In December it was announced the new CSCS Smart Check app, developed by the 38 card schemes displaying the CSCS logo, is set to radically improve the construction industry’s card checking procedures and site safety.
The roll out of the app begins in April 2022.
In late 2020 the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) released an update to the industry around the use of smart card technologies, and a common interface with which to verify the cards.
The CLC stated that, “By 31 March 2022, all card schemes must use smart technology which has the capability to electronically check agreed information relevant to a cardholder, using a common interface, without the need to manually enter data.” In March 2021 the partner card forum (now CSCS Alliance) set-up a Delivery Group of representative members in order to deliver on the CLC objective.
The Delivery Group appointed technology consultancy firm StableLogic, to support them with the design and procurement of a new system to deliver on the CLCs requirement. Following a detailed investigation into existing technologies of partner schemes and procurement process, the Delivery Group and selected supplier are in the final stages of testing on the new application, to be known as CSCS Smart Check.
The proposed App covers more than 2 million CSCS and partner scheme cards across all 38 CSCS Partner Schemes. The collaborative process represents a blueprint and exemplar for what can be achieved with a shared objective and willingness to raise standards and work together across a complex digital environment.
Industry should be aware of the following key dates and times, during which webinars will be hosted jointly by representatives from CSCS and the Smart Check Delivery Group.
These webinars are intended to provide industry with an overview of the application, training and support materials, and any key updates which will need to be considered.
Attendees can register for their preferred webinars via the links above.
CSCS Smart Check
CSCS Smart Check is a mobile only application that is able to validate verified cards from all CSCS partner card schemes via API integrations into the various databases.
The application has been designed to recognise both QR codes and NFC (Contactless) card reads, with a back-up option of manual entry available for any cards whose QR code is wearing off or unreadable etc.
Once the application has scanned a verified card it will validate the card details and present back to the person checking their card on site the following key information:
It is key to note that these details will be the details stored within the scheme database and NOT details read from the card itself. This will ensure that even if a fraudulent card is presented with a valid (copied) QR code, the operative will be able to check the Photo ID from the application against the individual in front of them.
The benefits of a centralised approach to card validation are clear and exciting for the construction industry as a whole.
Promoting a qualified and competent workforce
CSCS and Partner Schemes have a core role to play in the wider ambition of the industry and Government to promote a better qualified and competent workforce.
Verification of the card holder to allow employers and clients essential visibility whether the person on site is qualified and competent for the role they are undertaking is a key focus on the Competence Steering Group as part of Dame Judith Hackitt’s review into building safety post-Grenfell.
CSCS Smart Check presents a free and simple way for all sites and parts of the built environment, from homeowners to some of the largest infrastructure projects, to check the person in front of them is who they say they are and suitably qualified for the work they are about to do.
The new application will help reduce fraudulent activity by ensuring live checks on cardholders and their qualifications are simple to perform and widely available. CSCS SmartCheck will provide a real-time verification of the individual; showing if cards are fraudulent, if they are no longer valid, or have been revoked by the scheme. It will remain the job of the operator to use the information presented to them appropriately (checking photo ID against the cardholder) however, the information available will be easily accessible and highly accurate.
Increasing Access Efficiency
Sites currently use a variety of methods to validate cards at site entrance due to the diverse range of options developed by individual schemes. These can range from a call to a front desk, to scanning a card on bespoke software / hardware, with a range of other options in-between. These disparate processes can take up a lot of time for an operator or foreman on site, and by moving to a centralised application which can handle all schemes from a single device we expect to see greater efficiencies in speeding up site access times.
The CSCS Smart Check application has been designed to be the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in order to meet the timeline for deployment that the CLC laid out in their statement.
Due to this, the application has been designed with certain limitations, some of which will be addressed moving forward with subsequent development and some of which will remain a limitation.
The main limitation that the Delivery Group believe to be permanent is the requirement of a live internet connection. Card validation will only be possible when there is a live internet connection because no data will be stored within the application itself at any point, except at point of successful card read where data will be presented and then wiped.
This has been done for the essential real-time feedback on cards, showing latest updates, cards which have been revoked or could now be invalid. Internet connectivity will be required in order to access the APIs on each of the schemes’ databases, and this will remain a requirement in order to guarantee real-time card information.
Additional limitations which will be addressed in subsequent phases of development:
CSCS Smart Check Timeline
The following Gantt chart shows the overall application development process broken down into key workstreams and milestones.
The key item for consideration by the industry is the ongoing ‘Continued Application Development and Feedback’ and ‘Stakeholder Briefings’ which will continue on past the end of the timeline for the initial application development.
From April onwards, the Delivery Group will continue the monitoring, maintenance and development of the solution to ensure that the application continues to evolve alongside the industry and does not fall by the wayside.