Further action taken to tackle card fraud

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 3:17 PM

Yesterday Construction News reported on the latest incident of fraudulent skill certification cards within the industry following a CITB investigation, with the individual in question receiving an 18 month jail term and facing deportation.

The news follows after the BBC Fake Britain expose last December, which highlighted the use of fraudulent cards within the industry.

As a partner of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), and the first partner scheme to adopt smart technology, we want to reassure all SKILLcard holders that we are committed to working alongside CSCS to further eliminate fraud from our industry. Tim Rook, Technical Director welcomes the news: “We know compliance is important to clients and contractors for the protection of everyone involved in construction. SKILLcard are working to provide the very best service that we can and it is heartening to see enforcement action supporting the industry.”

In a recent interview with Construction News, CSCS Chief Executive Graham Wren discussed the issue, and identified the slow uptake of smart card technology at the grassroots level of the industry as a barrier. “At a grassroots level, the focus for contractors is getting enough CSCS carded bodies on site, rather than checking if workers are qualified.”

Wren believes technology will eradicate the problem of fraud, “A card bought on the black market will quickly show up as fake when it is read electronically. But too many sites will still use a paper-based checking system, which provides an opportunity for the fraudsters.”

However, he believes the industry now recognises that technology can be an enabler of a fully-qualified workforce and is committed to its adoption, with bodies including Build UK and the Building Engineering Services Association advocating smart technology and offering cost-effective solutions to contractors.

SKILLcard’s adoption of smart technology demonstrates this commitment, our smartcards already help eliminate the use of fake cards within the industry. Through using a card reader or device such as a smartphone or tablet, identity and qualifications can be checked instantly, making it easier for construction sites to make sure they have the right workers for the job.

You can download our Go Smart apps, or software for card readers free of charge from our download page.

If you haven’t yet upgraded to a smart SKILLcard, and you would like to, download the upgrade application form here.

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