Radiodetection Cable Avoidance equipment.
Cable Avoidance caution sign.

Cable Avoidance Course Introduction

Damage to underground services can cause fatal or severe injury as well as significant disruption and environmental damage; it can also delay the project and incur considerable costs.

The training course we deliver complies with the guidance offered in HSG47 Avoiding danger from
underground services and the relevant manufacturers operating instructions.

To avoid the associated dangers involving  underground services HSG47 outlines he three basic elements of a safe system of work:

  1. planning the work;
  2. detecting, identifying and marking underground services;
  3. safe excavation/safe digging practices.

Our course is primarily geared towards detecting, identifying and marking underground services using cable avoidance tool, signal generator and approved attachments such as sondes, cable clamps and power plug-ins.

The training is split into two elements:

  1. Knowledge
    Mainly classroom based to cover the course content as listed below.
  2. Practical
    Covering the operation and use of the CAT & Genny.

Cable Avoidance Course Design.

The Cable Avoidance course is designed for anyone involved the selection, operation and use of cable detection tools and signal generators in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Elements of this training are delivered as part of other Training Courses we provide but is offered here as “Stand Alone” training for:

  1. Initial training and certification.
  2. Refresher training.

Cable Avoidance Course Content


The course consists of:

Knowledge Element.

  1. Be aware of the need for and the limitations of service plans.
  2. Be aware of safe digging practices.
  3. Identification and naming the component parts and features of the Cable Avoidance Tool, signal generator and associated equipment
  4. Identify and name the Modes of operation of the Cable Avoidance Tool
  5. Identify and name the modes of operation of the Signal Generator
  6. Conducting an Avoidance/All Scan to identify buried services
  7. Identify safety requirements in the use of the equipment.
  8. Conducting Power Scans to identify buried services with current flowing and to state the limitations in operation in Power Scan
  9. Conducting Radio Scans to identify buried services and to state the limitations in operation in Radio Scan
  10. Operation of the CAT in conjunction with the Signal Generator in Induction and Active sweep modes and state the limitations in operation.
  11. Operation of the CAT in conjunction with the Signal Generator in direct connection modes:
    • Cable Clip and earth
    • Signal Clamp
    • Plug In
  12. Recognise the limitations in the operation in Genny direct connection mode.
  13. Understand the reasons why a signal could be lost and conduct a circular sweep to re-locate conductors.
  14. Recognise the range of materials and services that cannot be detected by the CAT & Genny and state methods/equipment that can be used to detect them.
  15. Identify the manufacturers service and maintenance requirements
  16. Identify and complete the manufacturers recommended functional checks before use and the need to test against known services.
  17. Be aware of any datalogging facility and the information recorded.
  18. Be familiar with datalogging software and methods of retrieving information and its interpretation.

Practical Element involves actual use of the CAT & Genny for:

  1. The completion of functional checks.
  2. The identification, detection and location of:
    –  Live power cables not drawing current in All scan, Power, Radio and Genny modes
    –  Live power cables drawing different levels of current in All scan, Power, Radio and Genny modes
    –  Tracer wire laid over non-conductive services.
  3. Completion of sweep surveys over an area known to contain buried services.
  4. Operation and use of the sensitivity control to pinpoint buried services.
  5. Use of the CAT to determine the line of buried plant.
  6. Identify the effects of depth of service, strength of current flow and size of conductor have on receiving signal strength.


Cable Avoidance Course Pre-requisites

Desirable that candidates have Street Works (Qualifications of Supervisors and Operatives) Unit 1  Location & avoidance of underground apparatus and are able to:

  • Interpret plans, and confirm that the plans used correspond with details of the work site.
  • Identify the different types of underground utilities apparatus and highways services that are encountered prior to carrying out excavation
  • Identify the risks and implications of damage to underground utilities apparatus and highways services.

Cable Avoidance Course Notes

  1. It is a legal requirement that all employees required to use the cable detection equipment receive specific training in the type of equipment used.
  2. The training detailed on this page is “generic” cable detection training.
  3. Training can be carried out at your premises provided suitable resources are available:
    • Sufficient space to accommodate course numbers
    • Space to use whiteboard, laptop and projector
    • External training area for practical training and exercises.
    • Copies of service plans are available.
  4. We use Radiodetection CAT3 and CAT4 series cable detection equipment for training. 
  5. We can design and deliver training for other manufacturers equipment.
  6. Specific training can be designed and delivered to meet your needs.
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Cable Avoidance Sonde


These are small transmitters designed to be pushed down pipes using drain rods or a Cobra rodding system and detected using a Cable Locator from above ground.

This is a simple headline

When used in conjunction with a signal generator the Signal Clamp is located around a service and is used to apply a traceable signal to buried cables and pipes.

Cable Avoidance Live Plug-n

This is a simple headline

When used in conjunction with a signal generator the Live Plug-in or  property connection set connects to the live electricity mains cable within the property in order to apply a signal to it.  This will enable the tracing of that specific cable around the outside of the property. 

Cable Avoidance Course Venue

Training can be conducted at:

  • Fire Safety Trainer practical training premises.
    Details of these can be found on the contact page.
  • Your premises.  Please see the attached notes.
  • Other suitable agreed venues.

Cable Avoidance Course Duration

4hrs for the basic generic course as listed above.

To be determined for specific training requirements that may require “bolt ons” such elemnts of Unit 1 Streetworks Qualification.

Cable Avoidance Course Size

Maximum 12
Minimum 6

Cable Avoidance Course Assessment

  • In house written tick box questionnaire
  • Practical assessment and recorded to our standards

Cable Avoidance Course Qualification

  • Candidates will obtain our company certification of successful pass.
  • Certificates will be sent to the company and not to individual candidates and will be valid for 3 years.

Cable Avoidance Course Refresher

Determined by Employer based on:

  • Perceived need
  • Change in equipment