Health and Safety for Construction Labourers

From next summer anyone applying for the CSCS Green Card will be required to achieve the NVQ Level 1 qualification in Health and Safety for Construction Labourers. This is a new course which will be trialled later this year and be fully implemented from 1 July 2014.

The CSCS scheme has been widely criticised generally, and the Green card especially as it has, thus far, been too easy to obtain. At present anyone who can pass the basic Health and Safety Test can get a card so long as they can get a signature from an employer to say they’re competent. The new regime aims to address this issue by introducing a minimum standard of job related training.

However, there is still some confusion as to how the courses will be run and by whom? NVQ’s usually involve some form of work-based assessment and this could make it difficult for employers to recruit new labourers who do not already have the card?

Graham Wren, the CSCS Chief Executive, has said

…the new qualification will be a Single Unit Award on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and not an NVQ as such.

An NVQ is a qualification comprised of demonstrating knowledge and skills whilst at work, however, a single unit award measures knowledge only which means it can be delivered in a variety of ways including on the job training, computer based courses, work book and classroom delivery.

Mr Wren, or CSCS, have not yet announced how they expect these courses to be delivered. Awarding bodies including Cskills, City & Guilds and Edexcel are currently developing ideas on providing the training and assessment required. Watch this space for further developments.