The Construction Skills Certification Scheme is set to link up with its Scottish counterpart after talks this week to harmonise the two accreditation cards.
CSCS officials have agreed a draft document making the Scottish scheme part of the overall initiative. CSCS chairman Tony Merricks said detailed discussions were now taking place between the two bodies.

The move, assuming it goes ahead, will eliminate confusion surrounding the two accreditation schemes. Both logos will in future appear on a single registration card and both schemes will be promoted together.

It is understood that Scottish officials are willing to work in partnership with the CSCS if their board approves the move when it meets in September – as long as the Scottish scheme's autonomy is maintained.

An insider said the proposed merger would create a single voice for the English, Welsh and Scottish construction sectors and would help clients.

The move comes after another boost for the CSCS scheme this week, when Shepherd Construction became the first company to receive skills cards for site supervisors and managers.

Shepherd registered its first employees under the CSCS scheme at a £46m district hospital in Bishop Auckland, County Durham. It plans to extend the tests to other sites.

We are entering a remedial stage in bringing workers up to scratch, but it will become the norm

Michael Brown, Chartered Institute of Building

This extension of the scheme covers two elements: health and safety and competence in the job.

Site supervisors can obtain a gold card, site managers a platinum card and contracts managers a black card.

Michael Brown, deputy chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Building, has also given his full support to the management cards, after some initial hostility.

He said his change of heart had come about as a direct result of meeting candidates who had benefited from the vocational style of learning.