CSCS Cards – good progress on card issuing service
The upturn in CSCS card applications in 2014 is a positive indicator that the construction industry is well on the road of recovery, but it has created pressure on the card processing service which has had difficulty in meeting demand at the start of 2014.
The first four months has seen 136,000 CSCS cards issued, a 26% increase over the same period in 2013, way beyond the forecast growth levels for construction.
The card service team have naturally been extremely busy, dealing with the increased calls, emails and postal applications and finding the most efficient use of resources.
The team has expanded, with a new team (based in Inchinnan) trained and operational, as well as short-term additional working hours to deal with the volumes of emails and postal applications.
The positive impact of the action has seen call waiting time halved in May compared to Jan to April levels and employer bulk email and postal applications turnaround times improved to within the published agreed service levels.
The improvements have seen the general enquiry calls reduce as a consequence.
Individuals looking to apply for a CSCS card are encouraged to call to obtain their card in the shortest time-frame as once the call has been successfully concluded; cards are normally produced and dispatched within 48hours.
As card applications remain at a high volume, we are still establishing true demand at the moment and until such time as this has been established, service levels might fluctuate. Callers can still expect a wait time in excess of 8 minutes at peak times but average wait times continue to reduce. We are continually monitoring our telephone service levels and looking to introduce more changes to further improve the service.
Braden Connolly, Head of Testing and Card Services commented: “I’m really grateful for the effort that’s gone in to improving the service levels for CSCS, I can feel the difference when I meet with our stakeholders already. It’s rewarding to be congratulated for all our hard work and improved speed of service.”
Set up in the 90s, the scheme keeps a database of those working in construction that achieve (or can demonstrate they have already attained) an agreed level of occupational competence. Successful applicants are issued with a card giving them a means of identification and proof of their achievements.
Today there are over 1.7 million cards in circulation, and they’re increasingly demanded as evidence of occupational competence by many, including contractors, public and private clients.
CITB administers the scheme under contract.
Cards cost £30 and the Health, Safety & Environment Test is £17.50.
You can apply for a card directly or through your employer, however there are organisations who offer application services. If you are being charged more, check you understand what additional services you will receive from these organisations.
For more information about CSCS, the Occupations covered and how to apply for a card:
Tel: 0344 994 4777