Archaeologists are rapidly starting to become aware of a change in the qualification requirements for the CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme). The Construction Related Occupation is being withdrawn in a bid to encourage construction workers to apply for the new green Labourer card which is qualification dependent. This is to try to better ensure that construction workers on UK sites have the correct training. You can read more about the reasons for their decision and the timescale of the card’s withdrawal here.
The main points are:
Construction related occupations (CRO) card is being withdrawn from September 2017 and all new cards being issued now are only valid until then
The potential options after that date for archaeologists at the moment are the 1) Professionally Qualified Person (PQP) route or 2) Academically Qualified Person (AQA) route
Application for these are not straightforward however as, at present, the PQP card is only available to competence assessed members of CSCS approved Professional Bodies, and the AQA card requires a qualification from a list of CSCS recognised qualifications. Although degrees are acceptable ‘Archaeology’ specifically is not on the list. The PQP route is our preferred option so we are currently investigating the possibility of adding CIfA to the list of recognised professional bodies. Both cards last for 5 years but require the CITB Managers and Professionals Health, Safety and Environment Test to be passed rather than the Operatives CITB Health Safety & Environment test, as with the CRO card.
We know that archaeologists are already having problems with their degree name when trying to apply for an AQA card. CIfA is working alongside FAME to try to resolve these problems with CSCS as soon as possible. We will report back on our progress. In the meantime you can still apply for the CRO card although they will only last until 17 September 2017.
CSCS will stop issuing CRO cards altogether from 31 March 2017 but if you were issued your CRO card before 1 October 2015 and it is valid until a date after 17 September 2017, then that expiry date will be honoured.