Do plumbers need a CSCS Card to work on a building site?

Do you or someone on your team have 3 – 5 years’ experience in plumbing and heating but not recognised qualifications? 

If you answered yes, you might find it more difficult to find work on building sites from now on. That’s because of the Building Safety Act 2022 which has been enacted following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. 

Businesses tendering for work are more likely to be asked to prove that all the employees and subcontractors on site have the right CSCS card. A CSCS Smart Check App has been launched, which allows main contractors to check this easily. 

In this blog, we’ll look at:

  • How the new legislation affects plumbers working on building sites
  • Training options for plumbers who need a recognised qualification
  • Certification schemes for plumbing and heating installers

How does the Building Safety Act 2022 affect tradespeople?

The Building Safety Act 2022 aims to inspire systemic change within the construction sector. It follows recommendations contained in the Hackitt Review of the Building Regulations and fire safety, which was commissioned shortly after the disaster of Grenfell Tower in 2017. 

There is a lot more emphasis on the competence of workers, with increased responsibilities for contractors to ensure sub-contractors and workers have the relevant skills, knowledge and experience to do their jobs safely. 

The best way for construction workers to prove their competence is to undertake the relevant training and qualifications, join a competent person’s scheme and apply for a CSCS card, which shows you are trained in health and safety matters relating to building sites. 

What is a CSCS Card?

CSCS is the leading skills certification scheme within the UK construction industry.

Plumbing and heating occupations are covered under the JIB-PMES CSCS Registration scheme, which shows site managers and employers that plumbers are qualified to undertake the work they are doing and that they have demonstrated current health, safety and environmental knowledge. 

The CSCS card play an important role in improving standards and safety on building sites. 

Is it a legal requirement to have a CSCS card?

Technically no, it is up to the principal contractor to decide what evidence of competence their workers need.

However, the requirement to be part of a certified contractor’s scheme is strengthening under the new legislation. Duty holders – including contractors and site managers – could be held responsible for poor standards if they choose to employ workers without recognised qualifications. 

What qualifications do plumbers need?

The minimum qualification requirement for the CSCS/JIB Blue Plumbing card is a Level 2 Plumbing NVQ. 

Many people working in the plumbing and heating sector do not have recognised qualifications in their trade but have developed skills and knowledge by working alongside gas engineers or trained heating installers. 

Or, they have achieved a Level 2 Diploma or Technical Certificate, but don’t have the NVQ element.

We offer three training routes to achieving the NVQ level 2 plumbing qualification, with options for people depending on experience and any qualifications already achieved.

Once you have achieved the NVQ, you can apply for a JIB Plumbing CSCS Card.

Route 1 – If you hold an LCL Awards Level 2 Plumbing & Heating Diploma

  • Top-up your existing LCL Awards Plumbing Diploma by adding the NVQ element. 
  • 1-2 days of training and assessment, plus portfolio. 

Route 2 – If you hold an alternative recognised plumbing qualification 

  • This route is suitable for candidates with a qualification from City & Guilds, BPEC or EAL. 
  • 1-day initial assessment followed by 1-week in-centre plus portfolio. 

Route 3 – No formal plumbing qualification and at least 3 years of industry experience 

  • Achieve LCL Awards Level 2 Plumbing and Heating NVQ and Diploma in just 3 weeks – less than half the time it takes for a new entrant. 
  • 2-day initial assessment followed by 3-weeks in-centre training and assessment, plus portfolio
  • With all routes, WRAS can be added on at an extra cost if needed.

For routes 2 & 3 we will perform a basic skills test to check suitability for the programme.

Do you or your team need plumbing qualifications?

We are the leading building services engineering training provider in the South East, with high-spec training centres in Northolt, Basildon, Luton and Sittingbourne. 

If you have any queries about our qualifications or you want to discuss you training requirements further, please get in touch with our experienced team who will create a training package to suit your needs. 

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