Following consultation with the industry, the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) is introducing two significant changes related to academic qualifications and the green card.

In July 2014, CSCS is planning to re-launch the green card as the Labourer’s card following a pilot exercise. Anyone applying for the new entry level green card will be required to achieve the level one vocational qualification, Health and Safety in a Construction Environment, and pass the Health, Safety and Environment Test, demonstrating their knowledge of the key issues affecting safe working practices on UK construction sites. The Labourer’s card will replace the existing Construction Site Operative card and green cards will no longer be issued to operatives working in other occupations.

From 30 September 2013, CSCS has recognised a range of construction-related academic qualifications in addition to vocational qualifications including:

• Degrees
• HNC and HND
• NEBOSH Construction Certificates and National Diplomas
• CIOB Certificates.

Applicants holding these academic qualifications who pass the Managers and Professionals Health, Safety and Environment Test will be issued with an Academically Qualified Person (AQP) card, which will be valid for five years and will be non-renewable. Holders of the AQP card will be expected to work towards membership of a recognised professional body or a relevant vocational qualification and then apply for the appropriate card when their AQP card expires.

NSCC Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol MBE welcomed the changes: “The new AQP and labourer’s cards will help the industry towards its target of a competent workforce with operatives holding the right cards for the jobs they are doing on site. The green card has traditionally been used as an easy way of gaining access to site and the new requirements should prevent operatives from obtaining it when there is a more appropriate card.”

Further information about CSCS and how to obtain the right cards for the workforce can be found on the CSCS website.