NPORS cards wrongly turned away from site

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 over 30 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 plant, demolition, plumbing and scaffolding.

CSCS recently received reports that holders of NPORS cards (one of CSCS’s Partner Card Schemes) have had workers turned away from site because their cards were considered not 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. NPORS is an approved CSCS Partner Card Scheme and these cards should be accepted when presented at the site gates. 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 approved standards as mandated by the Construction Leadership Council and like the CSCS scheme require the holder to gain an N/SVQ and pass the Health and Safety Test and should be accepted when presented on site.

NPORS’s Technical, Training and Standards Director Huw Jones 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 NPORS card has a QR code that can be checked using a smartphone, alternatively site managers can visit www.npors.com and use the online card checker or if all else fails they can contact NPORS on 01606 351240 if they wish to check if an NPORS card is valid.  It is very frustrating that some construction sites appear not to be recognising the Construction Leadership Council requirements which NPORS has met in full.”

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, ideally electronically, 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 CSCS’s Partner Card schemes visit www.cscs.uk.com/partners.