Smart app will boost competence and fight fraud

Tuesday, August 16, 2022 12:51 PM

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) has developed a ‘Smart Check’ app to help construction site operators verify the identities and qualifications of more than two million skills card holders. 

The new app, which went live on 1 April, can be downloaded for free onto any Apple iOS or Android device. It was developed in collaboration with 38 CSCS partner card operators, including the Engineering Services SKILLcard, which is used by more than 60,000 building services professionals. 

The app will work with all cards that display the CSCS logo and gives on-site card checkers access to a quick and secure way of ensuring everyone on site has the appropriate qualifications and training. This will help to raise technical and professional standards and reduce criminal activity, according to SKILLcard. 

It is designed to streamline and improve the construction industry’s current card checking procedures and deal another blow to fraudsters who try to ‘game’ the system by selling counterfeit CSCS cards and falsifying qualifications. 

CSCS cards play a crucial role in improving competence and compliance on construction sites by ensuring every worker has completed up to date health & safety training and has the correct qualifications and training for the job they are employed to do. The system is also regarded as a key element of the government’s 2025 Construction Industry Strategy and most clients now insist on every worker holding a valid card. 

Engineering Services SKILLcard celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and is operated by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA). It is carried by more than 60,000 heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration professionals as proof of their qualifications and competencies. 

It was the first CSCS partner card to adopt chip enabled ‘smart’ technology in 2015. This made the process of updating the holder’s qualifications much simpler and considerably eased the verification process for site managers. 

“This app is the crucial next stage in developing a fully ‘smart’ system that will further enhance our efforts to improve professional standards, keep people safe on site and fight fraud,” said BESA’s director of certification Rachel Davidson. 

“It is a great example of what our industry can achieve by working together. All 38 card schemes now have a common platform that links directly to our databases to help clients ensure anyone trying to get onto their site has kept up to date with the latest requirements for health, safety and technical qualifications.” 

All 38 card schemes that carry the CSCS logo can be read by the Smart Check app, which can scan QR codes to validate both physical and virtual cards and can also read contactless chips. 

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