9 July 2015

Major Changes to CSCS CRO Cards

CSCS is introducing changes to its Construction Related Occupation (CRO) card from 1 October 2015 which will pave the way for its withdrawal by 2017.

The key objective of a CSCS card is to provide evidence that individuals working on construction sites have the required qualifications for the type of work they carry out and the CRO card was introduced for those occupations which did not have nationally recognised qualifications.  However, since the Construction Site Operative (CSO) card was replaced by the Labourer Card in July 2014, the number of CRO cards issued has risen from 3,000 to 12,000 per month.  This is because operatives only need to pass the CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test to apply for the card, making it a quick route of entry to site without the need or commitment to be qualified.

To meet the recommendation of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) and ensure that cards carrying the CSCS logo demonstrate that an individual has achieved the agreed standard of qualification for their occupation, CRO cards will be phased out over the next two years as follows:

• Existing CRO cards issued before 1 October 2015 that expire after 30 September 2017 will remain valid until their expiry date

• CRO cards issued from 1 October 2015 will expire on 30 September 2017 and will not be renewable

• CSCS will stop issuing CRO cards from 31 March 2017.

Companies that have operatives with CRO cards should be aware of the following from 1 October 2015:

• All new CRO cards will expire on 30 September 2017 and will not be renewable

• Only one occupation will be displayed on the card

• CSCS will check if the occupation applied for is covered by a nationally recognised qualification and whether the applicant holds that qualification

• If the applicant holds the qualification, they will be issued with the appropriate skilled card on submission of the necessary evidence

• If the applicant does not hold the qualification, they can:

o apply for a CRO card which will expire on 30 September 2017 and will not be renewable, or

o register for the appropriate qualification and apply for a Trainee card which will be valid for three years but will then not be renewable.

• If the occupation is not covered by a nationally recognised qualification, a CRO card will be issued with an expiry date of 30 September 2017 whilst the relevant sector determines an appropriate qualification route to be recognised by CSCS.

To ensure operatives apply for the correct card, please use the CSCS Card Finder Tool.  Further information about the CRO card changes is available in the CSCS Frequently Asked Questions.