Drilling association calls on CSCS to end on-site confusion

Anne Baxter
Anne Baxter

The British Drilling Association (BDA) has called on the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) to end the on-site confusion caused by changes to its carding system.

BDA members have reported instances of non-construction staff such as lab technicians being wrongly refused entry to sites which operate a 100% CSCS workforce.

It stems from changes to the CSCS carding system that state: “…card schemes carrying the CSCS logo must only certify those occupations with nationally recognised construction-related qualifications”.

However, BDA said that the wide range of services required on many construction projects means there are times when individuals may need to attend a site to perform a non-construction activity, such as catering, delivering materials, managerial tasks or security, as well as on-site soils testing.

Anne Baxter, chair of the BDA, said: “The BDA’s members are not questioning the important role the Construction Skills Certification Scheme performs in improving safety and standards on-site. However there appears to be a basic misconception that personnel arriving on site to perform non-construction-related services should be in possession of a CSCS card.

“This clearly demonstrates a misunderstanding of the scheme and undermines the construction industry’s desire for a fully qualified (not carded) workforce.”

Anne added: “We have reports from members of problems with Principal Contractors (PC) applying a strict 100% CSCS Card policy irrespective of the activity being undertaken. Many site investigation companies undertake on-site soils testing. Laboratory Technicians who attend such sites do not undertake any construction work and yet they are having to obtain CSCS Cards not appropriate to their disciplines simply to gain access.”

The BDA is calling on CSCS to issue more guidance, aimed in particular at PCs, and put an end to the thinking that only CSCS-carded people can be allowed on-site.

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