27 March 2020
Impact on CSCS applications
The growing concerns surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting CSCS’s ability to issue cards to first-time applicants or those wishing to renew their card prior to expiry.
A key requirement for all applications (new or renewal) is proof that the applicant has passed the relevant CITB Health, safety and environment (HS&E) test within the last 2 years.
CITB have confirmed that Pearson Vue HS&E test centres and the network of Independent Test Centres (ITCs) across the UK are now temporarily closed until further notice.
This situation will be monitored on a weekly basis.
CSCS and the wider industry should therefore consider the impact Coronavirus is having on the industry’s ability to deliver the test and the subsequent impact this will have on CSCS card applications.
What does this mean for CSCS?
The full impact of COVID-19 on CSCS card applications is yet unknown.
However, it is now clear that applicants will not be able to sit the test until the spread of the virus is under control.
Those new to the industry may be unable to apply for cards as they cannot sit the test or undertake training/qualifications relevant for the card they require. Also, the number of expired cards circulating in the industry will increase as existing card holders cannot renew their cards without resitting the test.
This could lead to genuine construction workers being turned away from site as they do not hold a CSCS card or their existing card has expired.
What steps are CSCS taking?
In recognition that COVID-19 will prevent some construction workers from meeting CSCS’s card application requirements, we are asking the industry to support the following temporary measures:
- Requesting employers and those responsible for site access and card checking procedures to use their discretion towards workers whose cards have expired since mid-March onward.
This is at the employer’s discretion until the situation has stabilised.
- CSCS has extended the grace period for card renewals from 6 months after the card expires to 12 months. This means that the card can be renewed, once the CITB HS&E test has been passed, up to one year from the card’s expiry date.
This will assist those applicants struggling to find availability to sit the test and renew their card.
- In response to Covid-19 CITB have developed some free of charge products to help employers determine if an employee is safe to work on their site.
CITB will soon be launching a temporary “LITE” version of the test. This will be available via an app that can be downloaded on the Android and iOS platforms. A version for a windows PC/Laptop will also be made available. These are awaiting authorisation and should be available soon.
Please visit the CITB website for further details on the “LITE” test and to view CITB’s recommended delivery guidelines.
We are in unprecedented times. Employers should expect their workers to hold a valid CSCS card as proof of their training and qualifications. However, until COVID-19 is brought under control we are asking the industry to support these temporary measures.
CSCS will continue to monitor the situation and where necessary introduce further proactive measures to limit the impact on CSCS applicants and the wider industry.
We appreciate your support during this time and ask that you to continue to visit this webpage for the latest updates from CSCS.
Any enquiries related to this matter should be emailed to [email protected]