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Your operatives access to construction sites is at risk


The CSCS CRO Card is being withdrawn

Your operatives may no longer be able to work on construction sites from 1st October 2017. The CSCS CRO (Construction Related Operations) Card is being withdrawn with the majority of cards expiring within the next 12 months. No new cards will be issued after 31st March 2017.

It will be replaced with a skills card which is based on formal qualification (NVQ Level 2 or higher) and on-site assessed competence. For more information visit


Under the CSCS CRO card scheme no formal skills qualification was required, simply a CITB Health, Safety and Environment test which could be taken online by anyone. This was ideal for the 100s of construction site skills where there was no formal qualification. However, the scheme also allowed people with no skills or experience to access construction sites. This is one reason why it was decided the scheme was no longer fit for purpose and in need of replacement.

New scheme demands formal qualification and practical assessment

A major difference with the new scheme is that cards will only be issued with enrolment for assessment of operative competence which must be carried out by an approved assessor.

The requirement for a formal competency assessment can be a big hurdle for trades and skills where there is nothing in place now. Potentially, there can be significant costs for anyone undertaking training and assessment. The National Apprentice Scheme, supported by the new apprenticeship levy on large firms, will offer training vouchers, but only for approved training programmes. While other programmes may be developed that meet the requirements of the new system, the costs of non-approved training and assessment must be borne 100% by the trainee and/or their employer.

Qualification for Fall Arrest Operatives

The relevant qualification accepted by CSCS for fall arrest installation operatives is the

Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Accessing Operations and Rigging (Construction) – Pathway 7 – Fall Arrest.

For your operatives who do not already hold this qualification, the first step will be to enrol them with a ProQual approved assessor. You can find one readily with an internet search for approved assessor. This will enable your operatives to obtain an “in training” CSCS card, which will be valid for 12 months. On successful completion of the NVQ, operatives can apply for the full skilled labour card.

Highwire has been actively involved in the development of this programme since 2005. If you have any questions about the training do get in touch.

CSCS cards are required on all major UK construction sites. They are already individually electronically verified, and by 2020 this will include biometric identification.

These are major changes to the way work can be carried out
on UK construction sites. You should be aware of the
new regime when organising planned works.

If you are a  specialist subcontractor enrol your operatives in good time to avoid them being turned away from construction site work.

If your project involves height safety/fall-arrest contact Highwire for the latest information on the new changes

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Height safety standards – still key following BREXIT vote


There has been a good deal of speculation as to what will happen to a range of safety standards originating from Europe following last June’s vote.

We have now started to see indications that just because the UK is leaving the Single Market and Customs Union doesn’t mean a free for all on the standards front. This is particularly important in the world of height safety where retaining and developing the highest standards for both working practices and equipment is critical to maintaining a safe working environment for everyone involved.

A recent BSI committee meeting at the end of January has released this press statement confirming that European-based Safety Standards will remain at the heart of good business practice in the UK.

Highwire Ltd has been at the forefront of developing the highest levels of safety, training and inclusion across the Height Safety sector, as well as the wider construction industry.

If you have any questions about the potential impact of BREXIT on your height safety obligations, do get in touch

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