CSCS card changes for kitchen, bedroom and furniture installers09 Aug 2016, by Education, Industry, Installers in
Information for fitted furniture installers as changes to CSCS cards get closer
There is a lot of confusion currently surrounding the imminent CSCS card changes that will effect kitchen fitters, bedroom fitters, bathroom fitters or associated trades working on UK building sites. The changes are due to take effect from 2017.
The CSCS scheme currently in place is being altered to ensure that each and every individual in possession of a CSCS card has the relevant qualification to undertake the role they are on site to do. In the case of those fitting furniture, the qualification requirement is the NVQ Level 2 in Fitted Interiors.
Currently, the vast majority of fitters are not officially qualified and are therefore using either the green Construction Site Operative card, or the white Construction Related Occupation card. Both of these cards have been subjected to recent changes, with more to come imminently.
If you want to carry on working on site it is vital you understand what CSCS card changes are imminent and when, and how you can ensure you don’t get caught out. We have tried to simplify things so you have all the facts well in advance of the changes.
What are your CSCS card options?
Construction Site Operative CSCS Card
If you are currently using the green CSCS Construction Site Operative (CSO) card, you have until the expiry date of that card to achieve a qualification. The card is no longer issued, and will not be reissued, having been replaced by a CSCS Labourer card that is purely for general labour. Once this card runs out, you will not be allowed on site to fit furniture without being qualified.
Construction Related Occuption CSCS Card
The CSCS Construction Related Occupation (CRO) card is perhaps in need of more immediate planning. The CRO card was brought in to effect in 2005 as a way of gaining site access for those construction related occupations that did not have a recognised qualification. Since the CSO card (above) was replaced, over 12,000 applications a month have been received for the CRO card as it is the easiest way to get on site without formal qualification. Qualifications have been introduced for almost all trades; those without are currently having qualifications developed.
If you received a CRO card before 1st October 2015 then the card will be valid until the date shown on the card. The card will not be reissued after that date so you will have to be registered for a qualification to carry on installing on site.
If you have received a CRO card after the 1st October 2015 then it will expire on the 30th September 2017. The card will not be reissued so you will have to be registered for a qualification to carry on installing on site.
New CRO cards will no longer be issued after the 31st March 2017. You will need to ensure you are registered for the qualification to carry on working on site in advance of it expiring.
Skilled Worker CSCS Card
The CSCS Skilled Workers card is available to installers who hold an officially recognised qualification. CSCS are working to ensuring every skilled worker on site holds this card over the next few years. If you already have this card there is nothing more you need to do as there are no planned changes to this card.
Experienced Worker CSCS Card
If you are registered as undertaking the NVQ, and have experience of having worked on site recently, you can apply for the Experienced Worker CSCS card. This is a temporary card that lasts twelve months and is not renewable. You will be expected to complete the qualification in this period and replace this card with the Skilled Worker CSCS card.
How will this impact your work?
Basically, there is no way around the fact that eventually, if you do not hold the formal qualification, you will need to gain the NVQ Level 2 in Fitted Interiors if you want to carry on installing kitchens, bedrooms, bathroom furniture or associated fitted furniture on site. There will no doubt be the likelihood of a large skills shortage of installers in possession of the blue Skilled Workers Card as the changes take effect.
How do you get qualified?
We undertake on site assessments independently for NSAC (National Specialist Accredited Centre) which is part of CITB (please see the link: http://www.citb.co.uk/training-courses/specialist-training/ ). The process involves visiting you on site to gain a portfolio of evidence to map against the National Occupational Standards. Assuming you are competent in your role as either a kitchen fitter, bedroom fitter, bathroom furniture fitter or associated furniture installer, the process is fairly simple and not too intrusive to your working time.
Can’t find a qualification related to your line of work?
We are often contacted by fitted furniture installers who don’t fall exactly under the endorsement of either a kitchen fitter, bedroom fitter or bathroom furniture installer. Please feel free to contact us if you feel your line of work is closely related to fitted furniture as we are looking at options to work with the awarding bodies to expand the Occupational Standards to meet the needs of closely related trades.