How CSCS cards got a web-based revamp


The firm says the updated card service is faster to apply for, convenient for workers and more resistant to fraud

Most people who work in construction are familiar with CSCS cards.

They are used by the majority of contractors and clients to provide proof that those working on sites have the training and qualifications required for the work they carry out. But not everyone will be aware that the recent introduction of an online application service, which marks the single largest operational change the company has undertaken since it was set up in 1995.

CSCS is the first to admit that, in recent years, applying for a CSCS card has not provided the smoothest of customer experiences and that the application process has been behind the curve when it comes to offering applicants a truly modern service. “Until recently, you couldn’t actually apply online,” says CSCS chief executive Graham Wren.

“You could get information on the CSCS website, but you were required to scan and email in your documents before making a lengthy telephone call to process your application and make a payment – a process that had its critics, particularly during busy periods when the service struggled to meet the expectations of the industry.”

Modernised service

The development of the online application system came at the same time as the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) ended its role delivering the CSCS contact centre after 20 years. In late 2017, the CITB formally notified CSCS of its intention to withdraw from delivering the service, a decision it took as part of the organisation’s Vision 2020 programme. CITB’s future vision involves focusing on fewer activities centred on its core priorities of careers, training and development, standards and qualifications.

“CSCS is extremely grateful for the contribution CITB has made to the success of the scheme,” Wren says. “Each year the CITB processed more than 400,000 card applications and one million contact-centre enquiries on behalf of CSCS. However, following CITB’s decision to exit the contract, it became our absolute priority to identify new and smarter ways of working that would deliver a first-class service to our 1.5 million cardholders.”

He adds: “Fortunately, there was a sensible notice period to exit the contract with CITB, so we used the time wisely to plan for the new service. Over the past two years, we have been working with a number of experts in contact centres and online services, and we have used this advice and guidance to design and build a modern service that is specifically designed to meet the needs of our applicants.”

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