Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) has announced the cost of CSCS skills cards is to rise from £30 to £36 from 1st September 2018. Have you experienced any problems with SKILLcards on your sites?
Managers of the engineering services SKILLcard scheme were alerted to the fact that a number of people working in the thermal insulation industry had managed to secure heating and ventilating (H&V) installer cards to gain access to construction sites.
As a result, site managers were in danger of being duped into allowing workers without the right qualifications onto their projects.
SKILLcard and the Thermal Insulation Contractors Association (TICA) have now removed scope for abuse and confusion, they say.
The SKILLcard and TICA programmes are both affiliated to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) that help clients check whether workers have the right qualifications and suitable health & safety training. For thermal insulators, this means holding qualifications that lead to competency as defined by the Sector Skills Council (SSC).
More than 60,000 people working in the heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration industry hold an engineering services SKILLcard, which also covers building engineering services supervisors and managers.
The TICA skill card competence is different to the SKILLcard scheme but, as things stood, thermal insulation operatives were able secure an engineering services card on completing an NVQ Level 2 course as a standalone qualification, getting on site through the back door.
This was described as “a blatant abuse of the competence system” by Rachel Davidson, director of certification schemes at the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), which manages SKILLcard.
“As soon as we were alerted, we closed this loophole in line with our responsibility to uphold professional standards and provide quality assurance to construction clients.”
She said it was clear this loophole was being exploited knowingly because the applicants felt they would not immediately qualify for a TICA skill card.
The cost of CSCS skills cards is to rise from £30 to £36 from 1st September 2018
The Construction Index posted this week about the 20% price rise increase applies to all cards administered directly by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS).
The last price increase was in 2010 but costs associated with running the scheme have increased significantly since then, CSCS said.
Chief executive Graham Wren said: “We have managed to maintain the current card price for the last eight years however inflationary pressure, together with increased costs associated with combatting fraudulent activity, have pushed our costs up to the point where the current price is not sustainable. In addition, with our current contact centre provider CITB having served notice to exit the service contract the CSCS board have agreed to invest in new technology and systems to ensure the application process is modernised.”
CSCS is a not-for-profit organisation owned by three employer organisations and two trades unions.
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