Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Cards for Professionals
Posted: 4th November 2003
CIC is leading a project to develop routes for professionals to gain CSCS cards.
Background to CSCS
The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) was introduced in April 1995 to provide a means of certifying that construction workers’ “skills have been validated against national standards and they have the required knowledge to operate safely on site”.
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott set a target for a reduction in deaths and serious injuries of 40% by 2005 and 66% by 2010 at a construction summit in February 2001. This target provided the impetus for the CSCS and it is hoped that the scheme will act as an aid to achieving this goal.
Applicants to the scheme are required to demonstrate competence (the ability to carry out their job well) and knowledge of health and safety.
Historically competence has been demonstrated through possession of a relevant NVQ/SVQ, although for a limited period after the introduction of each occupational category, the competence of applicants can be shown through ‘industry accreditation’, i.e. certification by their employer or another professional person.
Health and safety knowledge is assessed through a multiple-choice test, sat either at a recognised driving licence test centre (the most common route), or a mobile testing unit or online.
CSCS and Professionals
Currently the only routes available to professionals who wish to obtain a CSCS card are:
• apply through the industry NVQ/SVQ route where cards already exist for particular occupations;
• apply through the industry accreditation route while this remains open, where cards already exist for particular occupations
• where the other alternatives are not available, apply for a Visitor’s card, a card for Regular Visitors will only be issued on successful completion of the health and safety test.
In response to industry demand CIC is collaborating with CSCS to improve and extend ways in which cards for construction professionals can be gained. A proposed Professional Membership Route has been approved in principle by the CSCS Board. A joint CSCS/CIC Working Group is developing this new route, and a number of Professional Institutions have already committed to take part in a pilot for developing Professional routes, which will hopefully result in some routes to Professional Institution membership receiving CSCS accreditation.
Take-up of the scheme
In recent years registrations for the scheme have rapidly increased, and it is likely that expectations from clients for site visitors to hold CSCS cards will also increase.
The Major Contractors Group has set a target for 100% of those working on its sites to hold CSCS (or CSCS affiliated) cards by the end of this year.
Details of the Scheme
CSCS is currently administered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), and managed by a board of construction industry representatives, including the Construction Industry Council.
Different types of card are issued under the scheme relating to an individual’s occupation and level of competence e.g. gold (supervisor), platinum (manager), black (senior manager) and yellow (regular visitor)..
There is also provision for occasional site visitors, who can be issued with a temporary visitor’s card. Holders of both temporary and regular visitor’s cards may need to be accompanied on site, at the discretion of site management
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