Many homebuilders and contractors require a valid CSCS card proving that workers have met the required certifications and training for they type of work they perform. CSCS is a not-for-profit limited company consisting of unions and employer organisations representing the construction industry. The CSCS card certifies that construction workers have the required qualifications specific to the job they perform. The scheme provides a database of certified construction workers who have achieved the recognised industries related qualification. The changes to the CRO (Construction Related Occupation) card begins on 1st October 2015, paving the way for its withdrawal by 2017.
Training Required for the Following Task by the CSCS:
- Tractor/Dozer Operation, Mobile Crane Operation, Crawler Crane Operation, Articulated Dumper Operation, Site Dumper Operation
- 180 or 360 Degree Excavator Operation
- Mini-Digger Operation
- Roof and Wall Cladding/Sheeting
- Built-Up Roof Felting
- Signing, Lighting, and Guarding on Roads
- Assisting in the Implementation of Health and Safety at Road Work
- Locating Underground Services
- Scaffolding: Basic and advanced
- Mobile Tower Scaffold: Employees have not been trained in either basic or advanced scaffolding
- Tower Crane Operation
- Self-Erecting Tower Crane Operation: Employee does not have training in tower crane operation
- Slinging/Signalling: This is the slinging of loads on lifting equipment and signalling plant drivers in load placement
What Happens if the Worker Isn’t Qualified?
The goal is to improve standards and safety by everyone involved in the construction industry. If a worker has not recorded a construction related qualification by September 30, 2017, they will not be able to renew their card and cannot even step foot on a work site. If a worker wants to keep working, they must pick a skill and register for a qualification and work towards certification.
If the applicant does not hold the qualification, they can:
- Register for an appropriate qualification while applying for a Trained card that will be valid for three years and is not renewable.
- Apply for a CRO card that expires on September 30, 2017, and is not
- If the occupation is determined not to be covered by a nationally recognised qualification, a CRO card is issued that expires on September 30, 2017, with the relevant sector identified as an appropriate qualification recognised by the CSCS.
How Does This Affect Electricians?
There is a CSCS card, called the Construction Related Occupation (CRO) Card that is designated for workers who work in areas that do not have a nationally recognised qualification. An electrician should not even be holding a CRO card. Electricians should hold an ECS card, which is a dedicated card scheme. This scheme requires that you have a suitable set of qualifications or working to attain them to have this card.
Since 2000, the dedicated ECS scheme, run by the CSCS and the JIB, states that anyone working on electrical systems on construction sites should already have qualifications and/or working towards a fully qualified status to get a card.
What is the Labourer Card?
Many workers have multiple skills that don’t fall under any one category, which is one of the reasons the CRO was issued. In this situation, workers must pick a single occupation to be displayed on their card.
300,000 CRO cards have been issued since 2005 due to applicants only needing to complete the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test to be eligible for a CRO (Construction Related Occupation) Card. CSCS started noticing a massive increase in CRO card applications and believes it is being used as an easy point of entry into sites for those who haven’t obtained the necessary qualifications required.
This caused them to launch a new Labourer card in July 2014. This is issued once the applicant shows they are working towards a particular trade. Even with the 35,000 labourer cards issued, CSCS also noticed an increase in the number of CRO card applicants. They view this as a shortcut to avoid taking the necessary qualifications for their chosen field.
The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) recommends that cards with the CSCS logo demonstrate that individuals have achieved the standard of agreed upon qualifications for the occupation in which they work. The plan is to have the CRO cards phased out over the next two years as follows:
- CRO cards issued before October 1, 2015, and expire on September 30, 2017, will remain valid until they expire.
- CRO cards issued from October 1, 2015, will not be renewable and will expire on September 30, 2017.
- CRO cards will stop being issued after March 31, 2017.
Beginning October 1, 2017, companies should be aware that workers holding CRO cards will expire on September 20, 2017, and will not be renewable. Once the applicant has submitted the necessary evidence of their qualification and it’s verified, a card will be issued with the appropriate skill designated. Only one occupation can be displayed on the card, and CSCS will make sure that a national qualification covers the trade applied for and ensure that the applicant holds the qualification needed for the job.
CSCS cards are meant to prove that the worker has the skills to work in their chosen occupation. This ensures that each worker is qualified and have the correct cards for the work they do, which is the primary objective of the scheme. The card designates that the required evidence demonstrates that individuals working on construction sites have the necessary qualification for the type of work they do. Since CRO cards inform the employer that a worker does not hold a nationally recognised construction related qualification, plans are in progress to eliminate them out of the workforce. CSCS does not anticipate the issuing of more cards as a result of the change.