Competence card schemes launched to improve Health and Safety.

In association with Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), the BMRA is pleased to announce the development of a series of new competence card schemes to provide proof of skills, competence and qualifications of those working in the metals recycling sector.

The schemes, which are the are the first of their kind in the sector, will enable organisations to quickly and easily check that workers and contractors have the required skills and training, and the appropriate health and safety awareness to be on site. This will lead to improved health and safety in the workplace and reduce the risk of accidents occurring on site.

The initiative includes four schemes of recognition: Contractor and Site Visitor, for external contractors and visitors; Operative, for employees, apprentices, skilled operatives, and craftspeople; Supervisor, for contractors responsible for overseeing work; and Manager, for those in management and senior-management roles.

The competence for the card schemes will be confirmed by a Pearson VUE test and evidenced via a card, linked to a digital credentials system, which can be scanned by employers. A number of short answer response, scenario-based and multiple-choice questions (MCQ), as appropriate to the level of card, will ensure the metal recycling workforce are operating safely and organisations are able to identify personnel with recognised health and safety skills.

The schemes will also provide a solid foundation for staff training and will ensure that health and safety awareness training is managed effectively and updated every four years.

“The BMRA is pleased to be supporting the development of a sector-specific card scheme. Given the inherent dangers of a metal recycling site, a system that allows organisations to quickly check anyone working on site has the appropriate training and skills is to be warmly welcomed,” said James Kelly, CEO of the BMRA.

Katie Cockburn, Professional Services Director at CIWM, said: “Without any professionally recognised competence card schemes, it can be incredibly difficult and time consuming for businesses, big and small, to ensure that contractors are appropriately skilled for the tasks they are undertaking on site.

“CIWM is delighted to be able to support these organisations through dedicated card schemes which will not only make it much easier for them to complete reference checking, but also enable them to recruit and retain employees and demonstrate that they are a responsible employer.”

The first scheme, for contractors and site visitors, is due to launch early 2022 and CIWM, along with BMRA, will be consulting with contractors this Autumn to get their views on what should be included.

Notes to Editors:

The British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) is the trade association representing the £7 billion UK Metal Recycling sector. It has been headquartered in Huntingdonshire for 46 years, previously in Brampton and most recently at Hinchingbrooke Business Park. Members of the public can use the BMRA website to find a metal recycler – www.recyclemetals.org.

  • The UK metal recycling industry is so efficient at recovering metal from end-of-life products that more is recovered than can be consumed domestically. As a result, over 80 per cent of all ‘waste’ metal is now destined for export. This means we are competing against suppliers from the USA and Japan who are not required to characterise recycled metal as waste.
  • Every tonne of recycled steel saves: 1.5 tonnes of iron ore, 0.5 tonnes of coal, 70% of the energy,
  • 40% of the water, 75% of CO2 emissions, and 0.97 tonnes of CO2.Recycling of metals is also the major contributor to the UK’s achievement of targets under EU Directives such as end-of-life vehicles and packaging.
  • In 2017, the UK exported over 9 million tonnes of recovered ferrous (iron and steel) metal and approximately 800,000 thousand tonnes of non-ferrous metal (such as aluminium and copper).

CIWM: CIWM is the leading professional body for the resource and waste management sector representing around 5,700 individuals in the UK, Ireland and overseas. Established in 1898, CIWM is a non-profit making organisation, dedicated to the promotion of professional competence amongst waste managers. CIWM seeks to raise standards for those working in and with the sector by producing best practice guidance, developing educational and training initiatives, and providing information on key waste-related issues. More information can be found at www.ciwm.co.uk