CSCS scraps exemptions to health & safety test

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There are to be no more exemptions: if you need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, you have to sit the touchscreen health & safety test first. No ifs, no buts.

Until now, any applicant that had achieved a national or Scottish vocation qualification (NVQ/SVQ) within the last two years was exempt from sitting the Construction Industry Training Board’s health, safety & environment test.

This is because NVQs and SVQs have included relevant learning modules as part of the syllabus and were therefore deemed a suitable equivalent to the health and safety requirements.

This exemption is now being scrapped from 2nd September 2019.

CSCS director of operations Gordon Jenkins said: “Accepting the recent completion of an SVQ or NVQ as an exemption to taking the CITB health, safety & environment test is no longer in step with the wishes of the industry and as such the exemption will be withdrawn.

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“CSCS, together with our 35 partner card schemes, are bound by the requirements of the Industrial Strategy for Construction. The Industrial Strategy is overseen by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) who, in 2015, announced that cards displaying the CSCS logo should only issue skilled cards to applicants who hold nationally recognised construction qualifications and have passed a separate health and safety element.”

In a separate move, the CITB has introduced changes to the test, with effect from 26th June 2019. Anyone taking the test after that date is expected to purchase the updated revision materials. Prices vary from £12 for the books, £5.99 for apps and £13.75+VAT for DVDs.

“New questions have been added to better cover the wide range of daily health, safety and environment tasks and responsibilities,” CITB said.

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