Getting and Renewing CSCS Cards

What is a CSCS card?

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) is the leading skills certification scheme within the UK construction industry.

CSCS cards provide proof that individuals working on construction sites have the required training and qualifications for the type of work they carry out, making them a fundamental and integral requirement of your business’ workforce. Despite the fact holding a CSCS card is not a legislative requirement, most principal contractors and major building associations only consider CSCS card holders for their projects, as it is a widely accredited signifier of your employees’ capabilities. Therefore, securing the cards amongst your workers will showcase your talents and subsequently increase the potential for business.

Having the correct CSCS card is now a mandatory requirement on all construction sites in the UK, and many employers/employees are being refused access because they don’t have the correct CSCS card. There are 11 cards in total, each with a different meaning and qualification. Here are the main five categories;

  • Green – General labourer (basic site skills)
  • Blue – Semi-skilled (often awarded to NVQ level 2 or apprenticeship graduates)
  • Gold –Supervisor (have experience in or are involved in the supervisory role)
  • Black – Senior manager (achieved level 4 or 5 in site management)
  • Red – Experienced (relevant job experience of at least 1 year)

How do you get a CSCS card, and how much do they cost?

In order to obtain a CSCS card, you need to apply via the CSCS application form, available online.  Applicants need to provide evidence that they have the training and qualifications required to carry out their job, and apply for the correct card for their occupation. Also, they will need to pass the appropriate level CITB Health, safety and environment test for their occupation – all of which can be discovered using the CSCS card finder. CSCS test costs can vary across the different courses.

CSCS cards cost £30, and the separate CITB Health, safety and environment test cost £19.50. Here at Central Construction Training Ltd, we provide CSCS HS&E tests at all levels, offering test slots six days a week (Monday to Saturday). Also, we understand that in a dynamic construction industry, situations can catch you off guard. That’s why we can accommodate tests at short notice, to make the whole process hassle-free.

Do CSCS cards need renewing?

The longevity of each category of CSCS card varies depending on its qualification standard; for instance, Red cards are only valid for three years. Cards can only be renewed six months before the expiry date and up to 6 months after, therefore, checking your workforces’ cards expiry dates is important to ensure they are fully compliant. We offer CPCS renewal tests at our West Midlands training centre, WS11 9SS. To book your test at our centre, please call us on 01543 455 400.

Can you get a CSCS card without an NVQ?

In many cases, employees accrue a vast amount of experience and develop skills by learning as they go, as opposed to through a qualification scheme. CSCS recognises that type of experience is as valuable as taking an NVQ; therefore certain cards can be obtained as long as certain conditions are met;

You can apply for a Green CSCS card, as long as you have a letter of recommendation from your employer
A Red CSCS card (Experienced Worker) can be secured, as long as you’ve had at least one year of on the job experience within the past three years

Higher level cards (technical, supervisory, management) can be obtained on a temporary basis, providing you have passed the CITB health test and have registered for an NVQ