There is no legal requirement to have a card before you carry out construction work. However, all the major contractors who are members of UKCG, the UK Contractors Group, have agreed that workers on their site must have a CSCS card. The law allows principal contractors to set site rules all workers are expected to follow. Many other contractors have now followed this practice.
The law does require anyone carrying out construction work to be competent to carry out their tasks safely. This means anyone using plant or equipment, working at height or in any hazardous situation, should be trained before they start work.
Training is an important part of competence but is not enough on its own. An employer can carry out basic training in-house. The employer must demonstrate they have an appropriate training system in place, and that learning is assessed against nationally recognised standards. Trainers, assessors and testers employed in-house should, where practicable, be accredited or scrutinised by an independent organisation.
To make sure that an individual’s knowledge is up to date, they should undertake refresher training.
The employer, or self-employed operator, is responsible for making sure that when an individual moves from one job to another, particularly where there is increased risk, they are familiar with the tasks involved. This is particularly important during the transition phase between initial training and full competence.
Where an individual has demonstrated their competence through independently verified assessments in the workplace, but has not undergone formal training, the legal requirement for training under Regulations such as PUWER regulation 9, will be deemed to have been met. The outcomes of training are the key indicator, not the simple fact of attending a training course.