Despite widespread knowledge and familiarity within the building and construction sector of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), there are still many who are not aware of some of the schemes which is causing confusing and anger at site gates.
CSCS is involved in over 30 different card schemes displaying its logo and this is causing some problems at the gates. Known as CSCS Partner Card schemes, cards showing the CSCS logo represent the many specialist occupations such as plant, demolition, plumbing and scaffolding. A valid card shows that the holder has appropriate training and qualifications for the job they do on site.
Recent reports have reached CSCS of NPORS card holders (a CSCS Partner Card Scheme) being rejected and turned away from site with their cards not being accepted as proof of CSCS approval.
Head of Communications at CSCS, Alan O’Neile, 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.”
Any holder of a card scheme displaying the CSCS logo means it is based on the approved standards as mandated by the Construction Leadership Council and requires the holder to gain an N/SVQ and pass the Health and Safety Test and should be accepted when presented on site.
Huw Jones, NPORS’s Director of Technical, Training and Standards added “We fully support the robust processes sites have in place to ensure only valid cardholders with the correct qualifications can access sites. 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.”
Luke Davis, Director at Recruiteasy (www.recruiteasy.co.uk), a leading South West construction recruitment agency said: “The CSCS card scheme is the bedrock of the industry ensuring the required standard are met. As a responsible agency we always ensure our workers have appropriate cards and that sites are aware of the various schemes that are authorised by CSCS such as NPORS.
“There’s nothing worse for moral of the workforce and sanity of site managers than confusion about such matters, particularly after a long journey to site. So it’s imperative site manager are familiar with these schemes. We will update our site with appropriate links so that people can quickly check on the various schemes.”
For further information on CSCS’s Partner Card schemes visit www.cscs.uk.com/partners.