Important COVID 19 updates for Customers


COVID 19 Policy

Universal Construction Support on advice from Government and CITB are taken the follow steps to help stop spread of the coronavirus :-

  1. Candidate and staff are asked to wash hands upon arrival at the test centre, in the bathrooms provided. This follows the guidance from the World Health Organization and will help to keep your hands clean and prevent potential contamination.
  2. If the candidate or Staff would like to use a medical face mask this can be permitted. Candidates must provide their own, but before entering the testing room, from a distance staff need to inspect the mask prior to entering in to the testing room.
  3. Please cover the nose and mouth in case of sneezing or cough using tissues and dispose of these in bins.
  4. After each exam session ends, staff should clean each workstation, keyboard, mouse, headsets, pens, and locker keys with disinfectant products to ensure a clean & hygienic environment for our candidates.
  5. Regular cleaning of the admission desk, invigilation desk, equipment and testing items with disinfectant products.
  6. We have introduced extra plastic divide between testing stations
  7. One Candidate at a time in Test administration room for admissions.
  8. We have introduced add transparent screen round test admissions equipment between candidates and staff.
  9. Candidates will ask to wait in training room or reception area before being taken to admissions.
  10. Candidates will ask to wait in training room or reception area before being taken to admissions.

CITB are continually reviewing the situation and are providing Test centers such as UCS with continuous support and updates in these difficult times.  We will endeavor to keep our customers updated accordingly.

On behalf of Universal Construction Support Management.  Stay Safe.

See the PDF of COVID 19 HS&E Test Policy

CITB & CSCS COVID 19 Update – Business Continuity

The below is an edited version of the update given by CSCS on 17 March.

Impact on CSCS applications

17 March 2020

The growing concerns surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19) are likely to impact CSCS’s ability to issue cards to some first-time applicants or those wishing to renew their card prior to expiry.

A key requirement for all applications (new or renewal) is proof that the applicant has passed the relevant CITB Health, safety and environment (HS&E) test within the last 2 years.

Current position

CITB has confirmed that Pearson Vue HS&E test centers across the UK will temporarily close starting Friday 20 March 2020 until further notice. The situation will be monitored on a weekly basis.

At present CITB is not closing the Independent Test Centre (ITC) network and they will continue to work with these centers to ensure adequate precautionary measures are put in place to protect staff and candidates.

CSCS and the wider industry should, therefore, consider the impact Coronavirus will have on the industry’s ability to deliver the test and the subsequent impact this will have on CSCS card applications.

What does this mean for CSCS?

The full impact of COVID-19 on CSCS card applications is yet unknown.

However, we should prepare for the fact that construction workers will struggle to find availability to sit the test and the likelihood that the remaining test centers will also close until the spread of the virus is under control.

Those new to the industry may be unable to apply for cards as they cannot sit the test or undertake training/qualifications relevant for the card they require. Also, the number of expired cards circulating in the industry will increase as existing cardholders cannot renew their cards without resitting the test.

This could lead to genuine construction workers being turned away from the site as they do not hold a CSCS card or their existing card has expired.

What steps is CSCS taking?

In recognition that COVID-19 will prevent some construction workers from meeting CSCS’s card application requirements, we are asking the industry to support the following temporary measures:

  1. Requesting employers and those responsible for site access and card checking procedures to use their discretion towards workers whose cards have expired since mid-March onward and who can provide evidence that they have been unable to sit their test or undertake the required training as a result of the closure of Test/Training centers.

This is at the employer’s discretion until the situation has stabilized.

  1. CSCS has extended the grace period for card renewals from 6 months after the card expires to 12 months. This means that the card can be renewed, once the CITB HS&E test has been passed, up to one year from the card’s expiry date. 

This will assist those applicants struggling to find availability to sit the test and renew their cards. 

Note to Universal Construction Support (UCS) Customers

  1. UCS falls under the Independent ITC Centre network, therefore we will be staying open until further guidance from CITB or the Government.
  2. UCS has 5 stations to facilitate CSCS HS&E tests, however, we will only be using 3 stations at any one time to adhere to the 2 meter Government recommendation on social distancing.
  3. UCS anticipates an increased demand on the HS&E tests as the Pearson Vue centers have been closed for the foreseeable future. Booking for HS&E tests can be done via our website or by calling 0208 441 7231.
  4. UCS normally charges £45 for an HS&E test, this is higher than Pearson Vue centers that charge £21. This is because we are an Independent ITC Centre and must cover employee and administration costs.
  1. However, until the foreseeable future, UCS management has decided

to reduce the price from £45 to £29 to best accommodate Construction workers and Construction companies in these difficult times, unfortunately, due to financial constraints, it would be not financially viable for us to charge £21.  Even at £29, we are just covering costs to support the Construction Industry as best as possible.

  1. UCS has already published its COVID 19 HS&E testing policy that can be found here COVID 19 Policy. You will find there the procedures and precautions that we have already put in place for the safety and health of our customers.  We will endeavor to facilitate CSCS testing to the best of our abilities in these difficult times.  However UCS reserve the right to cancel booked tests at any time should insufficient staff and resources become a factor.  Any tests not carried out due to COVID 19 will be fully refunded or rescheduled for free at a later date.  We will update on any timetable changes and new guidance and updates from CITB on our COVID 19 Update page.

On behalf of Universal Construction Support.  Stay safe.

Jamie Tribble

Kamyar Heidary

See the PDF of Business Continuity Plan

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