Tuesday 24 April 2018

The CSCS Skilled Worker Card – What You Need To Know

In this article Pete Whyatt – a qualified NVQ Assessor at P.A.W. Solutions -explains the situation regarding the CSCS Skilled Worker Card and what you need to do to get this vital document. 

As someone who works closely with the door and gate sector, I encounter a lot of confusion regarding the CSCS Skilled Worker Card. This is unsurprising, as there is not enough conversation going on about this issue in the industry. People don’t understand what they need - and many trade bodies and association don’t either, which is leading to confusion and conflicting information.

This is what you need to know:

To work unsupervised on most construction sites - and many other areas - you now need to prove occupational competence. This means holding a CSCS Skilled Worker Card. And to get this card you must first complete an NVQ L2 qualification.

For the door and gate sector, there are two relevant qualifications - one covers the installation of products (QUA800) and the other covers the repair of products (QUB800). You can choose either or both. Each qualification also includes product service and maintenance.

The NVQ is a competence-based qualification and is based on National Occupational Standards (NOS). These standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in an occupation are expected to be able to do.

The NVQ is achieved through assessment by an industry-qualified assessor. At the end of the assessment process, when the assessor has gained sufficient evidence of competence, a certificate claim will be put forward to the awarding body and, subject to satisfactory validation, the qualification certificate will be awarded.

As soon as the award is made, you can apply for the CSCS Skilled Worker Card.

The process

An NVQ qualification is an assessment of your competence, so you will need to be suitably experienced in your trade. The qualification demands at least one product from the NOS be covered, however you can be assessed against more. These products, known as endorsements, will be shown on the rear of your CSCS card. Your assessor will carry out initial profiling and discuss the endorsements required with you.

These can be any or all of the following:
  • Vertically sliding industrial/commercial doors
  • Vertically rolling industrial/commercial doors
  • Horizontally acting industrial/commercial doors, gates and barriers
  • Fire resisting industrial/commercial doors
  • Domestic garage doors with panel construction
  • Domestic garage doors with rolling construction
  • Domestic garage doors - power operated
  • Manual pedestrian slide, swing and folding doors
  • Fire resisting pedestrian doors
  • Power operated pedestrian slide, swing and folding doors
  • Gates and barriers
  • Swing and folding doors

After successful initial profiling, you will be registered for the qualification and issued a registration number.

You can then apply for a temporary Experienced Worker CSCS card. This lasts for one year - is not renewable - and allows you access to site during your qualification process. You must also pass the CSCS Health, Safety & Environment test in order to get this card.

You will then spend time being assessed through on the job observations and questioning. This allows your assessor to produce evidence that proves you have the competence to meet the necessary standards.

The assessment must take place onsite under actual working conditions – no simulation is allowed.

You will need to achieve several units that make up the full NVQ qualification. Some of the units are mandatory and must be completed, others are optional.

The qualification is for life. You only need to go through this process once and then you are free to work in the industry.

What the law says

There is no escaping this requirement, as the old CRO (Construction Related Occupation) cards are being withdrawn. If you have one issued from 1st October 2015, this expired on 30th September 2017 and is not renewable. If you have a CRO card issued prior to 1st October 2015, this will remain valid only until the card expiry date.

Or, to renew a CSCS card previously gained through Industry Accreditation (so called Grandfather Rights), such as the Blue Skilled Worker card, you will now need to prove you have the appropriate training and qualifications required to do your job.

There are other cards bearing the CSCS logo, which can be can be gained by passing an online test and show the holder has an understanding of the safety standards doors and gates should meet. But these do not cover installation and repair, or the ability of the cardholder to work on a construction site unsupervised. These cards can be accepted as partial evidence towards the NVQ qualification, but construction sites should insist on the Skilled Worker card.

The message is that everyone needs to work safely and legally – and the best way to ensure that is by holding a CSCS Skilled Worker Card.

To speak to Pete Whyatt about NVQ assessments call 07449 875986, or email peterwhyatt@hotmail.co.uk.

To find out more, go to www.paw-solutions.co.uk or take a look at the article and advert online .

Images courtesy of (in display order): APT Security Systems, Alpha Deuren and Garador.

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