Beena Nana, FIS Head of Skills and Training explains the important changes affecting Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cardholders, specifically if a card is acquired through the Industry Accreditation (IA) route. These changes have been implemented by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) to ensure the industry has a fully trained and competent workforce.

Being a CSCS cardholder provides many benefits including a personalised CSCS card, providing proof that individuals working on construction sites have the appropriate training and qualifications for the job they do. By ensuring the workforce is appropriately qualified the card plays its part in improving standards and safety on UK construction sites.

Holding a card is not a legislative requirement and it is entirely up to the principal contractor or client whether workers are required to hold a valid card before they are allowed on site. However, most principal contractors and major housebuilders require workers on their sites to hold a valid CSCS card.

CSCS cards differ depending on the individual’s job, and each card is a different colour. There are 13 in total and four that are impacted by the withdrawal of IA.
These are:
• Skilled worker cards, which are blue,
• Manager cards, which are black,
• Supervisor and advanced craft cards, which are both gold.

Workers could previously acquire CSCS cards through IA, also known as “Grandfather Rights”, which is a practice that recognises the skills and experience of individuals who have been working in a particular industry for a significant period. This concept allows experienced workers to secure CSCS cards and formal qualifications based on employer recommendations without undergoing the standard assessment process. Essentially, it acknowledges the expertise and knowledge gained through years of practical work, offering a pathway to accreditation based on an individual’s extensive experience rather than formal training or examination.

Currently, there are 35,000 construction workers who hold cards that have been issued through this route. For years, CSCS has required applicants to demonstrate the attainment of a nationally recognised construction-related qualification. Although closed to new applicants since 2010, those already possessing a card could renew it on the same basis – until now.

Continue reading here to find out what is changing and what these changes mean for our industry.