Price Rise 2018
- Why is the price being increased now?
The last price increase occurred in 2010 but since then costs associated with running the scheme have increased significantly.
We have managed to maintain the current card price for the last eight years however inflationary pressure (up 28% since 2010), together with increased costs associated with combatting fraudulent activity, have pushed our costs up to the point where the current price is not sustainable.
In addition, with our current contact centre provider CITB having served notice to exit the service contract the CSCS Board have agreed to invest in new technology and systems to ensure the application process is modernised.
- What is the new price for a CSCS card?
A CSCS card will cost £36. This includes VAT.
- When will the price of the card increase?
The price of the CSCS card will increase on 1st September 2018. CSCS card applications received before this date will cost the existing price of £30.
- How will CSCS use the money it gains from the price increase to improve the service?
For more than 20 years the CSCS’s application processing and contact centre has been delivered under contract by the CITB. In November 2017 CITB notified CSCS of their intention to withdraw from delivering the service.
Since then we have been working on identifying a new service provision.
We intend to introduce new and smarter ways of working, such as an option to complete the whole process, including payment, online. This will speed up the application process and help tackle fraudulent applications.
Modernising the application process is a key priority for the CSCS Board and the additional investment will ensure the card continues to add value and play its part in improving standards and safety on UK construction sites.
- Does the price increase apply for all CSCS cards and applications?
Yes, the increase applies to all cards administered directly by CSCS.
- Is the price increase related to the price increase of the HSE test?
We understand that many people associate the Health, Safety and Environment test with CSCS as it is a requirement for obtaining a card. However, the test is owned and managed by CITB. They alone control the price of the test.
Visit the CITB website for more information on the decision to raise the price of the test.
- Is this related to the withdrawal of the CRO and Site Visitor cards – you are selling less cards now and need to make up the revenue?
No. Our aim is to ensure construction workers hold the correct card for the job they do on site and that cards are only issued to those working in construction related occupations. The withdrawal of the CRO and Site Visitor card are significant steps to achieving this objective and could result in lower card sales.
Card numbers have remained stable despite the changes we have made to the scheme. This is because CRO card holders are moving across to the appropriate skilled card for their occupation. This is a positive development for the industry.
With regard to the Site Visitor card it is too early to assess the impact on card sales. Some reduction in numbers is anticipated but this is not the primary reason for the card price increase.
- Is the price increase related to fraud?
With the changes we have made to the scheme every CSCS card issued will be based on the holder having achieved an appropriate qualification. Inevitably there is a cost associated with this which the fraudsters try to avoid. We have seen an increase in fraudulent activity which we are working hard to combat. Historically the fraudsters have focused on the production of fake cards, or as highlighted by the BBC Newsnight investigation broadcast in October 2015, cheating the Health, Safety and Environment test.
As we restrict the capacity of these fraudsters to operate they are turning to other means in which to obtain a card. Recently we have noted an increase in the production of high quality fake certificates, ostensibly issued by a recognised Awarding Body, which if not properly checked would lead to a legitimate CSCS card.
The scale of this issue means that CSCS is now carrying out additional checks to ensure the certificates submitted as part of the card application process are genuine. Where CSCS cannot check a certificate online the card processing time has increased adding additional costs to the application process.
Tracking down the fraudsters requires a significant commitment in terms of time and resources and holding them to account often result in significant legal costs.
- How much will the whole process of getting a CSCS card now cost?
The price of getting a CSCS card (£36) and taking the CITB health, safety and environment test (£21) will be £57.
This excludes the cost of any additional qualifications you may need.
- Isn’t this just profiteering?
CSCS is a not-for-profit company. Revenues from card sales covers administration and production of CSCS cards and the continued operation of the scheme. Any surplus is reinvested to improve the scheme or from time to time financial donations are made in support of industry wide initiatives such as the development of apprenticeships.