New CSCS app aims to boost building safety

An app that launched today promises to boost site and building safety by allowing gatekeepers to use their phones or tablets to check the qualifications of workers.

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme’s (CSCS) Smart Check app currently verifies the validity of 90 per cent of the 2.1 million cards displaying the CSCS logo. The remaining 10 per cent will be readable by the end of April.

There are 38 providers of CSCS-branded cards, which validate that site workers have the training and qualifications required for the job, but the process of checking information on these varies by provider.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) said in late 2020 that all skill cards should be capable of technological verification by the end of March 2022.

CLC skills sponsor Mark Reynolds said today that the launch of the app was part of an effort to improve construction processes in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

“CSCS Smart Check forms part of the industry’s response to the findings of the Dame Judith Hackitt Review [into building-safety regulations post-Grenfell],” he said.

“It ensures people are suitably qualified and have the right training and experience for the role they are doing on site. Crucially, the information held by cards can be easily accessed by sites of all sizes and used to improve building quality and safety.”

The CSCS added that the app was a “vital tool” in certifying the qualifications held by individuals on construction sites.

“Over the coming months, the project team will reach out to employers and stakeholders to begin the process of enabling existing card-checking systems to become compatible with the new app,” a spokesperson said. “All sites are encouraged to migrate to the new app over time.”

Initially, CSCS Smart Check will function as a standalone application, incompatible with existing site-entry systems such as turnstiles and desktop card readers.

There will be no immediate impact on existing card-checking operations and employers may continue to use these systems.

The app is freely available from the Apple iOS and Google Play stores.

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