Site workers are being warned about being charged excessive sums for Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards after complaints by applicants being charged almost double by unaffiliated third-party websites for cards as well as slow delivery times and some site falsely claiming an association with the official body.

CSCS head of communications Alan O’Neile said: “While many third-party sites provide the services advertised and are entirely legal, CSCS wishes to make construction workers aware that some charge significantly more than the official application fee. This is particularly pertinent in the current climate as many in the industry grapple with increased costs.”

There is only one official service; a card costs £36 and in most cases, applications will be processed, and cards issued within 48 hours.

He continued: “We often hear of construction workers paying upwards of £60 just for their CSCS card. If you are charged more than £36 for a card or £22.50 for the separate CITB Health, safety & environment test you should ask why.

“For some workers and employers, the services provided by third party organisations make it worth paying the extra charges but, if you are paying more than £36 for a card, please check that you understand what additional services you will receive and that you are happy to pay for them.”

In addition, some third-party websites falsely imply association to CSCS by using CSCS’s images to pass themselves off as official or affiliated to CSCS. CSCS is working with its legal representatives to remove misleading information from these websites.

The warning by CSCS is the latest move by the body to curtail misuse of the card and scheme. Last month, it updated its Smart Check app with extra power to detect fraudulent cards and previously put its legal team on a website claiming to sell CSCS and other similar cards ‘without exam or test’

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