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The CLC decision of January 2015 installed NVQ L2 as the minimum standard for skilled occupations throughout the UK construction sector.  For an industry that had seldom engaged with NVQ standards, this decision was bound to create some waves.  And here at TICA-ACAD, we are starting to experience one such wave as 3-year non-renewable red ACAD Skill Cards start to reach their expiry dates… 

Liz Dinsdale, TICA-ACAD Skill Card administrator advised “We are receiving an increasing number of calls from people who are approaching their trained card expiry date asking how to renew, many of whom are self-employed.  These people will list other achievements including certificate qualifications, SSSTS or even a really good ACAD site audit but none of these count, they need their NVQ.  The whole point of the 3-year card duration is to allow time for the individual to develop and gain their qualification, it’s something ACAD flags up explicitly to card applicants”. 

Whilst the Asbestos industry is rapidly approaching being fully carded and has made great strides in transitioning towards a fully qualified workforce, not least thanks to the ongoing promotion and funding driven by ACAD, there is still a long way to go.  At the start of the year, around 35% of operative ACAD Skill Cards were issued to those who had gained their NVQ L2, a huge increase from the c.5% when CSCS operated the scheme.  For supervisors, this figure is lower still at just over 26%, but again a significant increase from the CSCS days of c.2%. 

Graham Warren ACAD Manager commented “ACAD has led the way in obtaining funding and enhancing the Asbestos industry to be able to cope with the increasing demand for NVQ, but we still have a long way to go and the important message here is that proper planning now will allow us to avoid issues in the coming years.  The concern is the growing wave of card expirations could turn into a tsunami and swamp industry assessing capacity, leaving workers unable to get on site as no NVQ means no ACAD Skill Card, and no ACAD Skill Card means no work”. 

A noteworthy resource for the Asbestos industry to support the NVQ transition was created by ACAD following our successful bid for over £116k of CITB funding to ensure high quality NVQ assessment delivery.  Today, the NVQ Centre for the Asbestos Industry continues to grow under the stewardship of Gary Macknight and James Mennell. 

James advised “It’s really pleasing to be able to help members fulfil their NVQ aspirations and work with them to ensure the competence of their workforce.  The NVQ Centre for the Asbestos Industry is such a fantastic resource available to all where Gary and I work to ensure quality standards are maintained for the current level 2 to 4 qualifications, whilst providing support and encouragement to all our linked assessors”. 

Graham went on to say “The NVQ Centre for the Asbestos Industry enables Licence holders to undertake NVQ assessments in-house, providing a significant cost saving and, where a Licence holder can also claim CITB grants, provides a noticeable income stream for the process of qualifying your workers.  With the full range of qualifications available, from operative through to manager, together with blue, gold and black ACAD Skill Cards, this not-for-profit industry resource stands ready to help everyone successfully surf the growing wave of NVQ demand”. 

One area where ACAD continues to support members who are CITB levy registered, is with CITB Skills & Training fundings bids for NVQ, something ACAD has undertaken since this funding route was created.  These annual bids can be made for thousands of pounds depending upon your company size, and ACAD enjoys a 100% success rate helping our growing membership with these.  Liz told us “I’m looking forward to supporting our members access this funding from CITB to help them qualify their workforce.  If members would like to find out more about how to access these, or anything to do with the NVQ centre, just get in touch with me by emailing”


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