The Home Building Skills Partnership

The Home Building Skills Partnership was established in early 2016 and is the skills arm of the Home Builders Federation, which aims to develop, grow and sustain a programme to provide the workforce that the home building industry needs to deliver the further increases in housing supply the country desperately needs. The aim is to attract new entrants into the industry, and provide focussed training to develop the qualified workforce needed to construct today’s high quality new homes.

In June 2018, the Construction Skills Certification Scheme announced that they would be withdrawing the Construction Site Visitor card. The card had been in use to ensure that workers who often visited construction sites, but did not perform a construction related job (such as HR), were accounted for and could be assured to have an appropriate level of Health and Safety Awareness by passing the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test. CSCS has consulted with the wider construction industry and agreed a plan that will pave the way for the eventual withdrawal of its current Visitor card.

This will, however, affect a high number of staff involved in the home building industry, so in response to home builders’ wishes HBF’s Home Building Skills Partnership has been developing with members an option to replace the CSCS Visitor card with something a little more specific to the industry in the form of a virtual Home Builders Visitor Card. Whilst the wider Home Building competency scheme will be affiliated to CSCS and take into consideration other card schemes within the supply chain, the Visitor Card is as a result of the sectors requirements and therefore not affiliated to CSCS. All Construction Site Visitor Cards issued from 3 September 2018 by CSCS will expire on 31 August 2020 and are non-renewable. CSCS will stop issuing the card from 28 February 2020.  The new Virtual Home Builders Visitor Card will launch on 11 December.

The Home Builders Visitor Card will provide a means to verify that people who visit Home Building sites have the basic knowledge and understanding of health and safety on site by passing the CITB Health Safety and Environmental test, a requirement already common with the CSCS visitor card.

By using smart technology built into the Card and with a card reader or the Go Smart App downloaded to smartphones or tablet devices, cards can be checked and data recorded within seconds.

Most homebuilders require workers on their sites to hold a valid CSCS card as a means to certify their qualifications and training. It is important that you hold the right CSCS card for the type of work you undertake. If you do not have a card, or hold the wrong card, access to home building sites may be denied. With the removal of the CSCS visitor card starting in February 2020 the HBVC will provide visitors with identical requirements as previously undertaken by CSCS and as such its requirements and validity will be easily understood.

The Home Builders Visitor Card is the first in a phased approach to provide the Home Building Sector with a competency scheme that is specific to the sector considering not just the Home Builders themselves but the supply chain too. Considering the great work on developing 12 skills frameworks in the sector, in conjunction with the industry, the future of the scheme will embrace and include minimum competency requirements not just in the technical context or the role itself, but people management, supervisory, leadership and management too.