New CSCS app aims to boost building security

An app that launched today promises to make sites and buildings safer by allowing guards to use their phones or tablets to check workers’ qualifications.

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Smart Check application currently checks the validity of 90% of the 2.1 million cards displaying the CSCS logo. The remaining 10% will be readable at the end of April.

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

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

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

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

“This ensures that people are suitably qualified and have the appropriate training and experience for the role they perform on site. Basically, the information held by the 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 an “essential tool” for 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 allowing existing card verification systems to become compatible with the new app,” a spokesperson said. “All sites are encouraged to migrate to the new application over time.”

Initially, Smart Check CSCS will work 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 verification operations and employers may continue to use these systems.

The app is available for free in the Apple iOS and Google Play stores.

Alice F. Ponder