CSCS stands for Construction Skills Certification Scheme. It is a certification scheme in the United Kingdom that aims to improve the skills and competence of workers in the construction industry. The CSCS card serves as proof that individuals working on construction sites have the required training and qualifications for their specific roles, promoting a safer and more skilled workforce in the construction sector.
A CSCS card, or Construction Skills Certification Scheme card, is a certification that verifies an individual's skills and qualifications for working in the construction industry in the United Kingdom. The card serves as proof that the cardholder has the required training and competence for their specific role on a construction site.
Key points about the CSCS card:
Skills and Competence: The CSCS card indicates that the holder has undergone the necessary training and possesses the required skills and competence for their job within the construction sector.
Industry Recognition: Widely recognised within the construction industry, the CSCS card is a standard for showcasing an individual's commitment to safety and professionalism.
Safety: The scheme aims to improve safety on construction sites by ensuring that workers have the appropriate skills and knowledge to carry out their tasks safely.
Various Card Types: There are different types of CSCS cards, each corresponding to specific job roles and levels of qualification. The card type reflects the individual's expertise and proficiency.
Employment Requirement: Many construction employers require workers to hold a valid CSCS card as a condition for employment on their sites.
Obtaining a CSCS card involves demonstrating the necessary qualifications, often through completing relevant NVQs or other approved training programs. The card is renewable and serves as a valuable asset for construction professionals.
No, CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) and CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) are separate entities in the construction industry, but they are related.
While they have distinct roles, there is a connection between CSCS and CITB. CITB often plays a role in funding and supporting training programs that contribute to the qualifications required for obtaining a CSCS card. Completing CITB-approved training programs can be beneficial for individuals seeking CSCS certification.
As part of this responsibility, CITB have created courses across a wide range of disciplines in the construction sector. These courses include their Site Safety Plus suite, which are key to ensuring safe work practises across construction sites.
Upon completion of their courses, delegates will receive a CITB certificate. Holding a CITB certificate is often essential for working in certain roles. Certain cards, like the CSCS green card, require you to have completed certain CITB courses in order to apply. CSCS green cards also require applicants to complete the CITB Health and Safety Awareness course to apply.
The easiest way to obtain a CSCS card is to apply for cards designed for entry level positions, such as the green labourer card. To apply for a green card, learners do not have to have completed a full NVQ (do not apply for this card if you work in a skilled position). However, they will have to have completed one of the following:
All applicants must pass the CITB health, safety and environment test for operatives and hold one of the following:
Of these courses, the most popular is the CITB Health and Safety Awareness. This course can be conducted online or face-to-face. Once completed, the qualification is valid for five years.
You can also apply for the red trainee or apprentice card. These are temporary CSCS cards which require you to have either enrolled on a relevant apprenticeship or NVQ, but do not require you to have completed your training.
There are variety of different CSCS cards available for different levels of experience, seniority, and job role. The simplest way to look at the different options available is break them down into their different colours:
- Apprentice - for workers who have started an apprenticeship for their role
- Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager – for supervisors or managers with job experience but have not completed a relevant NVQ and are not part of an approved professional body
- Experienced Worker – Workers with relevant job experience but without a Level 2 NVQ/ SVQ
- Trainee – For trainees who are registered for a relevant qualification in order to gain a skilled CSCS card
- Industry Placement Card – For those undergoing a construction-related qualification or training programme requiring a minimum of a 30 day work placement, such as T-Levels for e.g.
- Provisional – A temporary card issued to those who are working through a probationary period
- Skilled Worker - for workers who have a high level of skill in their occupation
- Supervisor - for those working in a supervisory role overseeing personnel on construction sites
- Academically Qualified Person – For those who have completed construction-related degrees or equivalent
- Professional Qualified Person - Competence assessed members of CSCS approved Professional Bodies
Once all the necessary training and qualifications have been acquired, the standard fee for CSCS cards is £36. This does not include the CITB HS&E test, which will cost an additional £22.50.
At the time of writing, you can only complete the Health, Safety and Environment tests at CITB-approved testing centres.
There is no real way to speed up the process of getting a CSCS card, as they require a certain level of training, experience, and qualifications to obtain. However, the more time you can dedicate to completing your required training, the quicker you will receive your card.
Yes, it is possible to obtain a blue CSCS card with a relevant diploma. The blue CSCS card is typically associated with skilled occupations in the construction industry. To qualify for a blue CSCS card based on a diploma, you would generally need to meet the following criteria:
Achieve an Appropriate NVQ or SVQ:
Health, Safety, and Environment Test:
Apply for the Blue CSCS Card:
It's important to check the specific requirements for the blue CSCS card related to your occupation, as they may vary. Always refer to the official CSCS website or contact CSCS directly for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding eligibility and application processes.
Workers with no qualifications can get temporary CSCS cards if they have enrolled on the right form of training for their job role. These include the trainee and the apprentice card. These prove that while workers may not currently have qualifications, they are working towards getting the appropriate level of training.
CITB Health Safety & Environment tests cost £22.50. You can book you test by visiting the CITB website.
The cost of renewing your card is the same as the original cost of £36, on top of any additional training required. To renew your card, you visit the CSCS website or call the CSCS card renewal phone number on 0344 994 4777.
The CSCS Health Safety and Environment test is sometimes referred to as a touch screen test. These tests costs £22.50 to book.
Replacement CSCS cards will cost you around £36. The quickest way of getting a replacement card is to use the online application service on the CSCS website.
CSCS green cards, also known as labourer cards, are a valid means of evidence to allow workers on construction sites. These cards allow workers on site to perform entry-level job roles with low levels of responsibility. These cards are valid for five years and can be renewed.
To acquire most CSCS cards, workers must have completed an NVQ in a relevant discipline and a high enough level for the card they are applying for. However, there a couple of cards you can get without completing an NVQ.
Workers can receive temporary red CSCS cards if they have enrolled onto an NVQ but have not yet completed it. These cards are not renewable, meaning workers will have to have completed their NVQ to apply for a new card. The type of red card needed will depend on the employment status and the qualification the applicant is working towards:
Who they’re for
Workers who have started a CSCS-recognised apprenticeship framework
Workers who have on-the-job experience and are enrolled on a Level 2 NVQ or higher.
Supervisors, managers, or technical workers who have on-the-job experienced and who are enrolled on a Level 3 NVQ or higher.
Trainees that are registered to complete a construction related qualification acceptable for a CSCS card.
Those working through a probationary period while employers assess their suitability for their job role.
To obtain a CSCS card without any prior experience, you will need to follow these general steps:
1. Determine the appropriate CSCS card: CSCS offers a number of different types of cards for entry level experience. Identify the card which suits your goals, be this to become an onsite labourer or an apprentice. You can find information about the different card types HERE.
2. To apply for a CSCS card, you may need to complete a qualification or training course related to your desired job role. Look for courses or qualifications that are recognised by CSCS for the specific card you want to obtain. The CSCS website provides a list of approved qualifications for each card type. A green labourer card for example would require a CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course or equivalent.
3. Pass the relevant health and safety test: To apply for a CSCS card, you must pass the Health, Safety and Environment Test. This test assesses your understanding of health and safety practices in the construction industry. You can book the test through the CSCS website and find study materials to help you prepare.
4. Apply for the CSCS card: Once you have completed the required training and passed the Health, Safety and Environment Test, you can apply for the CSCS card. Visit the CSCS website and follow the application process for the specific card you are applying for. You may need to provide documentation, such as proof of qualification and identity, along with the application form. Pay the necessary fees as applicable.
5. Card issuance: If your application is successful, CSCS will issue you the appropriate CSCS card. This card acts as proof of your skills and qualifications in the construction industry.
Remember, the specific requirements for obtaining a CSCS card can vary depending on the card type and your location. It is recommended to visit the official CSCS website and carefully review the guidelines and requirements for the card you wish to obtain. Additionally, contacting CSCS directly or speaking with a training provider can provide you with more specific information tailored to your circumstances.
Gold Skilled Worker cards (formerly known as Advanced craft cards) are aimed at workers who are highly skilled in their occupation. Obtaining this card proves to employers and managers the worker is a specialist in their field of work.
Supervisor cards are for workers who have responsibility for overseeing the work of personnel on construction sites. Their work will involve ensuring their staff are working correctly, efficiently, and safely. Supervisors normally report to managers who have ultimate responsibility for the construction site and workers.
CSCS gold cards cost £36 on top of the cost of the workers Level 3 or 4 NVQ required to apply.
To apply for either gold card, workers need to have completed a Level 3 NVQ or SVQ. Those applying for the Advanced Craft card can also apply if they have completed an approved indentured apprenticeship or hold a City and Guilds of London Institute Advanced Craft Certificate. Those applying for the supervisory can also apply with a Level 4 NVQ.
To obtain a black manager’s card, workers must have completed a relevant Construction Management/Technical related Level 6 or 7 NVQ.
While the CITB Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) presents fantastic grounding in the principles of construction management, you will not receive a black card for completing this training. SMSTS is not required to apply for the CSCS black card. Candidates must have completed a Level 6 or 7 NVQ.
If your card has expired, it is no longer valid, meaning you might not be allowed on site to do your job. It is essential for you to renew your card in plenty of time to ensure this doesn’t happen. You can renew your card online from up to six months before expiry.
The validity of CSCS cards will vary depending on the type of card. However, all renewable cards (green, blue, gold, black, white) are valid for five years.
Red cards differ in validity depending on the specific card you hold:
4 years and 6 months
All red cards are non-renewable, meaning once the validity has expired, you won’t be able to apply for a new one.