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Labourers wrongly turned away from site due to CSCS logo confusion

Published: March 27, 2018

Most people in construction are familiar with Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards. It’s the card 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 there are 35 different card schemes displaying the CSCS logo and this is causing some confusion at the site gates. Card schemes displaying the CSCS logo are known as CSCS Partner Card schemes and they represent the many specialist occupations such as demolition, glazing, scaffolding and plant.

CSCS recently received reports that holders of the GQA Labourer Q-card (one of CSCS’s Partner Card Schemes) have been turned away from site because their cards and their occupations were not considered to be approved by CSCS.

Alan O’Neile, Head of Communications at CSCS said: “Just because a card looks different from a CSCS card doesn’t mean it should be turned away at the site gates. While the GQA mainly certifies occupations related to glazing and fenestration, the GQA also issue cards for other occupations, including labouring. The important thing to look out for, alongside the card holder’s identification, qualifications and training is the silver CSCS logo, this is usually displayed on the front of a card.”

Card schemes displaying the CSCS logo are based on the same standard as CSCS requiring the holder to gain an N/SVQ and pass the Health and Safety Test and should be accepted when presented at the site gates.

GQA Chief Executive Officer Mick Clayton said” We fully support the robust processes sites have in place to ensure only valid cardholders with the correct qualifications can access sites, I know CSCS have provided lots of information to sites and site managers about partner card schemes but inevitably there have been a few queries. The GQA Q card has a QR code that can be checked using a smartphone, alternatively GQA’s contact details are clearly shown on the reverse of the card”

Alan O’Neile continued: “CSCS is reminding the industry to be prepared for cards that don’t look like the familiar CSCS card. These cards are not necessarily invalid, if they bear the CSCS logo then they are a legitimate CSCS Partner Card scheme.

“However, what is absolutely key to the whole process is that cards are checked thoroughly before allowing workers on site. Checking a card thoroughly is the most effective way for employers to be sure workers are who they say they are and that they have achieved the appropriate qualifications for the job they do on site.”

For further information on the 35 CSCS Partner Card schemes visit