Following changes to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Carding System that card schemes carrying the CSCS logo must only certify those occupations with nationally recognised construction-related qualifications, British Drilling Association (BDA) members are reporting issues relating to non-construction-related staff being wrongly refused entry to some sites that operate a 100% CSCS workforce.
The wide range of services required on many construction projects means there are times when individuals may need to attend a site to perform a non-construction activity, such as catering, drivers delivering materials, managerial or security etc. These are not construction workers and the CSCS has therefore stopped issuing cards for over 60 non-construction related occupations. This change to the scheme however is leading in some instances to people being wrongly refused access.
Speaking about the issues Anne Baxter, Chair of the BDA said: "BDA members are not questioning the important role the Construction Skills Certification Scheme performs in improving safety and standards on-site. However there appears to be a basic misconception that personnel arriving on site to perform non-construction-related services should be in possession of a CSCS card. This clearly demonstrates a misunderstanding of the scheme and undermines the construction industry's desire for a fully qualified (not carded) workforce.
Anne added: "We have reports from members of problems with Principal Contractors (PC) applying a strict 100% CSCS Card policy irrespective of the activity being undertaken. Many site investigation companies undertake on-site soils testing. Laboratory Technicians who attend such sites do not undertake any construction work and yet they are having to obtain CSCS Cards not appropriate to their disciplines simply to gain access."
The BDA is calling on CSCS to issue more guidance, aimed in particular at PCs, and put an end to the thinking that only CSCS-carded people can be allowed on-site.