Skills cards for fringe trades to be phased out
CRO cards issued since October 2015 will expire by the end of September and no further CRO cards will be issued as of 31 March 2017 as they are phased out by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) in the drive to move towards full qualification.
There are currently around 230,000 CRO cards in circulation, covering a number of ancillary construction roles. However, you do not need a construction-related qualification in order to hold one.
CSCS Head of Communications Alan O’Neile said: “The Construction Leadership Council announced that skills certification card schemes carrying the CSCS logo must only certify those occupations with nationally recognised construction related qualifications, i.e. NVQs or approved equivalents.
“The CRO card is issued without the requirement to demonstrate the applicant has achieved an appropriate qualification and as such does not meet the requirements of the CLC.”
Alternatives available to CRO card holders will depend on the qualifications held by the applicant and whether their occupation is categorised as construction related. In many cases CRO card holders will be required to register for existing or newly developed qualifications before their CRO cards expire while some other workers will be transferred to one of CSCS’s partner card schemes.
Where no appropriate qualification exists, no card will be issued and it will be the responsibility of site supervisors and managers to ensure that these workers are properly supervised and managed.
Discussing the changes, CSCS Chief Executive Graham Wren said: “Together with our key industry stakeholders we have been preparing for the eventual withdrawal of the CRO card since 2015.
“This development is fully in line with the industry’s desire to ensure a fully qualified workforce. A lot of work has taken place to ensure CRO card holders know which qualifications are available and to make their transition to appropriate alternative arrangements as smooth as possible.
“The withdrawal of the CRO card is a practical step towards achieving the CLC’s requirement of ensuring nationally recognised qualifications are in place for all occupations.
“By certifying construction workers have the correct training and qualifications CSCS can play its part in improving standards and safety on UK construction sites.”
As part of this drive for industry to solely recognise cards carrying the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) logo by 2020, five new schemes have joined the CSCS stable. These include:
· Association of Lorry Loader Manufacturers and Importers (ALLMI)
· The Welding Institute (TWI)
· Mineral Products Qualification Council (MPQC)
· Glass Qualifications Authority (GQA)
· Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA)