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Industry Accreditation: Common queries answered

Published: July 13, 2022

CSCS is aware of concerns raised by many within the industry regarding the decision to withdraw cards issued under Industry Accreditation (IA).

Below, we set out some of the common areas of concern and information on how they can be resolved.

What is Industry Accreditation?

IA was a mechanism by which workers could obtain CSCS cards on the strength of an employers’ recommendation rather than the achievement of a recognised qualification.

CSCS stopped issuing new cards under Industry Accreditation back in 2010, but if you previously held a card under IA the scheme rules allowed you to continue to renew.

Why is CSCS withdrawing Industry Accreditation?

CSCS together with our 37 partner card schemes, are bound by the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) requirement that all construction industry card schemes must operate with nationally recognised qualifications (usually NVQs) in place for all occupations. This requirement is particularly important when addressing the IA issue. Further details on the withdrawal can be found here: www.cscs.uk.com/ia.

To satisfy the Construction Leadership Council’s requirements CSCS announced plans to withdraw cards issued under IA, which include:

  • IA cards issued from 1st Jan 2020 will expire on 31st Dec 2024 and will not be renewed
  • CSCS will cease renewing IA cards from 30th June 2024.

What options do I have to move off IA?

There are a number of ways to move off IA:

  1. Vocational qualifications already achieved: cardholders who have achieved the qualifications for their occupation can renew their card for the full five-year term as normal.
  2. Academically Qualified person card: This card is available to people who have completed certain construction related degrees, HNDs, HNCs, CIOB Certificates and NEBOSH diplomas. Further details can be viewed here.
  3. Professionally Qualified person: This card is available to competence assessed members of CSCS approved Professional Bodies of which CIOB is one. Further details can be viewed here.
  4. Not everyone needs a card: There will be IA card holders who no longer require their CSCS cards. For example, you may have moved into a management role, become a director, or rarely visit site. In these scenarios, you do not require a CSCS card.

Those unable to fit into these four scenarios will be required to register for the appropriate qualification for their occupation before their cards expire in 2024.

CSCS is working with the industry to find ways to support these individuals in achieving recognised qualifications. What that support looks like is yet to be confirmed, but two options to be explored are the delivery of on-site assessments and professional discussions for the achievement of the NVQ.

Both these options would be relatively straightforward for an experienced worker (IA card holder) to complete.

Why am I being sent back to college if I have years of experience or other relevant qualifications?

Those without qualifications will be required to register for the appropriate qualification for their occupation before their cards expire in 2024. However, it is unlikely to mean attending college to achieve an NVQ.

The industry is looking at other ways to deliver NVQs for IA card holders and, as mentioned above, this could consist of on-site assessments and professional discussions. Both these options would be relatively straightforward for an experienced worker (IA card holder) to complete.

What happens next?

Discussions continue as to the practicalities of withdrawing Industry Accreditation.

CSCS is committed to keeping everyone updated and further announcements will be made following consultation with the industry.

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