The continuing battle for control of industry skills card scheme CSCS has taken a fresh twist after a crisis meeting last week between its competing stakeholders.

The scheme is owned by a board made up of employers and unions, but administered by training body CITB–ConstructionSkills. As part of the qualification process for a card, workers must pay to take a health and safety test. The latest crisis blew up after the CITB decided to halve the cost of this test. The CSCS board then claimed it was not properly consulted over this decision.

The unions are threatening to take legal action to end the CITB’s monopoly on the intellectual property rights of the safety test, arguing that this gives it overall financial control of the scheme.

The crisis meeting decided to produce an outline business plan for the future of the CSCS scheme.

The real battle is when everyone decides the business plan

Meeting participant

But one individual at the talks said that this was not the same as deciding the business plan itself. He said: “The real battle will come when everybody has to decide what will be included in the business plan.”

In a joint statement unions, employers, and the CITB said: “It was agreed that an outline business plan would be prepared which would be the subject of a further meeting.”