CSCS-ConstructionSkills agrees to appointment of independent chief executive to control scheme’s finances

The industry skills card scheme CSCS is set to be run as a separate entity independent of CITB-ConstructionSkills, the training body that helps to administer it. A chief executive is to be appointed shortly.

A meeting of the scheme’s owners last Friday sought to resolve differences between unions, employers and CITB management over who should control the finances of the scheme and, by extension, the scheme itself.

The dispute centres over whether the CITB should retain sole ownership of the intellectual property rights to the CSCS health and safety test. It has now been generally agreed by the parties that the test should be open to “greater transparency” and that the scheme’s accounts should be run independently through a revised business plan.

A source who was aware of what was discussed at the meeting said all parties were now committed finding a way forward for the scheme, not least because the present struggle for control was affecting the take-up of CSCS cards.

CSCS needs to be transparent, with a structure to reflect that

Source close to the meeting

The source said there would be a series of meetings to develop a business plan. This would involve hiring a chief executive to control the finances on a day-to-day basis.

The source said: “At last there seems to be a consensus. The CITB deserves a huge amount of credit for championing the scheme over the past decade, and it is clear it has a fundamental role in its development and management in the future. But due to competition laws the running of the scheme needs to be transparent, with an organisational structure to reflect that.”

Over the past few months the unions have accused the CITB of running the scheme through its own management structure. The CITB argues that without its continuing support and financing that there would not be a CSCS card scheme.