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The Construction Skills Certification Scheme is taking plans to the next level to make sure the construction industry is 100 percent qualified and safe, rather than 100 percent carded.

Belinda Liversedge

As of 28 February 2020, CSCS will no longer be issuing or renewing its yellow Construction Site Visitor cards.

The cards were originally introduced for workers who did not perform a construction related role but visited sites on a regular basis. Jobs included cleaning, catering and security staff. 

But the visitor cards are also used by other workers doing construction related jobs to gain entry onto site without holding the right qualifications or health and safety training.

CSCS wants to stop this happening, as well as ensure that only those in construction occupations are asked to show their CSCS cards, as part of a broader, industry-wide shake up of the cards system.


Visitor cards will soon no longer be issued, making it harder for workers without skills or safety qualifications to get onto construction sites. Photograph: CSCS

Alan O’Neile, head of communications at CSCS told Safety Management: “The withdrawal of the Site Visitor card will see an increase in the numbers of individuals turning up to site without a card.

“If a worker is there to carry out a construction related activity then a card is required as proof of their training and qualifications. If they are there to perform a non-construction related activity a card is not required.

“It then becomes the responsibility of site supervisors and managers to induct and supervise non-construction related workers to ensure they remain safe at all times when on site. Managers and supervisors should not be asking for CSCS cards from people who do not work in construction related role,” he explained. 

The change is part of the Construction Leadership Council’s Industrial strategy 2025, a government and industry backed strategy to introduce greater efficiency, safety and skills onto construction sites.

The strategy prompted the closure of the Construction Related Occupation cardlast March, which required 300,000 card holders to put plans in place to obtain a recognised qualification, and the withdrawal of the green Construction Site Operative card in 2014.

All changes have been made with the aim of ensuring that all cards carrying the CSCS logo only certify workers in construction related occupations with nationally recognised construction related qualifications and safety training. CSCS, along with the 35 other card schemes which use its logo, have signed up to the pledge.

Construction Site Visitor cards issued from 3 September 2018 will expire on 31 August 2020 and CSCS will stop issuing Site Visitor cards altogether in February 2020.

“For the avoidance of doubt, all Construction Site Visitor cards issued before 3 September 2018 will remain valid until their expiry date. We’re giving the industry plenty of time to put a plan in place to move of that card,” said Alan.

Alan also commented: “Following the closure of the Construction Related Occupation card in 2017, the Site Visitor card is now the only card issued without the need for the applicant to achieve a recognised qualification. The Construction Site Visitor card does not support industry’s desire for a fully qualified workforce and as such it will be withdrawn.”

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