30

Apr

CITB “up their game” for Plant & Lifting Operations NVQs

The CITB have introduced new instructions to Awarding Bodies and NVQ Centres  to ensure that the assessments of Specialised Plant & Controlling Lifting Operations NVQs are valid, effective and consistent, and have credibility across the Construction and Built Environment sector.

Due to some poor practice by some NVQ Centres and the high risks associated with Plant and Lifting Operations, the CITB have made it clear that all reputable and accredited NVQ assessment centres, verifiers and assessors “must maintain robust and transparent operational arrangements to promote the quality and transparency of  their assessment, certification and quality assurance processes”.

Furthermore the CITB have made it mandatory that all accredited NVQ Centres direct their assessors to use the following assessment methods as the primary source for meeting the requirements of assessment through normal performance in the workplace.

  •  observation of performance by the assessor or assessors
  •  witness testimony or testimonies by an expert witness/witnesses
  •  professional discussion.

In additions all submitted evidence must support skills, knowledge and understanding attained through performance in the workplace for at least a six (6) month period.

Those employers, or self employed operatives, supervisors and managers who are engaging with Plant & Controlling Lifting NVQ providers to help them achieve these NVQs should carry out simple due diligence to ensure that they are dealing with reputable and accredited organisations that will carry out the assessment professionally in line with these new guidelines.

You can quickly determine whether you are dealing with a trusted and professional provider by asking the centre or their assessors and verifiers to produce evidence of the following

  1. Centre Approval status to offer qualifications from an Awarding Organisation SQA, NOCN, City & Guilds, Pearson Edexcel
  2. An External Systems Verification Report from an Awarding Organisation confirming their risk level status.

If they cannot provide evidence of the above you should not engage with them. CADUK have just been awarded a High Confidence Rating in a recent SQA Verification Visit so you can be confident that we will provide you with the best possible service.

Source: Construction News

09

Oct

“Bring back clerk of works” There has never been a better time to undertake the Pearson Edexcel NVQ 6 in Senior Site Inspection

Public bodies need to reduce the gap between themselves and building design teams and to employ a clerk of works on construction projects, according to a Scottish parliamentary committee

The Scottish Parliament’s education and skills committee has published its report into school infrastructure, looking at lessons from the Edinburgh schools fiasco.

It backed calls contained in the earlier Cole Report – the independent investigation headed by architect and construction expert John Cole into the closure of 17 Edinburgh schools because of building defects – that councils should take action to become ‘intelligent clients’.

The committee’s report said it had ‘heard evidence that local authorities had entered into a specific structure for contracts which created a gap between themselves as clients and the design team. We find this unacceptable.’

Public bodies undertaking Design and Build or design, build, finance and maintain contracts should consider employing construction professionals to add quality assurance, the committee said.

It added that a clerk of works could ‘provide the regular inspections necessary to ensure that buildings are built correctly, particularly for work that is subsequently closed up as construction progresses’.

Glasgow architecture professor Alan Dunlop said: ‘A clerk of works should have a day-to-day role in the development of major building projects. That’s how it used to be.

‘The clerk of works had significant responsibility and clout, and reported directly to the architect and client under a traditional building contract or was employed by the client in significant design and build projects after novation, when the design team moved over to work for the contractor.’

He said that the role should be undertaken by an experienced builder, rather than an architect.

The committee undertook its short inquiry in the wake of the collapse of a wall at Oxgangs Primary School in Edinburgh in January 2016 and the subsequent report of the Independent Inquiry into the Construction of Edinburgh Schools led by Cole, which was published last February.

Source: The Architects Journal

The qualification that provides the Clerk of Works with measurable industry accreditation and professional/chartered status is the Pearson Edexcel Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Senior Site Inspection. This qualification Leads to the Black CSCS card, MCIOB through the full professional review and thanks to a collaborative PILOT scheme between the Institute of Clerk of Works and Construction Inspectorate (ICWCI) and CADUK access to Membership of the ICWCI without the need for a professional interview.

To find out if you have access to this Level 6 NVQ Click here to download our profiling tool and carry out a self-assessment of your skills, knowledge and experience.

For more information just give us a call on (01952) 292 005 or visit our web site www.caduk.co.uk where you will find all the best information relating to the qualification.

06

Jul

CADUK deliver their 850th NVQ in Plant & Controlling Lifting Operations!

CADUK are well known in the Construction industry for the delivery of Supervisory and Managerial NVQs in the Built Environment through our unique online E-assessment process. We are however, equally proud of our achievements in helping 850 individuals achieve their NVQs in Plant and Controlling Lifting Operations from levels 2-5.

Since 2014 we have been developing an on-site electronic assessment system that enables candidate achievement of the NVQ in a far quicker time period than any of our competitors, whilst still maintaining the integrity and quality of the qualification.

In a recent audit by SQA (The Scottish Qualifications Authority) CADUK were rated at having “significant strengths” in all areas and received laudatory comments that “the CADUK I.T cloud system designed by the centre is very supportive to candidates. The use of electronically recorded evidence greatly enhances the assessment process to the benefit of the individual and the employer”.

Our online system, combined with the professionalism of our specialist NVQ assessors and administrators ensures timely achievement of the NVQ and speedy access to the Blue CPCS card.

CADUK’s philosophy in terms of assessment is ‘less is more’. We cut out the bureaucracy and box ticking of the assessment process and focus on what’s important, and that’s to ensure the competence of the individual learner in a fair and cost effective way.

In partnership with the Awarding Body (SQA) we endeavor to provide evidence of achievement within one to 5 days to enable individuals to gain access to their CPCS Blue card. If you are unhappy with the way that your current NVQ provider conducts the assessment process, why not give us a call on (01952) 292 005 or send us an enquiry and we’ll get back to you.

29

Jun

CADUK gain Approved Provider status for the MOD’s Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC)

With significant cuts to the numbers of military posts in recent years, there are large numbers of active (coming towards the end of their service career) and ex-service personnel now looking to enter the job market or increase their existing employment opportunities. In the UK, current projections suggest that over 20,000 individuals leave the armed forces every year, with the latest employment forecasts predicting that construction will need to find almost 224,000 new recruits by 2019.

In response to this the CITB, a number of high profile employers including MACE, Persimmon Homes, Skanska, and Morgan Sindall and The Chartered Institute of Building have initiated schemes aimed directly at these people, promoting operative and managerial careers in construction.

Supervisory & Management skills will be some of the most sought after in the sector. Almost 17,000 managers are expected to be needed over the next four years as growth continues in the sector.

It is our belief that men and women who are serving/served in the military possess excellent leadership, team working, project management and problem solving skills, all of which are highly sought after in the construction industry.

CADUK have identified that there are some significant barriers for serving and ex-service personnel in entering the construction industry at Supervisory & Managerial level, not least of which that at the point of leaving they do not posses the appropriate qualifications (NVQs), industry accreditation (CSCS cards) or professional recognition (CIOB/RICS/CABE/ICWCI). We feel that particularly those serving in the Royal Engineers should have these essential tools in place before they leave.

Service personnel have a variety of ways in which to fund their development activities. This includes access to ELCAS funding to which CADUK have recently been awarded Approved Provider status for the MOD’s Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC). ELCs may only be claimed for learning which results in a nationally recognised qualification at Level Three or above on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (England and Wales).

Alternatively those Ex-Service people who have managed to gain employment in the construction industry and are in a supervisory or managerial role can still access ELCAS funding up to ten years after they leave to help fund the NVQ qualifications that can further enhance their employment opportunities.

Click here to view a case study of a recent service leaver qualified by CADUK.

To find out more about CADUK can help you gain access to relevant supervisory and managerial NVQs from Level 3 to 7 that provide real recognition and access to increased employment opportunities at home and abroad through the ELCAS funding scheme please visit our ELCAS page, contact us through our website, or give us a call on 01952 292 005.

01

Apr

CSCS Profiled Route Now Closed

The CSCS Profiled Route was introduced in 2011 as a route to the Black or Gold Card for construction site managers or supervisors who have on-site experience but no nationally recognised qualification in construction. As of 1st April 2016 CSCS are no longer accepting applications for the Profiled Route, with the announcement made by the construction leadership council that the Profiled Route no longer supports industry’s desire for a fully qualified workforce.

To find out more about why Profiled Route is closed visit the changes to Profiled Route webpage.

Applicants will still be able to apply for a Construction Site Manager or Construction Site Supervisor CSCS card, but will be required to complete an NVQ/SVQ levels 4, 5, 6 or 7*.

What to do next:

To obtain the Gold Supervisory Card you must now complete the NVQ Level 4 Diploma in Construction Site Supervision.

To obtain the Black Managers Card you must now complete the NVQ Level 6 Diploma in Construction Site Management.

 

Source: CSCS

30

Mar

HSE ‘passing the buck’ on construction fatalities

An MP has accused the Health and Safety Executive of “passing the buck” over delays in prosecuting construction companies for fatal accidents.

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn, leading a parliamentary debate on the issue, said that if the HSE was failing to prosecute, it could lead to “an ever greater number of companies [flouting] safety laws”.

He continued: “In 2007/08 the HSE was successful in prosecuting 51 per cent of construction fatal accidents. By 2012/13 that figure had dropped to a mere, and disgraceful, 35 per cent.”

As of last year, the HSE was successful in achieving a guilty verdict in more than 90 per cent of all prosecution cases. But writing for Construction News earlier this month, Mr Hepburn said that progress in the industry would not continue “unless the Health and Safety Executive is an effective policeman for construction safety”.

According to figures from the HSE, presented by Mr Hepburn, in 2006/07 the average time between a fatal accident in construction and a conviction was 985 days. But by 2014/15 this had increased to 1,267 days – nearly three-and-a-half years.

In 15 per cent of cases, prosecution does not begin for three to four years.

In response, parliamentary under-secretary of state for disabled people Justin Tomlinson said “several factors” can affect the pace at which fatal accidents are investigated.

“The police normally assume primacy for the investigation to identify whether serious offences, such as corporate manslaughter, are involved,” he said.

“This can take many months, or in some cases years, during which HSE is unable to initiate proceedings. The police and Crown Prosecution Service might be in charge of the case right through to any court cases.”

He added that more than 80 per cent of HSE investigations into fatal incidents were completed within 12 months of receiving primacy, while most “take considerably less time”.

According to Mr Tomlinson, half of HSE’s decisions to prosecute are made within two years of the date of a fatal construction incident.

Mr Hepburn raised the case of Falcon Crane Hire, which was fined £750,000 following a crane collapse in Battersea in 2006 that caused the deaths of the crane operator and a member of the public. The case was settled last week, nearly 10 years after the incident occurred.

He added that the HSE needed to address the “excruciating” delays between incident, prosecution and conviction.

“The HSE says the delays are due to other bodies and agencies, such as the police, the coroners’ courts and even the justice system itself, especially if the matter is referred to the Crown Court,” he said. “In other words, the HSE is saying it is not its fault.”

MP for Stirling Steven Paterson cited research from Stirling University, which said the HSE “looks and sounds like a toothless tiger – a lot of noise and increasingly little action”.

He cited figures from trade union Ucatt which suggested unannounced inspections of construction sites by the HSE in Scotland had dropped by 55 per cent since 2012/13.

“If companies think they will not be inspected and that there will never be a surprise knock at the door, the HSE loses all its authority in pressurising companies not to break safety laws,” Mr Hepburn said.

Mr Tomlinson said new guidelines are being put in place to ensure any decisions to prosecute were made “as quickly as possible”.

“There is now a new practical guide for investigators, which should ensure all parties work effectively together and that any prosecution is brought as soon as possible,” he said.

“Other than in exceptional circumstances, it should be no later than three years after the date of the death.”

Source: Construction News

25

Mar

NHBC reports 12,181 new homes registered in Feb 2016

More than 12,000 new homes were registered to be built in the UK in February according to NHBC’s latest registration statistics.

The figures come after NHBC reported a 7% year on year increase in the number of new home registrations in 2015. In January 2016 a total of 7,885 private sector and 2,424 public sector homes were registered compared to 8,784 private sector and 2,562 public sector homes in January 2015.

In the rolling quarter (November 2015 to January 2016) a total of 32,468 new homes were registered, compared to 35,732 in the same period 12 months ago, a fall of 9%.

NHBC figures also show a 10% increase in the number of new home completions in the rolling quarter (November 2015 to January 2016). Completions increased to 33,182 from 30,155 in the same period 12 months ago, reflecting the strong registration growth seen during 2015.

As the leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK, NHBC’s registration statistics are a lead indicator of UK house-building activity. For 80 years, NHBC has been committed to driving up quality and raising standards in housebuilding and has approximately 80% market share.

Commenting on the latest figures, NHBC Chief Executive Mike Quinton said: “We saw continued growth in new home registrations throughout 2015. Whilst the January figures indicate a slower start to 2016, industry confidence remains high, with last year’s growth reflected in the increase in new home completions in the past three months.

“There’s no doubt that house builders are extremely active and are optimistic about future growth. With many ambitious build programs underway, it is clear the industry is committed to delivering the high quality new homes the country needs.”

Source: NHBC

24

Feb

Carillion and Mace leaders among 197 backing ‘EU Remain’

Leaders at two of the UK’s biggest contractors have put their names to a letter calling on the British public to vote to stay in the European Union.

Carillion chairman Philip Green and Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds were among the 197 business leaders signing a letter to The Times claiming the UK would be better off staying in the EU.

Canary Wharf Group chief executive George Iacobescu and Hutchison Whampoa deputy chairman Christian Salbaing also signed the letter .

In the letter, business leaders from more than a third of firms in the FTSE 100 warned that leaving the EU would put the “economy at risk”.

They wrote: “Business needs unrestricted access to the European market of 500m people in order to continue to grow, invest and create jobs.

 “We believe that leaving the EU would deter investment and threaten jobs. It would put the economy at risk.”

The letter was written as campaigning on the EU referendum began in earnest this week ahead of a vote on 23 June.

Senior cabinet members Michael Gove and Ian Duncan-Smith, as well as London mayor Boris Johnson, have already thrown their weight behind the ‘leave’ campaign, following the prime minister’s renegotiation of the terms of Britain’s EU membership.

Commenting on the deal, the business leaders wrote: “Following the prime minister’s renegotiation, we believe that Britain is better off staying in a reformed European Union.

“He has secured a commitment from the EU to reduce the burden of regulation, deepen the single market and to sign off crucial international trade deals.”

Other notable signatories on the list were Arup chairman Greg Hodkinson, Atkins chief executive Uwe Kruger and British Land chief executive Chris Grigg.

Source: Construction News

25

Jan

CITB Revokes Thousands of CSCS Cards

Thousands of construction workers have had their CSCS cards revoked following an investigation into card fraud at five test centres.

A total of 4,615 cards have been taken away by the CITB as part of an ongoing probe after the BBC’sNewsnight revealed in October that workers were paying cash to fraudulently pass CSCS tests.

Following the investigation, more than 6,000 candidates who had completed their health, safety and environment test and more than 2,000 people who had completed the site safety plus certificate were required to retake their test.

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme wrote to all the affected cardholders in November to tell them they needed to retake their tests.

They were given until 20 December to register or risk cancellation of their CSCS card.

Of those affected, a total of 5,480 did not register to retake their test and as a result their test result is now void. Of those individuals who have already used their test result to obtain a card, 4,615 cards have been revoked.

The 553 remaining candidates have until the 14 February to pass their tests before their cards are also revoked.

CSCS chief executive Graham Wren said: “We take assurance that CITB’s in-depth analysis was accurate.

“While we accept that some people have been inconvenienced, we have kept this to a minimum and removed unsafe cards from circulation.

“We are urging employers to check the validity of all cards by either electronically reading the CSCS SmartCard or by using ‘Card Checker’ via the CITB website, to make sure that invalid cards are not permitted on site.”

He added: “While the number of people suspected of fraudulent activity is relatively small, compared to the 400,000 cards issued each year, this type of behaviour has the potential to undermine legitimate employees and harm the reputation of the industry.

“It is important employers are able to trust the training and qualification providers as well as the card certification schemes carrying the CSCS logo.”

Source: Construction News