“If there is a wrong way to do something, then someone will do it.” – Murphy Law
CSCS Cards have put a stop to unqualified workers getting construction jobs and that’s great. While some choose to get relevant CSCS Card through getting qualification and training there are others who look for a shortcut through fraudulent CSCS Cards.
Use of fraudulent CSCS Cards derail the very purpose CSCS scheme was launched for: to minimize onsite casualty by employing safety-trained workforce only. It’s a crime and everyone must play a part to put a stop to this malpractice.
Who checks CSCS Cards on sites:
Primarily Supervisor/Manager or – in case they are not available – by some tradesmen appointed by them. Cards are checked mostly at the site entrance: on the very first day for newcomers and then on a weekly/monthly basis for experienced workers.
How CSCS Cards are checked:
It can be checked physically – with eyes and touch – and electronically using either a smartphone (android/windows) or a smartcard reader attached to a computer. Download CSCS Go Smart app, put the CSCS Card under the Smartphone, or in the smartcard reader, and the screen will flash details (nothing if the card is fake/expired 6 months ago) of that card.
How to spot a fraudulent CSCS Card:
It may have visible differences that can be spotted with naked eyes. In case the difference is subtle, or nonexistent, you must opt for any of the two electronic options available.
Finding fraudulent card with naked eyes:
- The picture on the card doesn’t resemble the bearer
- Card material feels cheap or the color is not appropriate
- Validity is not appropriate for the card: either longer or shorter than it should be.
- Bearer name must appear in this particular form – forenames in initials and the surname in full. ‘Graeme Ashley Hick’ must show up as GA Hick and any deviation to it is a cause for suspicion.
Finding fraudulent card with smartphone or smartcard reader
- The card will offer no information (you’ll get a blank screen) when read by smartphone or smartcard reader.
- In case the card is authentic, you’ll get all the relevant details like – name, trade, qualifications, expiry date etc. – on your screen. You can then verify these details from CSCS database to be doubly sure about the card and the holder authenticity.
What should I do if I find a fraudulent CSCS card?
- Get hold of the card if possible, otherwise make and store photocopies of its front and back.
- Take down cardholder’s name and address and try to find out where the card was obtained from.
- Call the local police and report the matter for them to investigate and take actions
- Forward copies of all evidence to Operations Team; CSCS Ltd, The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, London WC1E 7BT marked “suspected fraudulent card” with details of the crime number given by local police.
Be it a homeowner or a firm, no one wishes to compromise with the quality of work and this is why they make it a point to hire only CSCS Certified tradesmen. This is leaving some incompetent construction worker high and dry and attaining a fake CSCS Card is their way to get back at you. So please be warned and verify the authenticity of CSCS Cards first before employing anyone.
OR you might like to check out Bag a Builder – a huge online repository of CSCS approved local builders in the UK.