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BBC Fake Britain reporting on construction industry certification cards

Published: December 4, 2015

Following the BBC’s episode of Fake Britain broadcast on 4th December regarding the use of fake skills certification cards, CSCS has made the following statement:

CSCS is fully aware of the dangers of fake cards circulating within the construction industry and it is essential that steps are taken to prevent it.

CSCS maintains that for construction sites to remain safe all workers should hold the correct qualifications and training for the type of work they carry out. People holding fake CSCS cards are not qualified to do their job and cannot demonstrate the required level of health and safety knowledge needed to operate safely on site.

This is why CSCS’s Chief Executive Graham Wren and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) agreed to participate in the making of the programme.

Thorough card checks must be a pre-requisite before allowing workers on site and employers need to ensure workers have the correct qualifications for the work they do. More and more people are turning to technology, such as a CSCS SmartCard, as a simple and cost effective way to do this.

CSCS Communications Manager Alan O’Neile said: “The Fake Britain programme and the BBC’s Newsnight investigation broadcast in October demonstrate the importance of employers using the technology embedded in the CSCS card to help tackle fraud.

“By simply placing the card into a reader or compatible device such as a tablet or smartphone you can instantly check the validity of a card and the qualifications held by the card holder”.

However, there is still a lot of work to be done to increase the use of technology so that relying on visual card checks becomes a thing of the past. The survey featured in the programme revealed a small percentage of sites are using the Smart technology to check CSCS cards. The majority of sites are still using inefficient paper based systems to check CSCS cards.

Graham Wren said: “CSCS is confident the vast majority of the two million CSCS cards in circulation are legitimate. Obtaining a CSCS card fraudulently can constitute a criminal act and it also puts the safety of those you work with at risk. We hope the Fake Britain programme will raise awareness of card fraud and encourage industry to adopt the technology available in CSCS cards to help tackle this problem.”

CSCS continues to work closely with CITB and share intelligence with the authorities when the evidence suggests criminal activity is taking place.