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Major Changes to the CSR Scheme

The Construction Skills Register (CSR) is making a number of significant changes during 2019. These changes are being introduced to ensure CSR continues to meet the needs of the Northern Ireland construction industry and to enable continued mobility and acceptance of CSR cards throughout the UK, through compliance with the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLCs) One Industry Logo requirements.

Green Card Changes – 1 April 2019

From 1 April 2019 CSR will no longer issue any new or renewal General Construction Operative (GCO) cards. GCO cards issued up to 31 March 2019 will continue to be valid for 4 years from the date of the health and safety training.

A new CSR Labourer card will be introduced on 1 April 2019 for those working in a labouring occupation. Applicants must complete the CSR one day health and safety course and have an employer declaration completed to confirm they are working in a labouring occupation. The card will be valid for 4 years from the date of the health and safety training.

Card holders whose GCO cards expire from 1 April 2019 should apply for a Labourer card, if they meet the requirements above, or another CSR card that is more appropriate for the job role they carry out.

Historically GCO cards have been issued to construction related occupations that do not fall under the remit of the Joint Council for the Building and Civil Engineering Industry (Northern Ireland), the owner of the scheme. These occupations including electricians, plumbers, heating and ventilation and gas installation will not be eligible for a Labourer card when it is launched in April 2019. Other CSCS partner card schemes are available for these occupations.

Health & Safety Trained Card – 1 April 2019

From 1 April 2019 CSR will also be introducing a Health and Safety Trained card. This card will provide evidence of appropriate health and safety training only and will not display the card holder’s occupation. Candidates must complete the CSR one day health and safety course to be eligible for this card which will be valid for 4 years from the date of the health and safety training.

The Buildsafe-NI Action Plan (2011) requires all site operatives and staff to have appropriate health and safety training. Government Construction Clients must include this as a contract requirement. The Health and Safety Trained Card will meet this obligation for operatives. It will also be accepted in the Republic of Ireland as a result of the mutual recognition agreement that deems the CSR one day health and safety course to be equivalent to the Safe Pass one day course.

It is important to note however that this card will not meet the CLC One Industry Logo requirements and therefore WILL NOT be accepted in GB.

Removal of occupational Assessments – 1 September 2019

The industry was previously informed in June 2017 as part of the CSR 3 year plan that all remaining occupational assessments, including supervisor, will be removed from 1 September 2019. From this time, to comply with CLC requirements, the minimum standard for skilled workers will be an NVQ Level 2 qualification relevant to the card holder’s occupation. 

This will impact on new card holders only, however CSR is developing a plan which will be in place by 2020 to bring all existing card holders up to the minimum standard.