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ACTION TO END COMPETENCE CARD SHORTCOMINGS

Industry and HSE consider competence Card Registration Authority

In May 2011 we reported on HSE / CITB-ConstructionSkills commissioned research regarding routes to competence for site-based operatives and supervisors in the construction industry. This research report is being discussed at the Construction Industry Advisory Committe (CONIAC) on 13th July 2011.

CONIAC members will consider a paper which presents the main findings of the research and suggests a mechanism by which the industry might take forward the further work suggested. A key suggestion is that the construction industry should consider establishing a Card Registration Authority to:

  • improve the transparency and consistency of the various card schemes;
  • be responsible for monitoring and accrediting all card schemes against a clear set of standards; and
  • develop a system in which schemes require achievement of a nationally-recognised formal qualification.
Initial industry response

HSE has held two meetings with the industry to feedback the findings and obtain an initial response. At the meetings there was:

“acceptance that are a number of shortcomings in the way that existing card schemes operate in practice and that there is a need for a more universally-understood concept of what competence is, and how it can be assessed and demonstrated. The industry appeared to support in principle that some form of card registration authority has the potential to make substantial improvements”.

The research is echoed in the emerging findings of the evaluation of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 which suggests that the competence requirements of CDM 2007 are not well embedded, and contractors expressed concerns about the bureaucracy they perceive in the way that card schemes in particular operate.

CONIAC is being invited by HSE to consider the research findings and the possibility that a Card Registration Authority be established.

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