CSCS cards: a construction workers guide

 

In the construction industry, the CSCS card is vital for showing workers have the competence to perform their role on site. The training and knowledge required to become part of the CSCS scheme is helping to prevent accidents on construction sites, standardise procedures and improve skills across the whole industry. Holding a CSCS card shows you have the required skills for your trade and you are up to date with relevant health and safety knowledge. Run by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the CSCS scheme was founded in the 1990s and holds a large database of all certified workers.

To apply for any type of CSCS card, there are two requirements: a valid qualification (dependent upon the card type) and a Health, Safety & Environment test (passed within the past 2 years).

The Health Safety and Environment Test

All applicants for any CSCS card are required to have passed the relevant Health Safety and Environment (HS&E) test for their role, in addition to any other requirements of the card. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘CSCS Test’.

The Health, Safety and Environment test is taken on a computer and is a multiple-choice format. The questions will evaluate your awareness of Health and Safety within your job role and any hazards you may face. Depending on your profession and trade, you must pass one of the 3 main types of HSE test:

* Operative Health, Safety & Environment Test

* Managerial and Professional Test

* Specialist Health, Safety & Environment Test

For more information on the HSE test and what to expect, Click Here.

Green Card (Labourer)

The entry level card to the CSCS is often referred to as the Labourer Card. The card is a great stepping stone into the industry and allows you to gain vital experience on site.

Applicants must have passed one of the following qualifications in order to apply:

* CITB Health and Safety Awareness (HSA) course

*QCF Level 1 or SCQF Level 4 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment

*IOSH Working Safely course

You must also pass the Operative, Health, Safety & Environment Test.

Valid for: 5 years / Renewable: YES

Red Card

There are 5 types of Red Card available which are all classed as temporary while you are working towards a skilled card: - Apprentice – Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager – Experienced Worker – Trainee – Provisional

Apprentice – this card is applicable for anyone commencing on an accepted apprenticeship program. You will need to provide proof of registration on the apprenticeship in one of the following forms: a letter from either the Managing Agency, a letter from the Training Provider, or your Apprenticeship Agreement.

Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager – this card is relevant to Supervisors and Managers with experience on site who are currently working towards a construction related NVQ or SVQ. The card can be replaced with a skilled 5 year card once a Level 3 or higher NVQ/SVQ has been achieved. Supervisors must also pass the Specialist Health, Safety and Environment Test for Supervisors. Managers must also pass the Managers and Professionals Health Safety & Environment Test.

Valid: 3 years / Renewable: NO

Experienced Worker – this card is applicable to workers who have on site experience of at least one year over the past three. The temporary card is issued while working towards a construction related NVQ or SVQ level 2 or higher. Once achieved, this can be replaced by a skilled 5 year card. You must also pass the Specialist Health, Safety & Environment Test relevant to your trade.

Valid: 1 year / Renewable: NO

Trainee – this card is relevant to those in training and who are registered for a qualification which leads to a skilled card such as an NVQ or SVQ. You will need to provide proof of registration onto your particular training program. You must also pass the Specialist Health, Safety & Environment Test relevant to your trade.

Valid: 5 years / Renewable: NO

Provisional – this card is only valid for a short period. It is relevant to those who are undergoing a probationary period while an employer determines their suitability for employment or applicants who are taking part in supervised work experience. Before expiration, card holders must register for a relevant construction related qualification and upgrade their card. You must also pass the Health, Safety & Environment Test.

Valid: 6 months /  Renewable: NO

Blue Card (Skilled Worker)

The Blue Card is intended for skilled workers who have upgraded from their previously held Red Card through training and experience.

Applicants must have achieved either of the following qualifications in order to apply:

* Level 2 NVQ or SVQ in a construction related field

* City & Guilds of London Institute Craft Certificate (through an employer sponsored apprenticeship)

You must also have passed the Specialist Health, Safety and Environment Test relevant to your specific skilled trade in the last 2 years.

Valid: 5 years / Renewable: YES

Gold Card (Advanced Craft or Supervisor)

There are 2 types of Gold Card available: Advanced Craft or Supervisor.

Advanced Craft Card – this card is aimed at highly skilled workers within the industry.

Applicants must have achieved one of the following qualifications in order to apply:

* Level 3 NVQ or SVQ in a construction related field

* Completion of an indentured apprenticeship with an approved accreditor, for example with NJBCI or BATJIC

* City & Guilds of London Institute ADVANCED Craft Certificate (through an employer sponsored apprenticeship)

You must also pass the Specialist Health, Safety and Environment Test relevant to your trade.

Valid: 5 years / Renewable: YES

Supervisor Card – this card is aimed at supervisory occupations.

Applicants must have achieved one of the following qualifications in order to apply:

* Level 3 or Level 4 NVQ or SVQ in a SUPERVISORARY construction related field

You must also pass the Specialist Health, Safety & Environment Test for Supervisors.

Valid: 5 years / Renewable: YES

White Card

There are 2 types of White Card available: Academically Qualifies and Professionally Qualified.

Academically Qualified Person – this card is relevant for certain holders of construction graduate degree, HND, HNC, CIOB certificate or NEBOSH diploma. Evidence of completion should be supplied in order to apply.

Professionally Qualified Person – this card is for holders who are competence assessed members of Professional Bodies approved by the CSCS. Proof of membership is required in the form of a certificate or card, or alternatively a recent email or letter from the professional body.

All applicants must pass the Managers and Professionals Health, Safety & Environment Test for either card.

Valid: 5 years / Renewable: YES

Black Card (Manager)

The Black Card is one of the highest levels offered in the scheme and is intended for those holding managerial and senior managerial roles.

Applicants must have achieved either of the following qualifications to apply:

* Level 5, 6 or 7 NVQ or SVQ in a construction management qualification

* A pre-existing NVQ level 4 in construction management

You must also pass the Managerial and Professional Health, Safety and Environment test.

Valid: 5 years / Renewable: Yes

Renewable: Yes Yellow Card (Construction Site Visitor)

The Yellow Card is for those who have no specific skills or qualifications within construction, however are required to make frequent visits to a construction site as part of their job role.

Applicants must pass the Operative Health, Safety and Environment Test.

Valid: 5 years / Renewable: Yes


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