While normal operations remain restricted by Covid regulations, the
Scottish and Northern Ireland Joint Industry Board [1] (SNIJIB) has once
again gone the extra mile to ensure that most plumbing and heating
operatives can still sit their Health and Safety Test.

The Board, made up of members of the Scotland and Northern Ireland
Plumbing Employers’ Federation [2] (SNIPEF) and Unite the Union [3], has
introduced digital technology to offer the tests to companies which have
Registered Invigilators.

The move, which means faster booking and instant marking, is important
because the SNIJIB/Construction Skills Certification Scheme [4] (CSCS)
Grade Card expires every five years and the Card is evidence not only of
an operative’s profession but also that they have passed the Health and
Safety Test. Obtaining a SNIJIB/CSCS Grade Card has now become easier
and quicker to obtain.

Operatives working for companies which do not have a Registered
Invigilator are required to sit the Health and Safety Test at the SNIJIB
Head Quarters in Edinburgh, but this is not possible at the moment as
SNIJIB staff are working from home.

However, directors, partners or owners of plumbing and heating firms can
apply to become Registered Invigilators by contacting the SNIJIB
directly, and their employees will then become eligible to sit and pass
the Health and Safety Test online.

Stephanie Lowe, Industrial Relations Manager for SNIPEF and Secretary of
SNIJIB, said: “The SNIJIB Health and Safety Test has gone online this
month (_March 2021_) to ease the process for the industry to achieve the
Grade Card. The online route complements our Grading application form.

“The industry’s Grade Cards carry the CSCS and Construction Leadership
Council [5] (CLC) imprimatur, so the Joint Industry Board needs to meet
their criteria. These bodies rightly want to ensure that everyone on
site is appropriately qualified so that customers, as well as other
personnel, can feel safe and confident.”

Fiona Hodgson, Chief Executive of SNIPEF, said: “Safety is at the heart
of everything we do. It underpins the sector and, if work cannot be
carried out safely, it should not be attempted. The Health and Safety
Test is necessary for CSCS cards, which are proof of training and
qualification to work on construction sites.

“A card-carrying workforce ensures that a business is compliant with
safety standards and regulations. For workers, it is an easy way to
display the ability to perform certain jobs on a construction site to a
specific standard and the new online capability will make it easier and
quicker to obtain.”

Once employees sit the test, their Grade Cards will be issued to them
within the space of a week. The SNIJIB is also offering a Revision
Manual for the Test.