Most people are familiar with the role of CSCS cards in construction. The process of certifying construction workers’ training and qualifications ensures CSCS can play its part in improving standards and safety on UK construction sites.
CSCS’s principle objective is focused on the achievement of industry recognised qualifications, achieved through strong support from many industry stakeholders.
The UK construction Industry’s commitment to a fully qualified workforce is underpinned by the Industrial Strategy for Construction. The Construction Leadership Council (CLC), responsible for delivering the Strategy, announced in 2015 that all card schemes should carry the CSCS logo and must operate with nationally recognised qualifications in place for all occupations relevant to their sector.
Since the announcement CSCS has developed a number of plans to meet the CLC’s requirements, including agreement on appropriate qualifications for each occupation, with the minimum standard for skilled occupations established by the CLC at NVQ Level 2.
In April 2016 CSCS ceased issuing cards through the Profiled Route with applicants now required to have registered for, or achieved, an industry recognised qualification.
Currently the Construction Related Occupation (CRO) card is issued without the requirement for the applicant to hold a nationally recognised qualification. On this basis, as announced in October 2015, the CRO card will no longer be issued from the end of March 2017.
Following the withdrawal of the CRO card the next step towards a fully qualified workforce is perhaps the most challenging. Industry Accreditation (IA), also known as Grandfather Rights, allowed workers to obtain CSCS cards on the strength of an employers’ recommendation rather than the achievement of a recognised qualification. CSCS closed IA to new applicants in 2010 but those already holding a card are currently able to renew on the same basis.
To meet the requirements of the CLC we will, along with our partner schemes, develop plans to move all IA cardholders to a recognised qualification. This will require careful consideration and planning. How we achieve this within the necessary timescales will require extensive industry consultation prior to implementation. In the meantime existing IA card holders can continue to renew their cards in accordance with the scheme rules.
The withdrawal of Industry Accreditation will be the final step towards achieving the CLC’s requirement of ensuring nationally recognised qualifications are in place for all occupations.
CSCS is committed to keeping the industry fully updated and further announcements will be made following consultation with our many industry stakeholders.