Types of fraud
There are various types of fraud and CSCS is committed to tackling the problem in all its forms.
Those with fraudulently obtained CSCS cards are not necessarily qualified to do their job and cannot demonstrate the required level of health and safety knowledge needed to operate safely on site.
For details on how to report suspected fraud directly to CSCS, please visit our How to tackle fraud page.
- Qualification Fraud
Qualification fraud is where organised criminals assist candidates to obtain a genuine qualification.
Intelligence has consistently indicated that the CITB Health, safety and environment test and the Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment and its approved alternatives are the main targeted exams.
While most centres delivering qualifications uphold the standards required, there are instances when a centre’s integrity becomes compromised. Due to the stringent anti-fraud practices implemented at a centre, coercion of staff members in key positions is usually required. These team members become complicit and facilitate candidates in obtaining genuine qualifications.
A staff member may allow someone to knowingly sit a test on behalf of someone else, provide answers to a candidate, or allow electronic devices into the room to assist in verifying answers.
We continue to work in partnership with CITB and law enforcement to take robust action against organised crime.
- Centre Malpractice
Construction qualifications delivered in the UK are governed by Ofqual and there are stringent measures in place to ensure all elements of the course being delivered meet the required standards.
The centres delivering courses must adhere to stringent standards at all times. Examples of centre malpractice include examiners passing candidates that did not meet the required standard and deliberately falsifying records to claim certificates.
Malpractice is a risk to construction and the industry must work collaboratively to ensure qualifications are only issued to those with the required knowledge.
- Advanced fee fraud
Often criminals utilise online and social media platforms to assist candidates in obtaining a CSCS card without having to complete the required exams. When an individual is duped into believing they will receive a card only for it not to arrive, this is known as advanced fee fraud.
Individuals are required to complete the necessary qualifications and courses to gain a CSCS card and our Fraud Investigation team constantly monitor and take action to shut such operations down.
- Fake cards
CSCS cards are equipped with smart technology, while the CSCS Smart Check app allows for quick and easy detection of fake cards, therefore there are very few fake CSCS cards in circulation.
The construction industry must continue to regularly check cards using CSCS Smart Check to ensure numbers continue to drop.
- Certificate forgery
Historically, fake certificates were of poor quality and easily identifiable. However, fraudsters are now able to create more sophisticated qualification certificates and documents.
Whilst the number of fake certificates in circulation is low, we continue to work in partnership with the Awarding Bodies to identify forged documents at the point of application.