Has NOCN bitten off more than it can chew…?

Apologies offered when solutions are required.

For the second time in six months, NOCN Group has been forced to publicly apologise for its calamitous takeover of the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS).

The company previously apologised back in February when it said that emergency measures were being put in place. But six months later, NOCN Group has been forced to issue another apology for its continued failure to complete the transition of the vital card scheme.

In a statement, the company says:

“The complexity of the transition of systems between NOCN Group and the previous scheme owners has been a significant challenge. We acknowledge there have been major issues within our systems and the data exchanges which have caused disruption and delays to card printing and we realise that this has created many issues for all of our customers.

We acknowledge that the service provided to you since December 2019 has not been acceptable. NOCN Job Cards unreservedly apologises for all of the disruption caused to customers. It is our intention to fix the Construction Plant Card Scheme and we are working our way through a formulated plan with the help of the CPCS Management Committee to ensure you get the best possible service required in the shortest possible time frame.”

This latest apology will be of scant consolation to the workers struggling to renew their cards. It must surely also call into question the due diligence carried out by the former operator of the card scheme, the Construction Industry Training Board.

According to industry news portal The Construction Index, as many as 200,000 workers who operate large plant on construction sites rely on the cards to access employment.

Elsewhere in the NOCN statement, the company cites the COVID-19 pandemic as the cause of “major disruption to normal operations”.

However, at least one company that contacted DemolitionNews says that it has card applications dating back to December 2019 and February 2020, long before the Coronavirus brought large parts of the UK construction sector to a standstill.

The ongoing issues with the scheme under NOCN are compounded by a growing number of main contractors insisting upon CPCS while refusing to accept alternative accreditations.

Against this background, workers will find little comfort in NOCN’s latest apology:

“Our aim is to give the construction plant industry the card scheme it requires, enabling the facilitation of a safe and competent carded workforce. Thank you for your continued support during these frustrating times.”