While normal operations remain restricted by Covid regulations, the Scottish and Northern Ireland Joint Industry Board (SNIJIB) has once again gone the extra mile to ensure that most plumbing and heating operatives can still sit their Health and Safety Test.
The Board, made up of members of the Scotland and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation(SNIPEF) and Unite the Union, has introduced digital technology to offer the tests to companies which have Registered Invigilators.
The move, which means faster booking and instant marking, is important because the SNIJIB/Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Grade Card expires every five years and the Card is evidence not only of an operative’s profession but also that they have passed the Health and Safety Test. Obtaining a SNIJIB/CSCS Grade Card has now become easier and quicker to obtain.
Operatives working for companies which do not have a Registered Invigilator are required to sit the Health and Safety Test at the SNIJIB Head Quarters in Edinburgh, but this is not possible at the moment as SNIJIB staff are working from home.
However, directors, partners or owners of plumbing and heating firms can apply to become Registered Invigilators by contacting the SNIJIB directly, and their employees will then become eligible to sit and pass the Health and Safety Test online.
Stephanie Lowe, Industrial Relations Manager for SNIPEF and Secretary of SNIJIB, said: “The SNIJIB Health and Safety Test has gone online this month (March 2021) to ease the process for the industry to achieve the Grade Card. The online route complements our Grading application form.
“The industry’s Grade Cards carry the CSCS and Construction Leadership Council (CLC) imprimatur, so the Joint Industry Board needs to meet their criteria. These bodies rightly want to ensure that everyone on site is appropriately qualified so that customers, as well as other personnel, can feel safe and confident.”
Fiona Hodgson, Chief Executive of SNIPEF, said: “Safety is at the heart of everything we do. It underpins the sector and, if work cannot be carried out safely, it should not be attempted. The Health and Safety Test is necessary for CSCS cards, which are proof of training and qualification to work on construction sites.
“A card-carrying workforce ensures that a business is compliant with safety standards and regulations. For workers, it is an easy way to display the ability to perform certain jobs on a construction site to a specific standard and the new online capability will make it easier and quicker to obtain.”
Once employees sit the test, their Grade Cards will be issued to them within the space of a week. The SNIJIB is also offering a Revision Manual for the Test.