How does this affect NPORS / CSCS Card Holders?
CITB have confirmed that Pearson Vue HS&E test centres across the UK will temporarily close starting Friday 20 March 2020 until further notice. The situation will be monitored on a weekly basis.
At present CITB are not closing the Independent Test Centre (ITC) network and they will continue to work with these centres to ensure adequate precautionary measures are put in place to protect staff and candidates.
Please visit the CITB website regarding the actions they are taking around the availability of the HS&E test and other industry training.
The full impact of COVID-19 on NPORS / CSCS card applications is yet unknown.
However, we should prepare for the fact that construction workers will struggle to find availability to sit the HS&E test and the likelihood that the remaining test centres will also close until the spread of the virus is under control.
Those new to the industry may be unable to apply for cards as they cannot sit the HS&E test or undertake training/qualifications relevant for the card they require. Also, the number of expired cards circulating in the industry will increase as existing card holders cannot renew their cards without re-sitting the test.
This could lead to genuine construction workers being turned away from site as they do not hold a NPORS / CSCS card or their existing card has expired.
In line with CSCS and other CSCS partner card schemes NPORS is Requesting employers and those responsible for site access and card checking procedures to use their discretion towards workers whose cards have expired since mid-March onward and who can provide evidence that they have been unable to sit their HS&E test or undertake the required training as a result of the closure of Test/Training centres.
This is at the employer’s discretion until the situation has stabilised.