I refer to the article CSCS cards irrelevant for designers, says ICE (NCE 20 May). There is a danger of losing the point of the CSCS in an argument regarding the health and safety element of the scheme.
The scheme addresses the skills needed for a wide range of construction personnel, including designers. The application form for civil and structural engineering designers has a comprehensive list of the minimum activities a competent designer would be expected to perform, plus a pretty basic health and safety test.
There are several problems with the ICE Health & Safety Register. First, it is not very well known - I was unaware of its existence until I read the article.
Also, probably as a result of this, it is not even recognised by CITB as a health and safety qualification exempting applicants from having to take the much simpler CSCS health and safety test.
Finally it costs £65 per year compared to £35 for the CSCS test when the CSCS card is renewed - and it lasts for five years.
Having recently taken the CSCS test myself, any professional engineer who fails this has a serious problem with their attitude to safety and probably is not a safe person to have on a construction site.
RP Wilson (F), 56 Swan Mews, Swan Road, Lichfield WS13 6TU