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BSRIA supports CITB decision to revoke CSCS cards

BSRIA is backing the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board)’s decision to revoke CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) cards, after an investigation into fraudulent activity at five test centres revealed that more than four thousand construction workers had paid cash to pass the test.

BSRIA is backing the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board)’s decision to revoke CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) cards, after an investigation into fraudulent activity at five test centres revealed that more than four thousand construction workers had paid cash to pass the test.

 Construction workers across the UK are required to hold a CSCS card to prove skills and an understanding of health and safety. Nine of the UK's ten biggest construction companies demand them.

 

However, the CITB has revoked 4,615 cards after it carried out an extensive investigation – prompted by an exposé broadcast on BBC’s Newsnight programme – which found fraudulent activity in centres where candidates were taking tests accredited by both the CITB and the British Safety Council.

 

In October, BSRIA expressed concern at the revelation that construction safety exams were rigged following the disclosure that the flagship scheme for certifying builders being called into question after a string of test centres were caught fixing health and safety exams.

 

Back then, the BBC Newsnight investigation revealed that workers were paying cash to card training scheme supervisors to help them pass the test. Subsequently, the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) wrote to all affected cardholders in November to tell them that they needed to retake their health, safety and environment test.

 

Those affected were asked to register by 20 December 2015, or risk their CSCS card being cancelled. A total of 5,480 of the individuals affected did not register to retake their test, meaning their test result is now void.

 

From the individuals who already used their test result to obtain a CSCS card, 4,615 have been revoked, while the remaining 553 candidates have until 14 February to successfully take their test before their cards are revoked.

 

BSRIA chief executive Julia Evans said: “Last October when this story broke, BSRIA said that construction is the UK's most dangerous employment sector and in the past five years alone, 221 workers have died. As an industry, we've set our stall on the CSCS card being the minimum benchmark to accept workers on to our sites.

 

“This scheme has to be trusted. BSRIA’s members demand best practice for the industry where its workforce must be safe. This exposure is clearly unacceptable.

 

“Industry health and safety and compliance must be adhered to all times. We do feel for those whose livelihoods will be disrupted, but the bottom line is that workers must be safe,” she concluded.

 

Comments

BSRIA (via @ACRNEditor)
11 February 2016 13:03:54

(a) We understand Mr Moss’ points. But CSCS should be the minimum standard that is worked to.

BSRIA expects all members and industry employees to meet that benchmark.

We have no reference point for less safety conscious contractors and work practices. We, as such, have no comparison.

(b) Compliance should be asked / adhered to as a minimum inherent duty for all workers. This is sacrosanct.

John Moss
11 February 2016 10:55:49

Of course we all support BSRIA's and the CITB's stance on this matter, but we all must realise there are two disageeable facts. (a) safety must come with sufficient efficiency to enable us to compete with our less safety conscious rivals and (b) the drive towards increased sustainability will mean we should accept of reduced safety now for the sake of greater safety of our children and grandchildren. These mean that some of the clumsier safety initiatives should be rethought, with less attention paid to the employers paper trails and that individuals should bear a greater responsibility for the safety of their work-mates. 

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