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CSCS Alliance: raising standards and safety in construction

Published: November 3, 2022

Most people in construction are familiar with Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards. It is the card (either physical or digital), that provides proof that individuals working on construction sites have the appropriate training and qualifications for the job they do on site.

However, not everyone is aware that CSCS cards are made up of an alliance of 38 different organisations representing not just the traditional construction trades but the many specialist occupations across the built environment.

Since 2020 the 38 card schemes have come together under the banner of the CSCS Alliance to deliver to a common standard under a CSCS licence.

Jay Parmar, Chair of the CSCS Alliance, said:

Cards displaying the CSCS logo operate with nationally recognised qualifications in place for all occupations and provide assurance that over 2.1 million construction workers are qualified for the job they do on site. By ensuring the workforce are appropriately qualified the CSCS Alliance is playing its part in raising standards and safety on UK construction sites.

The CSCS Alliance exists to act as a collective voice and advisor on matters relating to personnel registration and the verification of skills, training, and qualifications.

In 2021, Alliance members came together to tackle the issue of T-level students (requiring extended periods of work placement) unable to gain access to site as an appropriate CSCS card was not available. These routes into the industry are crucial for the shared ambitions around low carbon technologies and ensuring a skilled workforce for the future.

Following extensive consultation, the Industry Placement card was introduced to provide these learners with access to site. Without the intervention of the CSCS Alliance these learners would find it difficult to start developing the practical and technical skills required by the future workforce.

In April this year, working with the Construction Leadership Council, the Alliance launched the CSCS Smart Check app. The new app has radically improved the construction industry’s card checking procedures and site safety as, for the first time, all 2.1 million cards displaying the CSCS logo can be verified using a single app.

The CSCS Smart Check app forms part of the industry’s response to the findings of the Dame Judith Hackitt Review. It ensures people are suitably qualified, have the right training and experience for the role they are doing on site and crucially, the information held by the cards can be accessed by sites of all sizes to improve building quality and safety. Over the coming months, the Alliance will be issuing further updates on future developments for the app.

Speaking of the future, there is more to come from the CSCS Alliance. The Building Safety Act is something the Alliance monitors closely as it is clear that all construction workers will soon be required to demonstrate their ongoing skills and training, this is where the Alliance comes in.

Jay Parmar continued:

The Alliance have a critical role to play in ensuring that principles which underpin the Building Safety Act and concepts such as the Golden Thread; greater collaboration, improved visibility and sharing best practice are achieved throughout all processes including verifying the training and qualifications of individuals. Industry defined requirements for Fire Safety training and the introduction of Continuous Professional Development will also need to be displayed on CSCS cards and validated at the site.

In a short space of time the Alliance have shown just how effective they are at driving positive change and raising standards across the entire construction sector.

For further information on the CSCS Alliance visit: