Fake certification cards are becoming more common on construction sites according to a new survey, which found that one in five of those responsible for checking cards have seen forged cards in the last year.
The report, conducted by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), also found that of the 1180 construction workers surveyed, 86% of cardholders had their cards checked but under half (43%) were checked to see if they were actually qualified to do the job.
All 1.4 million CSCS cards have microchip technology embedded in them, which allows a site manager access to a wealth of information about each worker, including their qualifications.
Despite the availability of new technology, 69% of respondents said they were still checking cards using a paper-based system, with only 6% using smart technology.
The survey was conducted as part of the CITB and CSCS’ drive for construction firms to adopt the new technology, which will make it quicker and easier to identify fraudsters.
Braden Connolly, head of product management at CITB, said: “Producing or using cards fraudulently can constitute a criminal offence. Increased action is needed to stamp out the fraudsters, which is why we are calling on industry to adopt new technology to help tackle this problem.
“CITB will continue to share intelligence and work with the authorities wherever the evidence suggests criminal activity is taking place.”
Graham Wren, chief executive of CSCS, said: “Thorough card checks must be carried out before allowing workers on site, and employers need to ensure workers have the correct qualifications for the work they do. More and more people are realising technology, such as a CSCS SmartCard, is a simple and cost effective way to do this. By simply placing the card into a reader or compatible device such as a tablet or smartphone you can instantly check the validity of a card and the qualifications held by the cardholder.
“There is still a lot of work to be done to increase the use of technology so that relying on visual card checks becomes a thing of the past.”
To view the full report, click here.