CSCS cards and the role of the construction client

CSCS is encouraging clients who are serious about improving site safety and productivity to push their contractors to use electronic card checks.

All construction clients will be familiar with the CSCS cards, now used by the industry to provide proof that individuals working on construction sites have the necessary training and qualifications to complete the job they are employed to do.

These cards are intended to bring about improvements in standards and safety on sites, however, this is only achieved if rigorous card-checking is in place and being carried out consistently, and a recent CSCS survey shows that this isn’t always the case.

In many cases, managers are failing to check CSCS cards properly, even when it’s mandated by the client.

Electronic checking

All CSCS cards contain a microchip which stores information on the cardholder’s identity, qualifications and training. Site managers can read this information using a smartphone, tablet or PC allowing them to instantly record the cardholder’s information and check that every person entering site is who they say they are, and that they have the required qualifications.

The survey shows that there are many inconsistencies in the way cards are checked, ranging from sites that carry out electronic checks every day to those that carry out quick visual inspections once a week and in some cases, those that do not check cards at all.

Improve site safety and productivity.

To effectively maintain site safety, CSCS cards need to be checked regularly and electronically. Not doing so allows workers holding fake, cancelled and expired cards to fall through the cracks, which means you could have untrained or unqualified workers on your sites.

The card-checking technology is free and simple to use but the number of contractors regularly using it remains low. CSCS is encouraging clients who are serious about improving site safety and productivity to push their contractors to use electronic card checks.

Not only is it a fail-safe system, but it’s also more efficient - checking a card electronically takes no more than a few seconds and the information on the CSCS card can be saved onto a spreadsheet or secure database, eliminating the time wasted on scanning or photocopying cards, as well as the need for paper records. These reports can then be accessed by you as clients, allowing you to engage with the process and monitor the card-checking carried out by your contractors.

To find out more about what electronic card-checks can do for you and your construction sites visit


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