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Grand Father Right

Grand Father Right (Industry Accreditation)

Grandfather’s Rights in CSCS cards refer to the ability of workers to obtain a CSCS card on the strength of their experience without having to complete a formal qualification. This was closed to new applicants in 2010, but those already holding a card could renew on the same basis until now.

On 23rd January 2023, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), supported by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), announced that holders with cards obtained through Grandfather Rights/Industry Accreditation (IA) will no longer be able to renew without taking a formal qualification.

So, from now on, you must have completed an NVQ at the appropriate level to renew your CSCS cards.

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History of Grand Father Rights

Grandfather Rights in CSCS cards were introduced in the early 1990s as a way to allow experienced workers who did not have formal qualifications to obtain a CSCS card. This was necessary because, at the time, there were no widely recognised qualifications for many construction roles.

Grandfather Rights cards were issued based on an employer’s recommendation, and cardholders must have at least two years of experience in a relevant role. The scheme was initially seen as a positive step, allowing experienced workers to demonstrate competence and obtain a CSCS card without returning to college.

However, over time, there became concerns about the quality of Grandfather Rights cards. Some employers were suspected of issuing recommendations to workers who did not have the necessary experience, and there were also concerns about fraud.

In 2010, the CSCS closed the Grandfather Rights scheme to new applicants. However, those who already held a Grandfather Rights card could still renew it on the same basis.

In 2020, the CSCS announced that it would be withdrawing Grandfather Rights cards altogether. This was done to ensure that all workers on construction sites have the necessary skills and knowledge to do their jobs safely.

All Grandfather Rights cards will expire on 31st December 2024. To renew their CSCS card after this date, workers must have completed an NVQ at the appropriate level.

The history of Grandfather Rights with CSCS cards has been a mixed success. The scheme initially allowed experienced workers to obtain a CSCS card without having to go back to college, but over time, there became concerns about the quality of the cards.

What Is Changing ? 

Almost after three decades, Grandfather Rights are being withdrawn altogether, so workers who currently hold a CSCS card issued under Grandfather Rights will no longer be able to renew it on the same basis. To renew their CSCS card after 31st December 2024, workers must have completed an NVQ at the appropriate level.

This is a significant change, as it means that all construction site workers will need a formal qualification to obtain a CSCS card. This is part of a wider drive to improve safety standards in the construction industry.

Another change is that the CSCS is introducing a new health and safety test for all card applicants. This test will be required for all new applicants, as well as for those who are renewing their card after 31st December 2024.

The new health and safety test will assess workers’ knowledge of the latest health and safety regulations and best practices. This is another step that the CSCS is taking to improve safety standards in the construction industry.

Impact of Grandfather Rights and Why it is Getting Over?

The impact of Grandfather Rights in CSCS cards has been mixed. On the one hand, the scheme allowed experienced workers who needed formal qualifications to obtain a CSCS card. This was necessary because, at the time, there were no widely recognized qualifications for many construction roles.

On the other hand, there were concerns about the quality of Grandfather Rights cards. Some employers were suspected of issuing recommendations to workers who did not have the necessary experience, and there were also concerns about fraud.

Another concern was that Grandfather Rights cards could create a two-tier system in the construction industry, with those with Grandfather Rights cards being at an advantage over those without.

The decision to withdraw Grandfather Rights cards was taken to address these concerns and ensure that all construction site workers have the necessary skills and knowledge to do their jobs safely.

The withdrawal of Grandfather Right cards will likely impact the construction industry significantly. It is estimated that around 60,000 site managers are set to lose their black CSCS cards due to the removal of the Grandfather Rights scheme.

What To Do Now ? If you currently hold a CSCS card issued under Grandfather Rights, you have a few options:
  • Check the expiry date on your card. If your card expires before 31st December 2024, you can still renew it on the same basis as before. However, if your card expires after 31st December 2024, you must have completed an NVQ at the appropriate level to renew it.
  • Find out what NVQ you need to complete. The CSCS website has a list of the NVQs that are required for different CSCS cards.
  • Contact a training provider. Several training providers offer NVQ courses. You can find a list of training providers on the CSCS website.
  • Take the new health and safety test. All new applicants and those renewing their card after 31st December 2024 must take the new health and safety test. You can find more information about the test on the CSCS website.

How can Coteca help in handling Grand Father Right’s Challenges?

Coteca.co.uk is an online platform catering to the construction industry, offering services like CSCS card applications, training, assessments, health and safety training, CITB test bookings, and NVQ training. They provide construction courses to help workers and companies meet health and safety requirements, assisting in handling Grandfather Rights challenges in the construction sector. Collaborating with Coteca can support achieving excellence in construction while adapting to changing industry standards and qualifications.

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