IPCO: Full Course

At the end of this comprehensive Introduction to Professional Chainsaw Operation (IPCO) course in safe and efficient chainsaw use, participants will know how to fell and limb timber under a variety of conditions, using special techniques and felling aids when required. They will also know how to identify and deal appropriately with a variety of hazardous conditions associated with professional chainsaw operation.

Moving from the classroom to the woodlot, participants will learn the principles of how to sharpen, maintain and operate a chainsaw competently. Building their skills through supervised practice in actual felling and limbing operations, the participant will also learn the best way to hold, start and handle a chainsaw.

The course's four modules consist of: Chainsaw Sharpening and Maintenance; Safe Chainsaw Handling; Felling and Limbing; and Field Practice. The first three modules are self-contained units that can be delivered independently of the others. For example, the module on chainsaw sharpening and maintenance could be used as a refresher course for working chainsaw operators.

Intended Audience:

The course is intended for new workers or current cutters in logging operations. Individual elements, modules and adapted areas of the training and curriculum are also useful for safe chainsaw operation training of operators who are not employed in logging.

Additional Information:

The basic knowledge and skill provided by this training should be supplemented by on-the-job supervision, practice, and experience before evaluation for certification under the Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development (MLTSD) modular training guidelines up to one year after the common core is completed.

3 days
Forest Products
Material(s) included with this course
  • Participant Manual
  • The Cutting Edge Manual
Equipment needed

Participants must bring the following PPE that is maintained and in good working order as per the manufacturer's specifications and regulatory requirements:

  • Forestry headset (CSA-approved hardhat, ear plugs and/or ear muffs, and face screen)
  • CSA-approved footwear
  • CSA-approved safety glasses (with side shields)
  • Chainsaw gloves/mitts
  • Chainsaw pants/chaps
  • Reflective vest (or similar high-visibility clothing)

Chainsaw (ensure chainsaw is purged of fuel):

  • Size and type appropriate for the work normally performed
  • Properly sharpened, maintained and ready to work in full compliance with requirements of applicable legislation, with owner's manual (if possible)

Sharpening & maintenance tools:

  • Combination tool
  • Correct size round file with handle
  • Filing guide
  • Depth gauge tool
  • Flat file with handle
  • Small screwdriver (to fit carburetor adjustment screws)
  • Chainsaw grease gun, rag
  • Spark plug gap tool, wire brush, emery paper
  • Chain owner's manual

Felling aids:

  • Wedges
  • Felling bar
  • Axe (with sheath)