCO PtW (CP)
  • SCO PtW (AE)
  • SCO RO
  • SCO FoA

SCO EUSR registration provides evidence that an individual has attended the relevant training and assessment programme and demonstrated an appropriate level of knowledge and awareness. It is not designed to confirm competence to carry out a task or particular role.

Network registration confirms competence to work on the gas network as either a Competent Person (CP) or Authorising Engineer (AE) and should be checked with the appropriate Network Controller.

SCO EUSR Registration Renewal

Re-registration on EUSR for SCO is based on the successful completion of the appropriate SCO renewal training programme and having met the required pre-requisites.

CITB Short Course

Energy & Utility Skills is a recognised Third Party Organisation (TPO) for CITB and the UK construction industry. This scheme is recognised by CITB for short course duration funding purposes and can be offered by ATOs. To find out more about CITB short course duration grants, click here.

Find Out More

If you would like to get trained in this scheme, please use our scheme search to find a trainer. If you are a trainer and would like to deliver this scheme, please see our guidance on delivering passport schemes.

If you are a Contractor organisation and wish to be approved for the e-Learning/e-Assessment version of SCO Renewal please contact

If you have any queries relating to EUSR or the evidence requirements for any of our schemes or programmes, please contact the EUSR Support team. We are available Monday – Friday, 8.00am – 5.00pm via email or tel: 0121 745 1310.