Skills card audit planned across the construction industry

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Construction workers will be expected to show their skills card on 8 February as part of an industry-wide planned audit

In a bid to highlight the use of expired or fraudulent skills cards an industry-wide audit will take place next week.

On the 8 February 2017 construction workers across the UK should be prepared to show their skills card during the planned audit.

Skills card checks

Member companies of Build UK and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association will check all cards on that day, with the aim of ensuring they are up to date and are the smart cards type.

It is hoped the audit will not only ensure everyone is up to date but also promote the value of smart technology. This is used by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) and other affiliated schemes to ensure cards are not being used fraudulently.

Build UK chief executive Suzannah Nichol said: “The smart card audit is a great chance for us to understand what steps we need to take to fully integrate smart technology into the industry’s daily practices.

“By emphasising the benefits of smart cards and driving increased industry uptake, Build UK and its members can continue to lead positive change in the industry.”

Skills card scandal

In 2015 the card scheme came under fire for fraud, after a number of test centres across the country reportedly awarded the qualification to workers in return for money. Candidates were also given the answers to the exam as they sat it.

The investigation was led by BBC London and BBC Newsnight and found via a Freedom of Information request to the CITB there were 96 reported incidents of CSCS fraud in 2012. This figure increase from 264 in 2013 to 311 in 2014.

As a result of the exposure action was taken to reinstate confidence in the scheme. All CSCS cards issued at the test centres found to be fraudulent were withdrawn and all cardholders were required to retake the test.

Accreditation was withdrawn for the training firms identified in the programme WEP and Future Training 4 Jobs by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the British Safety Council.

CSCS also met with all 24 awarding organisations to review accredited training centre security and audit procedures.

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