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Leadership Council backs CSCS cards as only acceptable scheme

The Construction Leadership Council has agreed that clients and contractors should only accept card schemes carrying the Construction Skills Certification Scheme logo from this month.

The Construction 2025 industrial strategy in 2013 set out a commitment to identify one card scheme that would be promoted through public procurement.

At its November 2014 meeting, the CLC agreed that the industry should specify and promote card schemes carrying the CSCS logo from January 2015.

It said trade associations, contractors, clients and government should not accept equivalent cards without the CSCS logo.

There are currently more than 1.4m CSCS card holders, and an additional 500,000 cards are affiliated to CSCS and carry the logo.

National Specialist Contractors Council chief executive Suzannah Nichol said most people working in the industry would already carry a card with the CSCS logo, but that some card schemes would need to change.

“There are some schemes that do not meet that standard and they will have to change their schemes and bring the level of qualification they deliver for the person holding their card up to standard,” she said.

 Ms Nichol said she would expect site managers to begin telling those without a CSCS-affiliated card to ask workers to upgrade their cards.

However, she added that the priority was to ensure schemes meet the industry standard, and not to blame the individual card holders if they do not carry the CSCS logo.

CSCS communications manager Alan O’Neile told Construction News CSCS would now work with other schemes to enable them to carry the CSCS logo.

He said the decision by the CLC would not create a card scheme monopoly, and that other schemes would continue to manage their own affairs and set their own rules in accordance with their standard-setting body.

Mr O’Neile said: “All workers on construction sites should hold the correct qualifications and training for the type of work they carry out.

“For the scheme to be effective, it is vital the industry uses a consistent and recognisable brand that provides proof that the individual has met and accepted standard of minimum qualifications and training.”

The CLC also decided that all card schemes carrying the CSCS logo should feature smart technology by 2020.

Cards carrying the CSCS logo will ensure cardholders have the appropriate qualifications for the work they are carrying out, with cards for skilled occupations and new entrants, apprentices, trainees and labourers clearly identifiable.

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