Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
The industry is united in its desire for a fully qualified workforce and CSCS’ supporting role is to ensure all site workers hold the appropriate qualifications for their job.
In 2015 the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) announced (via the Industrial Strategy: Construction 2025) that industry should only promote card schemes carrying the CSCS logo.
In order to qualify for the CSCS logo all card schemes (including CSCS) must develop plans to meet the CLC’s requirements including:
- agreeing appropriate qualifications for each occupation
- setting a minimum standard for skilled occupations at NVQ level 2
- introducing smart technology by 2020.
As part of our continuing work to meet these requirements CSCS withdrew the CRO card in March this year. No further CRO cards will be issued or renewed and CRO cardholders must take further steps to replace their CRO cards if they wish to remain part of the CSCS scheme.
In many cases CRO card holders will be required to register for existing or newly developed qualifications before their CRO cards expire. In others CRO card holders will be moved to one of CSCS’s Partner Card Schemes that are more appropriate for their occupations.
With the withdrawal of the CRO card we have identified a number of occupations that are not construction related and as such have been removed from the scheme. People working in these occupations (such as Locksmiths, Security Guards, Cleaners and NVQ Assessors) no longer require a CSCS card when visiting site.
This is a significant change for the industry as many sites still operate 100% carded workforce policies. We hear of sites turning non-construction related workers away because they do not hold a CSCS card.
We want to get the message out to industry that CSCS cards are intended for constructed related occupations only and when someone turns up on site to carry out a non-constructed related job they should not be turned away because they do not hold a CSCS card. Site Managers and Supervisors have a responsibility to induct and escort (where appropriate) these people to ensure they remain safe at all times.
The withdrawal of the CRO card is seen as a practical step towards meeting the expectations of the CLC whilst simultaneously moving the scheme back to its original objective of certifying worker’s training and qualifications.
If you are a CRO cardholder the chances are you haven’t long to go before your card expires. I would urge all CRO card holders to visit www.cscs.uk.com/cro to find out the steps you need to take to replace your CRO card.
Contributor:Graham Wren joined CSCS in 2012. He previously worked at Balfour Beatty for 29 years, latterly as the managing director of Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering. In the past he has been chairman of the Federation of Piling Specialists (FPS), president of the National Specialists Contractors Council (NSCC) and sat on the Strategic Forum for Construction.