Established in 1995, CSCS has developed significantly over the years. It now covers almost 400 occupations and there are over 1.5 million current CSCS cards. It works closely with a wide range of professional bodies including CIAT to ensure it provides a Scheme that meets the needs of their members as well as the contractors and clients they work with. Going Smart The start of 2010 saw a major improvement to the Scheme with the introduction of a SmartCard. This will bring a number of benefits to the industry all focussed on increasing safety, security and efficiency on construction sites. Whilst CSCS cards have always helped address these issues by displaying qualifications and competencies, there has been a rise in the number of fraudulent cards. This has the potential to put contractors and clients in danger of having unqualified or illegal workers on their sites with the associated health and safety risks. By introducing SmartCards, CSCS is making it simpler and quicker to check that a card is current and belongs to the person who is showing it. CSCS SmartCards are like the traditional cards in that information about the holder and their photograph is printed on it. However, the same data is also stored in a smart chip embedded in the card. The introduction of SmartCards also brought with it the advent of new designs for the cards to bring greater consistency and a more modern look. Other benefits that smart technology brings include: . enabling some information to be updated by computer without the need to apply for a new card . storing non- CSCS data by installing a simple computer program called an applet on to the chip. Organisations such as trade associations, contractors, clients or professional practices will be able to purchase applet licences to add their individual software requirements to the SmartCards. CSCS is also considering how it may work On the cards Brian Adams, Chief Executive of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme, provides an update on the Scheme for members of CIAT. 10 ATMARCH- APRIL2010 CSCS Right: What's in your wallet?
with other card issuers so that people who need access to construction sites potentially need only carry a single card in the future. CSCS has funded development costs of the SmartCard from its reserves so that their introduction only resulted in a small price increase to £ 30 per card. Using the technology is simple and inexpensive, requiring nothing more than internet access and a reader, prices of which start from £ 16.95 + VAT. The CSCS data on the chip can also be able be read offline i. e. when not connected to the internet. There is more detailed information about how CSCS SmartCards work and how they could enhance your organisation's operations at www. cscssmartcards. co. uk Professionally Qualified Persons Card Chartered Members should be applying for the Platinum Card, however a route for members who are not Chartered or not based on site, but who are expected to show leadership in health and safety when visiting sites, can apply for the Professionally Qualified Persons Card. In April 2010 the ' non site' residency requirement will be removed so that competency assessed members of CIAT, once they have passed the Managerial and Professionals ( MAP) Health and Safety test, will apply for PQP cards regardless of whether they are site based. These cards are valid for five years and may be renewed on re- verification of the relevant criteria. Applying for CSCS Cards The simplest way to apply for members of CIAT to apply for a CSCS PQP Card is to use the SkillsDirect Service by calling 0844 248 5262. You will be asked about your membership and will also need to provide your name and address, date of birth and National Insurance number. Your Managerial and Professional ( MAP) Health and Safety test will be booked and you will be told what documentation you need to take with you to the test. You will also need to provide details of your credit or debit card to pay for the card and the test. Once you have passed the test you will receive your card in seven days. Alternatively you can manage the process yourself by booking a MAP health and safety test, completing an application form and returning it with the appropriate documentation. You can download an application form from www. cscs. uk. com/ application. Once you have passed the test and all the documentation has been received your card will be dispatched within 28 days. If you wish to revise for the test there is a range of books and DVD's available. They are available from most high street and online booksellers or you can order them by calling 03449944488 or visiting www. healthandsafetytest. co. uk. Please note that there are specific materials to cover the MAP health and safety test. In summary, CSCS is working hard to ensure that the Scheme continues to evolve appropriately to meet the needs of everyone who works in construction and related sectors and especially the professionals who underpin the industry and provide leadership. ATMARCH- APRIL2010 11 CSCS Right: Perusing the new identification CSCS is making it simpler to check that a card is current and belongs to the person showing it.