CSCS is the acronym for the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. It was cretaed about 20 years ago to improve health and safety awareness in the construction industry and to reduce the number of accidents caused by lack of safety awareness. CSCS Certification shows that you have taken and passed the test and have achieved the required level of health and safety awareness for your occupation. Many construction related occupations are covered by the CSCS Card scheme and it has been adopted to such an extent that it is now very difficult to get work on a building site without holding a current CSCS Card. Several different levels of cscs certification are covered by the scheme and different coloured cards are awarded to cover different types of trade and levels of skill. To be able to apply for the card you usually have to take and pass the cscs test. The cards themselves can then be applied for and currently cost £30.
Types of CSCS Card
Red CSCS Cards, At least with these red cards you won’t be sent off if you get one! They come in 4 types and are for people coming into the construction industry or people whose usual occupation no longer offers accreditation in the industry so they are studying for NVQ or SVQ qualifications.
Red Trainee card for Craft and Operatives
To qualify for the red trainee card you need to be already registered for an SVQ or NVQ but be below level 2 or 3. you must also meet the current requirements for health and safety(pass the cscs test)
Red Trainee card for Experienced Technical, Supervisory, Management
This card requires you to provide proof that you are currently registered with a college of higher/further education or registered at a university for a qualification in a construction related industry. Once again you need to pass the cscs test. The card will only last for 3 years but on application you can renew it for 3 more years.
Red Graduate card for Technical, Supervisory, Management
This card can only be applied for once you have completed a construction related qualification at a nationally recognised college of higher or further education. You will also need to pass the health and safety test for MAP (Managerial and Professional).This card does not have any qualifications or occupations stated on the back.Once again the card lasts for three years. You can then apply to have it renewed for a further three years.
Red Experienced Technician Supervisor or Manager Card
This card is only available for those with supervisory or management job experience. They will normally need to have had a minimum of ones years experience in the past three years. It is available for those people who have missed out on the opportunity for industry accreditation and are not members of approved Proffessional Bodies and do not have S/NVQ level 3 or above. You can qualify for this card if your occupation is covered by CSCS,and you pass the relevent cscs test. You must also register for S/NVQ and complete a profiling session for S/NVQ. This card is issued on a temporary basis for three years while working towards your SVQ/NVQ and cannot be renewed, when you have acheived an S/NVQ at level 3 or above it can be replaced by a five year skilled card.
Red Experienced Worker CSCS card (Temporary)
This card is also available for those people who have missed out on the opportunity for industry accreditation and have a minimum of ones years job experience in the past three years. If your occupation is covered by CSCS and you can pass the CSCS test, you can qualify for this card.This card is also issued on a temporary basis for one year only and cannot be renewed. You need to achieve SVQ or NVQ level 2 or above during this year, and once you have achieved it the card can be replaced with a five year skilled card. This card can’t be replaced with a green Basic Skills card.
CSCS Green Operatives card
These cards are for people such as labourers who will only perform basic skills. The two ways of applying for this card are by either by getting S/NVQ level 1 or by getting an employers recommendation/industry accreditation by undergoing a competency assessment. They must also pass the CSCS Test.If the Working At Heights section has been passed, an endorsement can be printed on the back of the card. Cards remain valid for a period of five years.
Blue Skilled Worker CSCS Card
To apply for a blue skilled cscs card you need to have S/NVQ level 2 or have already completed an apprenticeship which was sponsored by your employer and included a Craft Certificate from the C&G London Institute. Without these qualifications you may still apply for an Experienced worker card if you are already have job experience. Everyone applying for this card must still pass the CSCS Test. Cards are valid for a period of five years.
Blue Craft Unit Level Card
If there is not a full S/NVQ for your occupation but there are trade specific units, you may apply for this card. These are also valid for a period of five years and you also need a CSCS Test pass.
Gold Skilled Worker Cards
This CSCS card requires An S/NVQ Level 3 or a completed an apprenticeship which was either employee sponsored and included C&GLI Advanced Craft Certificate or an indentured apprenticeship(BATJIC, NJCBI etc.) Without these qualifcation you could still apply for an Experienced Worker card. You need to pas the CSCS Test and these cards are also valid for a period of five years.
Gold Supervisor CSCS Card
For this card you need S/NVQ level 3 in the relevant occupation. Without this qualification yoou can apply for an Experienced Manager card or through the Profiled Route for Supervisors who are highly competent. Valid for a period of five years you must also pass the CSCS test to obtain this card.
Black Manager CSCS Card
Manager occupations may apply for this card and it requires an S/NVQ level 4 or above in that occupation. The other ways to apply for this card are by the Profiled Route or Experienced Manager Card. You must also pass the MAP CSCS test(Managerial and Professional) which have more specific revision material.Since August 2009 you need to take this test if your card previously required you to pass the Professionaly Qualified Persons(PQP) test. The card is valid for a period of five years.
White-Yellow Professionally Qualified Person CSCS Card
The PQP card is for members of professional bodies(CIOB, ICE, RICS etc.) approved by CSCS who have been assesed for competency. To apply you also need to pass the MAP(Managerial and Professional) CSCS Test. (this has specific revision material). The cards are valid for five years.
White-Grey Construction Related Occupation Card
The CRO Card is valid for five years and is for any construction related occupations which are not covered by any of the other cards. As with any other card , you need to pass the CSCS health and Safety Test.
Yellow Regular Visitor CSCS Card
This is for regular visitors to a construction site who do not have any specific construction skills. You need to pass the CSCS Test to apply for this cscs card. It is designed to make it easier to gain admission to the site and lessen the amount of site induction required. Valid five years.
Platinum Manager CSCS Card
This has been withdrawn from the CSCS Scheme and has been replaced by the black CSCS Card. For more information goto cheapest way to get your CSCS test and card