Usually at this time of the month we start to get calls from people who’ve lost NVQ Certificates.
“Why so?” you may ask, but the reason is pretty simple. CSCS Cards expire at the end of each month, so people start thinking about getting a new one in about the middle of the month.
That’s the time they find out the CSCS people need to see proof of their qualifications. It’s always at least five years since they last needed the certificate and it appears some people aren’t that good at storing them safely.
Result? They can’t find them and the clock is ticking. So they call us.
(That’s without taking into account people who have moved house, left home, got divorced and a myriad other reasons.)
There’s an added dynamic now – the CSCS need to see the proof of the NVQ in all cases, whereas until a relatively short time ago, they had that record available to them.
At the same time, the CSCS, the CITB and Awarding Bodies have become more concerned about fairly widespread fraudulent and fake documentation – so it’s hardly surprising they are tightening up on procedures.
So the first time trades realise they can’t find their certificates is when they call the CSCS or go onto their website and discover they need to produce the certificate to get a new card.
To apply for a CSCS Card now, you’re best going online and setting up an account using the CSCS Online Portal. Once you have done that, you can start your CSCS Card Application.
You will need:
- A passport style photo of your head and shoulders against a white background
- A scanned copy of your qualification certificate, or proof that you are registered to complete a recognised construction related qualification relevant to your occupation.
- A scanned copy of your pass certificate for the appropriate level of CITB Health, safety and environment (HSE) test, which must be within the last 2 years.
- A credit or debit card to pay the £36 application fee.
And it’s the second of these that causes all the problems – lost NVQ certificates become an issue only when you need them!
We’ve always kept a copy of our candidates’ NVQ certificates, so when people call us who have come to SuperSkills for their NVQ Assessment, in most cases we have been able to help them. We’ve just looked in our records and presto – there it is.
However, even we have to archive or destroy those copies after a lapse of time.
The only option at that stage – or if the person got their Construction NVQ somewhere else – is for them to apply to the original Awarding Body for a Duplicate. There will be a “search fee”.
But here’s a tip – if you know you got your qualification from City & Guilds and it was before 2010 – they are most unlikely to recover it. In fact, we advise people against even paying for the search.
If your lost NVQ certificates relate to qualifications from ConstructionSkills, CSkills Awards or even the Construction Awards Alliance, you may have a better chance. You can call CSkills Awards (now part of the NOCN Group) on 0300 999 1177. You’ll need to select Option 5 and then Option 1 to navigate through the auto-attendant.
However, if you really cannot locate your lost NVQ certificates, you may end up having to pay for another assessment.
Which is a pain.
So – whether you need to renew your CSCS Card this month, this year, or in five years time – make sure it’s safe!
And when you go home tonight, scan your NVQ and Health & Safety Test certificates and store the images somewhere.
Any PDF file will do – if you don’t have a desktop scanner, you will find there are loads of free telephone Apps that will enable you to scan documents.
Avoiding lost NVQ certificates is, after all, the best way to take the hassle out of renewing your CSCS Card.