The Association of Technical Lightning & Access Specialists’ (ATLAS) Council has voted in favour of temporarily amending the standard CSCS card renewal requirements for its sector, due to coronavirus severely restricting access to training. This has meant the suspension of the requirement for an Anchors for Steeplejacks and/or Working at Height for Lightning Conductor Engineer course in order to renew blue or gold Steeplejack and/or Lightning Conductor Engineer CSCS cards. As a result, on a temporary basis, the Health, Safety & Environment Specialist Work at Height Test will be sufficient to renew a CSCS card, but this will be valid for one year only.
As face-to-face training is significantly restricted, due to lockdown restrictions, the Anchors for Steeplejacks and Working at Height for Lightning Conductor Engineer courses are currently suspended. The courses were assessed for remote or eLearning conversion, but this created significant logistical challenges, which may take some time to resolve. ATLAS understands that the grace period of one-year on expired cards, offered by CSCS, is fast approaching for many at the end of March. To allow members to carry on accessing sites during this period, ATLAS has worked with CSCS to allow the issuing of short-term CSCS cards until training can resume, or alternative training formats can be implemented.
The short-term CSCS cards will be valid for one year only, so operatives will then need to renew again, for their five-year CSCS card, when the relevant courses can resume.
The cost to renew a CSCS card remains the same regardless of the duration, so the cost to renew will remain at £36.00. This temporary implementation comes into force from today (Monday 15 March 2021) and is expected to be in place for no longer than one year. Operatives are advised to access the relevant Anchors for Steeplejacks and/or Working at Height for Lightning Conductor Engineers courses as soon as they become available (which can be used for CSCS card renewals for up to two years following the course date).
Any operatives who managed to attend the training courses, prior to the latest restrictions, will be able to obtain five year CSCS cards as normal (as long as the certificates are dated no more than two years before the renewal).