Everything You Need to Know About the PQP Card
The PQP Card was launched in 2006. It is a type of CSCS Card that is aimed at professionally qualified persons. These are people who are not actually construction workers in the conventional sense, but people whose jobs require them to access construction sites. This would include surveyors and architects, for instance, or certain types of consultant.
There was originally a restriction on the amount of time that the PQP Card holder could spend on a construction site, but following discussions with a number of professional bodies, it was decided that the time restriction should be removed.
Why is the PQP Card important?
CSCS Cards have resulted in a dramatic reduction in accident rates on construction sites in the UK. They are a way of showing that the card holder is up to date with current health and safety legislation and practice.
The PQP Card is important because around 80% of construction sites in the UK and virtually all of the major construction sites in the UK will not allow anyone onto the site unless they hold a current CSCS Card. The Major Constructors Group (which consists of a number of national developers and contractors) and the Major House Builders Group both insist on CSCS Cards.
What details are on the PQP Card?
The PQP Card comes in either yellow or white forms, and will contain your photograph, your name and your CSCS number.
It is a smartcard and it contains a chip. That chip carries other relevant information about you. The information contained on the chip can be read with a CSCS smartcard reader.
Who can get a PQP Card?
The PQP Card is available to members of an approved institution. There are a large number of institutions that qualify, including:
- The Institution of Civil Engineers
- The Chartered Institute of Building
- The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
- The Royal Institution of British Architects
There are also a number of trade-specific bodies that qualify as approved institutions, including:
- The Welding Institute
- The Institute of Acoustics
- The Institute of Roofing
- The Institution of Lighting Professionals
How do I get a PQP Card?
To get a PQP Card, you must be able to demonstrate competence by having already been assessed by an approved institution. In addition, you will be required to pass the CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test at the Managerial and Professional level.
It generally takes between three and four weeks to get the PQP Card from when you first apply.
How long is a PQP Card valid for?
The PQP Card is valid for five years. This means that anyone who has a PQP Card can demonstrate that they are up to date with current legislation and health and safety practice. The cards can be renewed when they expire at the end of the five years.
To renew the card you need to show that you still meet the PQP criteria and are still a member of the approved institution. You will also need to pass the CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test at the Managerial and Professional level again.