House Building industry launches new site visitor card
Card is the first of a new suite of competence cards for the industry
The Home Builders Federation and the Home Building Skills Partnership have today launched a new Home Builders Visitor Card. This is the first step in a wider initiative by the Skills Partnership to promote operational competence across the industry via a new suite of virtual competence smartcards reflecting industry agreed requirements.
The new card will serve as an industry replacement for the Construction Skills Certification Scheme’s (CSCS) Construction Site Visitor Card, which is being withdrawn from circulation during next year. The new card is primarily available in digital form, which will allow more information to be securely stored on it as desired over time.
The move to withdraw the CSCS Site Visitor Card caused concern in the house building industry, where a high number of employees are reliant on the card to gain access to sites. In response the Skills Partnership has been working closely with the industry to develop a replacement that is more specific to their particular requirements. Applicants for the card will need to have passed the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test.
The new Home Builders Visitor Card launched today has been trialled with a number of HBF members.
We are strongly encouraging uptake of the new card in its digital form via the app as this will allow for increased functionality to meet future needs. The digital card is a cost effective and more environmentally friendly to produce than a traditional plastic card. The card can be read with an app on a smartphone or a computer system, allowing ease of access and for more data to be compiled within the digital card. It is proposed that future phases of development will include capturing the cardholder’s relevant qualifications, skills and Continued Professional Development (CPD), which will then be securely stored on the smartcards.
The digital card will cost £30 plus VAT, which takes into account the costs of production and of setting up and running the scheme. Because of its higher production costs, the price of a plastic card will be £37 plus VAT.
John Slaughter, Director of External Affairs at HBF, said, “We are pleased to launch the new Virtual Home Building Visitor Card for the home building industry. We have partnered with CIGA and Reference Point, who are bringing their expertise to help the roll out and development of the card. It is vital we do everything we can to support the industry’s drive to increase skills capacity and its consequential benefits for quality and productivity. The new Home Builders Visitor Card is the first step in rolling out a suite of cards to promote what builders themselves have said they want to see.”
All Construction Site Visitor Cards issued from 3 September 2018 by CSCS will expire on 31 August 2020 and are non-renewable. CSCS will stop issuing the card from 28 February 2020.
The Skills Partnership has worked with CIGA who have developed the applications platform for card processing and have also employed the help of Reference Point, who specialise in smartcard management, to provide the card production software and platforms to produce the new virtual card. CIGA will be processing and validating all card applications and providing customer service on behalf of the Skills Partnership.
Nigel Donohue, CEO of CIGA said, “CIGA are looking forward to working with the HBF on producing the new Home Builders Visitor Card. We are advocates of smart technology within our own industry and have seen the benefits first hand in that it gives businesses flexibility, easy access to vital data and support with standardisation. We are therefore keen to support the Skills Partnership and work with Reference Point in replacing the CSCS Site visitor card, providing a much needed service that will benefit the construction industry”.
Beric Davis, Chief Executive, Reference Point commented, “We are pleased to support the Home Building Skills Partnership on their journey for a sector specific card scheme and are delighted that the drive will be for a virtual approach. The scope and opportunity to include much more around roles themselves, messaging and even monitoring product specific training is endless.”
For more information on the new Home Builders Visitor Card please visit www.homebuildskillscard.co.uk
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Notes to editors
- The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the representative body of the home building industry in England and Wales. The HBF’s member firms account for some 80% of all new homes built in England and Wales in any one year, and include companies of all sizes, ranging from multi-national, household names through regionally based businesses to small local companies: www.hbf.co.uk.
- In June 2018, following consultation with the wider construction industry the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) announced that they would be withdrawing the Construction Site Visitor card.
- The card’s original function was to ensure that workers who often visited construction sites, but did not perform a construction related job (such as sales staff), were accounted for and could be assured to have an appropriate level of Health and Safety Awareness by passing the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test.
- HBF and the Skills Partnership are making the new Home Builders Visitor Card available on a non-profit making basis and the price being charged for the card reflects the up-front investment and operational costs of putting in place and running the scheme and the costs of card production. Should the planned provision of a family of virtual competence cards in future produce a surplus, this will be reinvested in meeting skills needs that have been agreed with the industry.