20 June 2019

A fully qualified workforce

A fully qualified workforce was the big-ticket item from Graham Wren, Chief Executive of CSCS, at the Member Skills Briefing on 12 June.

Graham updated Build UK members on the most recent changes to the CSCS to ensure that only those with a recognised construction related qualification (or those on the pathway to achieving one) are able to hold a card.

The changes have seen the number of cards issued as the result of a recognised qualification rise from 30% to 70% in five years and Graham’s presentation set out CSCS’s plans to reach the 100% mark soon.

The changes were introduced following the findings of Construction 2025 and the subsequent formation of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC).

In 2015 the CLC announced that the construction industry should specify and promote card schemes carrying the CSCS logo with no equivalents accepted. This is known as the One Industry Logo action.

Graham confirmed that in order to qualify for the CSCS logo all card schemes must develop plans by 2020 to meet the CLC’s requirements. These include ensuring all cards issued must demonstrate the achievement of a nationally recognised construction related qualification.

Changes

As a result of the CLC’s requirements, CSCS stopped issuing the Construction Related Occupation card in 2017 and more recently announced the withdrawal of the Construction Site Visitor card. Most recently, it has announced that it will stop issuing cards obtained through Industry Accreditation (IA) and has put in place plans for current IA cardholders to demonstrate they hold a qualification.

Construction Site Visitor card

All Construction Site Visitor cards issued from 3 September 2018 will expire on 31 August 2020 and are non-renewable. CSCS will stop issuing the card from 28 February 2020.

Attendees were reminded that sites should not turn away the occasional site visitor or those who were attending to perform a non-construction role. This was often the case where sites were operating 100% carded policies. In the future these visitors should be properly inducted and escorted, if necessary.

Industry Accreditation

Following the withdrawal of the Construction Site Visitor card the only cards remaining which do not require a qualification are those which were issued and are still being renewed under IA, also known as Grandfather Rights.

All IA cards renewed from 1 January 2020 will expire on 31 December 2024 and will not be renewed. CSCS will cease renewing IA cards from 30 June 2024.

Fraud and Smart Technology

As part of CSCS’s efforts to tackle fraudulent applications they have begun working with Awarding Bodies to introduce online verification of certificates. Every qualification certificate will be electronically checked against the awarding organisation’s database before a card is issued.

Graham also reminded the members that electronic card checks are the most effective way to identify expired or fraudulent cards.

The new service

At the end of 2019, CSCS will be launching changes to card application services including a new contact centre together with a streamlined online card application system. CSCS will be making further announcements over the next few months to keep the industry updated on their progress.