CSCS bans IOSH Working Safely e-learning under rule change
- Date: Friday 16th June 2017
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The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), which issues skills cards to construction workers, has suspended recognition of the e-learning version of the IOSH Working Safely qualification.
The qualification is an approved route to obtaining a CSCS green labourer’s card, essential for working on sites run by many larger contractors.
The suspension is due to fears that e-learning students could cheat in online assessments.
The scheme has been attempting to tighten security around assessments since BBC Newsnight revealed in 2015 that five or six approves test centres had been offering ‘qualifications for cash”. As a result, 4615 cards were revoked.
CSCS made the decision after an annual audit of approved qualifications “alerted them to the fact the course had become available online without the need to complete the end assessment under invigilated conditions”.
CSCS said it would only accept applications for the CSCS labourer card based on the IOSH Working Safely e-learning certificate until 12 May. After this date, the suspension comes into force.
Gordon Jenkins, director of operations at CSCS, said “completing the IOSH Working Safely final assessment online could put the safety of site workers at risk and falls below the expected training standards of the industry.”
A CSCS spokesperson said that the organisation issues roughly 600 cards a month based on the IOSH Working Safely qualification, most of which are carried out in a classroom.
IOSH said that it was “in talks” with CSCS. The institution’s training skills executive director Richard Orton said, “e-learning can be an effective method for giving people the understanding of health and safety they need, but CSCS is right in saying that it’s difficult to invigilate applicants when assessed solely online.
“Both organisations are striving to keep people safe, so I’m sure that we can work together to find a way forward.”
ISOH also told Health and Safety at Work that it had offered the e-learning option since 2011, while its agreement with CSCS dated from 2014.
CSCS said that the classroom version of IOSH Working Safely remains an approved route for a green labourer’s card.