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Skills certification scheme extended to managers


PROJECT MANAGERS and site supervisors will have to prove their competence and health and safety awareness on site under a new scheme launched this week.

The extension of the government-backed Construction Skills Certification Scheme to cover more than the existing skilled trades such as bricklayers, received strong industry backing.

The Confederation of Construction Clients and the UK Major Contractors Group have set deadlines for 100% registration of the £20 CSCS cards on all their sites by the end of 2003.

Proof of competence can be achieved through industry accreditation and passing a supervisor or manager level health and safety test up to 17 June 2004.

After this time all entrants will be required to have passed the appropriate level of National Vocational Qualification.

Under the scheme, managers will be graded as gold supervisor, platinum manager and black contracts manager. The cards will be equivalent to NVQ level 3, 4 and 5 respectively.

The cards last for five years, after which applicants will have to retake a Construction Industry Training Board approved health and safety test to prove their training and qualifications remain valid - akin to compulsory Continuing Professional Development.

The commitment to NVQs makes the scheme very attractive to the ICE, as they are similar to ICE core objectives, said chief executive Mike Casebourne. 'Levels 3, 4 and 5 each contribute significantly towards membership as technician, incorporated engineer and chartered engineer respectively.'

'The increase in the number of NVQ holders should be a steady source of new ICE members, ' Casebourne claimed.

Major clients including BAA backed the scheme this week.

But industry sources questioned whether some clients and contractors would be committed to the largely self-enforcing scheme.

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