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Industry Accreditation CSCS cards: change is coming

The next change to the CSCS will see it end the renewal of cards issued via Industry Accreditation (IA) by the end of 2024. Shaun Wadsworth explains what this means for you.

THE Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) has been in place for nearly 30 years, creating CSCS cards that provide proof that individuals working on construction sites have the appropriate training and qualifications for their role. It has seen many changes in that time moving from a 100% carded policy to qualification led policy, removal of the site visitor and site operative cards as well as the removal of the construction Related Occupation card. The next change to the scheme will see CSCS end the renewal of cards issued via Industry Accreditation (IA) by the end of 2024.

But what is Industry Accreditation and why is it being withdrawn? Industry Accreditation (also known as Grandfather Rights) allowed workers to obtain CSCS cards on the strength of an employers’ recommendation rather than the achievement of a recognised qualification. Industry Accreditation to new applicants ceased in 2010 but those already holding a card up until now have been able to renew on the same basis but from 30th June 2024, renewal applications will cease, and all IA cards issued from 1st Jan 2020 will expire on 31st Dec 2024. If your Blue, Black or Gold CSCS card states on the back Industry Accreditation this means your card has been gained through IA and you will need to take action to be able to renew your card. You may already have a qualification that can be used to move away from an IA card. For those who do not, you will be required to register for the appropriate qualification for your occupation before your card expires at the end of 2024.

Holding a CSCS card is not a legislative requirement, and it is entirely up to the main contractor/client whether workers are required to hold a relevant CSCS card before they are allowed on site. However, most main contractors require construction workers to hold a valid card. For IA card holders to gain access to sites from 2025 onwards they will have to move away from IA cards, and this can be done in several ways. If you already have a vocational or academic qualification for your job role, then you can simply upgrade your IA card to the appropriate alternative. This includes qualifications such as floorlaying S/NVQ’s, supervisory qualifications, IOSH, NEBOSH, contracts manager qualifications or some professional body memberships.

If you do not hold a relevant qualification for your job role you will have to complete the qualification before being able to apply for the relevant CSCS card, but once enrolled on a qualification you can apply for a red trainee card that would bridge the gap until your qualification is completed.

The good news is there is plenty of help and support out there for anyone that needs it, with CSCS themselves having dedicated guidance on their website www.cscs.uk.com/IA. This includes information on replacing cards, identifying relevant qualifications and where to find S/NVQ assessors. For floor layers, if your employer is CITB levy registered there is grant funding available of £600 towards the cost of a level 2 S/NVQ and upwards of £1250 towards specific supervision and management S/NVQs on successful completion of the qualification. More information on CITB grant funding can be found on the CITB website or by speaking to your local CITB rep.

For specific guidance on flooring S/NVQs, S/NVQ assessors available to assess qualifications or for answers to any other training relating questions, you can also access the Contract Flooring Industry Training Guide 2023 for free at www.cfa.org.uk. FITA (the Flooring Industry Training Association) delivers NVQs via the onsite-assessment route and details of this can be obtained by contacting the FITA admin team on 0115 950 6836 or email info@fita.co.uk

Finally, for CFA members, you can contact me directly for support and guidance in this matter, or any other training related queries.
0115 9506836
Shaun Wadsworth is CFA and FITA training manager

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