Trainee card changes – are you ready?

CSCS Trainee cards are available to new entrants to the industry and are designed to allow workers access to sites whilst they undertake their construction related qualifications.

Feedback from industry has told CSCS the acceptance of qualifications not based on a National Occupational Standard is causing confusion amongst card holders and their employers.

In particular, Trainee (Technical, Supervisory and Management) card holders who mistakenly consider SSSTS, SMSTS and NEBOSH General as qualifications that lead to a skilled CSCS card are becoming frustrated when they realise they cannot progress to a skilled CSCS card.

The construction industry has requested that CSCS stops accepting qualifications not based on a National Occupational Standard and to only issue Trainee Cards when the qualification is based on a National Occupational Standard that leads to a skilled CSCS card.

What happens next?

From 1 August 2016 the following changes to Trainee cards will be introduced:

• Only one Trainee card (irrespective of occupation) will be available
• The card will be red in colour and clearly marked “Trainee”
• The occupation will not be displayed on the reverse of the card. It will simply say Trainee
• The card will be valid for 5 years and will be non-renewable
• Prior to applying for a card an applicant must register for a CSCS recognised construction related qualification
• SSSTS, SMSTS and NEBOSH General will not be accepted as routes to a Trainee card
• Applicants for a Trainee Card must have completed the appropriate CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test within the last 2 years.
• Applicants must complete their qualification before the Trainee card expires
• On completion of their qualification applicants can move onto a skilled CSCS card.

CSCS Communications and Public Affairs Manager Alan O’Neile said “Introducing a single Trainee card will remove some of the complexity surrounding the scheme. The card will be clearly marked “Trainee”, making those in the process of obtaining formal qualifications easily identifiable to others on site.

“Ensuring Trainee Cards are only issued to those who have registered for qualifications that lead to a skilled CSCS card is seen as a practical step towards achieving industry’s desire for a fully qualified workforce.”

For further information on applying for a Trainee card visit the Trainee card changes section on the CSCS website.