What Is The CSCS Test
The CSCS test gets it’s name from the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. although the more correct name is The citb Health, Safety and Environment Test. In the UK the CSCS tests are administered by Pearson VUE, on behalf of the citb.
To get your CSCS certification You need to pass one of the the CSCS tests (citb HS&E tests).
The Construction Skills Certification Scheme
The CSCS Scheme was put in place to improve construction safety and reduce the high amount of accidents on construction sites. It has been successful in doing this. If you look at the number of injuries and fatalities they have steadily fallen since it began, over 10 years ago.
Passing the test and getting your cscs card shows that you are aware of health and safety requirements on site and have a certain level of competence. There is no doubt that possessing a current one will increase your chance of employment as more and more sites are adopting the scheme.
The cscs cards can also act as an I.D. card which employers can check. These cards can be checked online for validity and this should help to weed out forgeries and lost or stolen cards. Many are now smart card which contain a chip and can be read by a cardreader.
This can help to prevent unqualified and unregistered people from gaining admittance or working on a site and endangering the safety of others.
Types of CSCS card
There are several types you can apply for and these are identified by different colours.
Make sure that you take the correct cscs test for the card you need.
Red card for Trainee, Graduate, Experienced Technical,Supervisor or Manager, Experienced Worker
Green card for Construction Site Operative.
Blue card for Craft(Skilled worker) .
Gold card for Advanced Craft or Supervisory .
Black card for Management.
Yellow card for Professionally Qualified Person or a reguar visitor with no Construction Skills.
White card for a Construction Related Occupation.
Where can I take a CSCS test
There are locations all over the country where you can take your cscs test, as well as mobile test centres serving the more remote locations.
When you book your test you will be given a choice of venues, times and even languages. A list of Pearson VUE addresses contact details can be found here CSCS test centres.
The basic operatives test is considered fairly simple by most people. If you have worked on construction sites before you should know most of the answers. It’s still recommended to revise before taking one of the tests as some questions could throw you. e.g. which fire extinguisher to use on a particular type of fire.
When you arrive at the testing centre they will need 2 passport photos to put on the card and proof of ID eg passport or other photo I.D. to prove who you are.
The tests are multiple choice and are taken on a touch screen computer. You can also get voice overs in a different language if english is not your first language. You can practice with the computer before starting the test.
A random selection of questions is picked from a pool of about 400 questions. You will only be asked to answer questions for the card you are applying for.
You are allowed 50 minutes to complete the test and will have to answer 50 questions.
These are made up of knowledge questions (38) and behavioural case study questions (12). The behavioural case study questions are the ones that tend to cause the most concern.
The 38 knowledge questions are asked from the set of core questions for the operatives cards. If you are taking one of the specialist tests you will be asked 32 questions from the core plus 6 questions from the specialist area you have chosen e.g. plumbing or gas, tunnelling, highway works. There are 12 specialist tests to choose from.
The questions in the behavioural case study section check how you would behave in particular situations on site, and are developed around the video “setting out”.
Core test questions will cover protective clothing, responsibilities for health and safety, first aid etc. and “what would you do in this situation?” types of question.
CSCS Mock Tests and Revision
There is no doubt that revising and and practicing some cscs mock test questions will help you to pass.
There are notes for revision and cscs mock test questions at various places around the site and we will be adding more as soon as possible.
If you are on the free mailing list you will get the latest information and offers as they become available. This is usually before the site gets updated. In some cases many special offers are for a limited time and have gone before I can add them to the site
Mock test DVD
You can buy CSCS Revision books (Amazon is one of the cheapest places- usually with free delivery) or you could attend a training course if your wallet stretches to it and time allows. The revision books contain a of the knowledge questions that you could possibly be asked. The DVD’s contain all the questions and allow you to take mock tests on your own computer.
Booking a Test
You can book a CSCS test online by yourself or you can use one of the booking companies to set it up for you. This may cost you a bit more but they sometimes offer extra facilities such as being abe to take a cscs mock test online.
After you have passed your test you can apply for your card. There is an additional cost for the cscs card. You can apply for the card yourself once you have passed the test. Currently the cscs card costs £30. The application for the card may be included as part of the package if you use a booking company.
CSCS Card Renewal
The card is not for life and will need to be renewed regularly (1,3 or 5 years depending on the type of card) which will again incur costs. You will have to take the test every time you renew your card. Bookmark this site so that you can come back and refresh your knowledge in future. We will add any changes as they are released.
The Future of the Card
Although the scheme changed in April 2012 and became the citb health safety and environment test, the CSCS card (or some future derivative) is here to stay. The only downside for a construction worker is the cost in money and time ( If you are an employee then your employer might be able to cover the cost and claim this back) but this must be outweighed by the increase in health and safety awareness it promotes. The decrease in serious construction site injuries, since the scheme was started, speaks for itself.
Please look round the rest of the site. I have tried to include some revision and mock CSCS test question which I hope will give you a better idea of what the CSCS test is about and help you to get your own CSCS Card.