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CSCS Test – What’s It All About

What Is The CSCS Test


cscs tests green card. Practice the cscs mock tests to get one

cscs card

The CSCS test refers to the test applied by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme.

The test changed its structure on April 2nd 2012 and is now called The citb Health, Safety and Environment Test. In the UK the tests are administered by Pearson VUE, on behalf of the citb.

To get your CSCS card You need to pass one of the the CSCS tests (citb Health Safety Environment test). You must have one of these cards to work on most construction sites these days and you will find it very hard to get work on a major site without one.

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme

The 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 card will increase your chance of employment as more and more sites are adopting the scheme.

The cscs card can also act as an ID 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 card reader.

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 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 cardfor 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 the test as some questions could throw you. e.g. which fire extinguisher to use on a particular type of fire.

When you take the test 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 45 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 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.

{ 53 comments… add one }
  • Clive Wall

    I wrote to ConstuctionSkills and pointed out errors in their tests, they become very aggressive and threatened me with Legal Action and the Police. Those CSCS tests have errors in them and some very dangerous errors that could lead to death if you followed their advice.

    Those people are holding every construction site worker to ransom, if you don’t pay them and obtain a card you can’t work, that’s extortion. I had a job and could not go to work because of those b@$%^&ds, working peoples rights are being taken from them and those b@$%^&ds are making multi millions from those tests, and they keep making you go back and pay again every 5 years for another test and card, where is all that money going?

    Those test are also made up for infantile dummies, I have never in my life come across such a blatant con, those tests are for mongol retards.

    They are a Mafia.

    • jon-jon

      i am glad somebody else sees it , i just have 35 years in the game and to take
      advise from some jumped up little man with a piece of paper to tell me mind yourself is utter bxxxxxxks

    • Bazza

      Of course they will become aggressive, it’s their lively hood you’re interfering with.

      How they can threaten you with the Police is laughable – Under what Act of Parliament are they referring to?

      Denying you the right to work could be against your human rights

    • markie50

      the cscs card sceme is a money making con its got jack s&1t to do with health and safety its designed and wrote by t$@^s who have never stepped on a building site

    • bill L

      These schemes are all set up by our socialist masters to keep us all in bondage to the system they create for us. They keep the employers in the same system too.
      They do not want people to make their own way in the world, or their own decisions.

  • mickyboy

    I totally agree with you Clive! I’m a carpenter of 20 years experience with advanced craft city and guilds (which covers health and safety) and a HND in construction.
    I cannot get a job because i do not have this card.I refuse to get it,at £70 its a stealth tax which i must pay again every 5 years just to work!
    I can tell you where the money is going,it goes into keeping this system running ,it feeds itself to survive.The money should be put back into the industry .
    2 million people plus have this card at £70 =£ 140 million!!!! then add that for every 5 years!
    I got paid off from my last job when they found out i didn’t have this card.
    The company had guys who were not carpenters ,they did not have any of the qualifications i had but they are still in work because they passed a multiple choice exam!!

    • Darren underwood

      Just like all tests .they take the pi:: .try running a small business with a couple of employes . Once you take a test it should be for life .just money making scams .manual handling ,abrasive wheel,jetting,street works,confined space,excavator,dumper,the list go’s on all need renewing after 3 years

      • Bazza

        Street works (qualification register) IS a legal requirement under the New Roads and Streetworks Act 1991, not recognised by CSCS Ltd whom it seems is a law unto it’s self.

  • Ralph J

    I did the cscs examination recently. It really does make you maore aware of the dangers of working in some of these industries. I must sy it didn`t seem that hard to me but I have mates that have failed it before.



  • Munnsy

    Too forkin right it’s a scam I’ve done four of em now.the biggest con though is the cpcs because my dumper ticket has lapsed I can’t renew it I must sign up for a new nvq ticket at £750 wtf

  • Shawsy

    oh god , I’m 43 , been a Plasterer all my days , but have spent the last 15 years being self employed , working out of adverts in local papers , now I might have to go to work on a site , ( first time in 15 years ) and I’ve got to go get this stupid card , which I know even before I get it , it’ll be a total waste of time and money ,
    I’ve just phoned an agency , and they told me it’ll only cost around £25 and I can do it online ??????????

  • Greetings my fellow tradesmen

    Another message for you all, and thank you all for your positive comments I appreciate the backing on this.

    I am an apprentice trained Vickers engineer, I did 6 years apprenticeship during which time I did safety and first aid, it was a part of my teaching. I had to learn to use every tool correctly, I was taught the dangers of machining and hand fitting along with welding and rigging, those pen pushers have never worked on a site in their lives and they telling us how to work safe.

    Two of the errors in the CSCS tests, fire extinguishers, the manufacturers recommend that CO2 extinguishers should not be used on electrical fires that exceed 1000v, SCSC say use them on any electrical fire, wrong, that would be fatal.

    CSCS state in their test you catch Leptospirosis from only Cows and Rats,
    Wrong, it is rare but not impossible for even a cat to contract it and pass it on, along with sheep, pigs dogs, rabbits and the list goes on, but don’t take my word for it, check it out.

    And my last point, the compulsory wearing of PPE is dangerous in confined spaces and walking around scaffolding and steel work, the last contract I did 3 men were injured from walking into scaffolding and steel including myself, why? Because those hats and glasses impede your peripheral vision, if I had not worn them I would not of been injured, this is fact, also everyone I have spoken to concerning the compulsory wearing of safety glasses have informed me of their eye sight deteriorating, YES, those glasses cause permanent eye damage when worn for prolonged periods, I spoke to my optician about this and he said YES, wearing glasses for prolonged periods would damage your eyes permanently, so we have a grave situation here everyone, wear the glasses and suffer future permanent eye damage, or refuse to wear them and be thrown off site, I would like more feedback on this please, it is a very serious concern for us all, we are being forced to damage our eyes because of those Health and Safety Wan***s.

    Your comments would be greatly appreciated, please pass on this information to every tradesman you meet on site, spread the word.

    All the best


    • frank

      well said clive cant agree more mate,after 5 years looking after my 11 and 6 year old im trying to pass this test have failed it once and sitting it again soon if i fail it again dont know how ill afford to sit it again to much pressure and money making scam……….

      • Tony

        Who are these f……! Parasites schamsters!! Enforcing money out the boys in the building game!! And plenty of us like me have been in the game for over 25years!! As well as take our money of us to teach us a load of B…….s what do they think we are .f……. Mugs!!!! At the game!! We’ve been doin it for years theory divs !!!!!!
        There’s nothing but good old fashioned common sense needs to be applied to safety issues!!!! Your stopping good hard working fellas getting a living with your f…..g! Rules & regulations!!! When are they gonna realise that Tony!

  • crongy

    As a manager in the industry for more than 40 years (with 15 years trade background) I have to say that some of those commenting need to take a reality check. Whilst many of you will be very capable and able to work safely, I’m afraid there are a hard core in the industry who are a danger to both themselves and anyone else near them.

    Anything that raises Health and Safety awareness should be seen as a good thing, but unfortunately this often has a cost. As I’m writing this I’m watching someone sliding down the brace on a scaffold.

    Enough said!

    • Bazza

      Think your missing the message (point) here, Heath and safety is paramount in all industries and we shouldn’t dismiss this, what these chaps are saying is that no matter what experience, qualification or other appropriate heath and safety training that they may have has been made redundant by the industry and that nothing replaces or over rules the CSCS/CPCS (Ltd Company) scheme, this to me smacks of a commercial monopoly, I know for a fact(been there and seen it and heard it) that when the industry is thriving and the much needed skilled work force is needed every thing Re: CSCS/CPCS requirement’s goes horizontal out of the nearest opening and into the big blue sky and does not return until the industry dives only then the beggars become choosers.

  • Icky

    The initial test itself direct from the examiners is only £17.50 plus the cost of the card. If you go on a course is is going to cost a lot more. I went on a course and found it very repetative, decadent, and although not entirely useless, was very close to it.

    I then found the revision notes on the internet, which after reading them several times, my 11 year old son passed with a score of 37 out of a possible 40. Simply reading these condensed revision notes would save people alot of time and money.

  • Bazza

    I totally agree that the CSCS/CPCS is a huge scam , holding any of these plastic qualification does not prove competence in any way shape or form it only proves that you have passed a totally inadequate safety test and that’s all the Principal Contractor needs for their Construction Phase Plan evidence, to show that they’ve assessed the competence of any plant operator. – As long as the operator can show that he can move the plant safely around the work area, that will do. I have worked both as a plant operator (Motor-graders) and a Site Inspector/Highways Clerk of Works and would like to add that CSCS is not recognised by Local Government Authority (LGA) , only required (if you are working for) by their term contractors or term consultant – So better to work direct for LGA, thus authorised to walk onto a construction site under the relevant act of parliament as is any Government Officer carrying out his/her duty (No CSCS required).

    I have known of and witnessed people working on site as operators/operatives and supervisors/managers that do not have the relevant plant/occupation covered on their CPCS/CSCS, cards, so one big joke!!!,

    Just one more thing before I go, HND, HNC, or any other qualification means nothing if you do not hold a current CPCS/CSCS card. When working as a Highways inspector the only card I will ask for is your Streetworks (legal requirement under the New Roads and Streetworks Act 1991).

  • Bazza

    I must also add that major contractors, all contractors come come to that are very stringent (when it suits) with regards to CPCS card but extremely relaxed when it comes to the CSCS.

    The scheme needs to be policed by an impartial organisation

  • Bazza

    Just read this on the CSCS Web site.

    In a joint statement Frazer Clement, CITB-ConstructionSkills Director, and Graham Medcroft, Chair of CSCS Ltd, commented, “As holding a CSCS card gains importance, it is likely that more people will try to forge them. We urge industry to help us police the scheme. We are constantly looking to prevent fraud by building on measures we’ve already introduced, but it is important that employers continue to be vigilant. We consistently track cards and Health and Safety Tests and where we uncover CSCS cardholders we believe to be fraudulent, as in this case, we will not hesitate to take action against them – working with the police.”

    My comment,

    The industry is not capable of policing it’s self – Too much corruption as it is.
    Fraudulent use of theirs cards would be seen as a civil matter and therefore the Police would/ should not get involve.

  • Jennifer

    With the 12 behavioural questions, will these also be multiple choice questions or will you just have to give your answer as you think?

    • admin

      Hi Jennifer
      Yes the behavioural questions have multiple choice answers. I suppose they would have a lot of trouble checking them if free format answers were allowed, especially in multiple languages.

  • Sheardy147

    £175 for cscs card test? I’ve just paid £17.50 for mine and then a further £30 for the actual card I make that a total of £47.50!

    • liam skedd

      I also payed £17.50 and £30 for my card

  • ross mc

    I have just booked my h,s and enviroment test …I have no experience what so ever. So iv done some research and on some sites it says u have to pass the test and have a NVQ1. But on the citb site where I booked it it says nothing it doesn’t even tell you what test is for what. Can anyone help ?????….I know I will be getting a green operative card but I dnt know if I need this NVQ or a employer to sign something to actually get the card. ITS A VERY CONFUSING SCAM

  • Xavier Brodu

    Many thanks for this info, it is certainly useful.

  • david walker

    i only found out this afternoon i am taking my cscs test at 9 am in the morning and after 6 years with no h+s training needless to say im unsure i will pass iv been trying to find info on the test with not much success and im starting to stress out is there any advise i can take in at this late stage.


  • Carla

    Hello, I would like to know where i can buy the mock test And DVD , please.
    Many thanks

  • anthony beckley

    I have a cscs card I want to apply for cots for scaffolding labourer told I need a cibt health and safety certificate is this the same as a cscs cark

    • Yes the cscs stands for construction skills certification scheme and is also known as the citb health safety and environment certification.

  • Conrad Dobson

    just retaken my test and failed, bought the new book again and revised all of it, I failed on the Behavioural case studies, They are not given in the questions & answer book that we have to buy. No one told me about this when I booked my test, I have been in the Construction Industry for 45 years as a Bricklayer also been a suby many years ago. As I have been told to look on this web sight I have found many people complaining about the test, and I agree it is just another stelth tax for the right of a british person to stay employed in our country.
    I will have to have more time off work with the loss of pay and to pay another fee for the right to work in my country as I am self employed.
    But how do I find out about this Behavioural Case Studies, I suppose I will have to fork out more money for the CSCS I was going to say something else but you will know what I mean.
    I am 64 years of age and still fit, I should have Grandad Rights, its daylight robbery.

    • jacob

      I agree it is an utter con. But if you didn’t pass even after studying with the book that gives you the answers i think you should retire as you are either going senile or just thick as a castle wall. I passed easily with no studying or dvds etc which would be even more money. I wouldn’t employ you!

    • John

      I totally agree with you, where did you find the answers to these questions because I am having the same problems

  • Jason Gates

    I took the test 5 years ago and passed easily.This time i failed on the Behavioural Case Studies.I thought the questions would just be from the book.There is no way to prepare for the Bullshit Case Studies. Its a con. I cant afford to take the test again.Good job i gathered alot of chestnuts this year to keep me going through the winter.

  • Marcelino

    Your method of explaining the whole thing in this post is truly nice, every one be able to easily be aware of it, Thanks a lot.

  • April

    I needed to thank you for this fantastic read!! I absolutely loved every little bit of it. I have you book marked to look at new stuff you post…

  • cscs

    Nice Article !!!!

  • Nigel G Wilcox

    CSCS can be another way of keeping jobs for British Workers. If you can’t speak English then you have to learn before going on site. H & S is important, if you fail a basic test at level one, the question is, should you be working onsite with complex machinery and skilled disciplines if failed at this basic level? Some say they have been on sites for years and know H&S, the accident book can tell another story. How do we know you know H&S? A CSCS card is one step towards that. If you pay for the course you will revise and hone in on your H&S to bring you up-to-date. Some say it is a stealth tax, possibly! However, if it was given free, where would be the value and emphasis on it’s importance knowing that my colleague can watch my back if something decides to go ‘tits-up?’ One pay’s for peace of mind….

  • chris

    i have been trainede at the minostry of defence and got nvqs city and guilds 3years of a masters build cirtificate then work trained as a builder not a brick layer and i can apply for a green card!!!! wtf a green card its my england i have been pestered by health and safty so much through college why the hell do i need this retard test. hence, theres a brick falling from the sky? do you 1, headbut it? 2, ask your mate for his baseball bat out his car? or 3, run like a mother f? after all this poo about the test id head butt it to get it over with. ups i failed wahahahahahahhaha get real this is a robbing govermant way to collect cash of us… and like the guy said above were is all the money going? you ever heard if there is no job then create one….. well done the roberts on this one 😉

    • FanDango

      Chris………….please………… if your going to leave comments then get your punctuation correct ! The people your complaining about are laughing their heads off because your proving them right. H+S is there to protect people. CSCS is there to charge people with the knowledge that they need especially those who are starting for the first time and have no idea what to expect! If your going to argue, to which you are entitled, spell properly so people wont laugh your argument off.

  • Nick Blunn

    Hello I sat last week with REFORM a training company that’s joined hands with job seekers plus……give people the chance to gain insight and
    Youngsters a way of understanding wording reading seeing dangers ,,,
    Where they have never been put in to a danger work site
    for people in and around south west of England.
    I can see from a long time site works views
    But H and S has changed a lot bigger areas being worked on at one time
    Bigger every thing external
    Nearly all moved with plant
    This is going to be my second sitting
    Most of it is common sense but the CSCS card is good value
    If lucky to gain and get work ……

  • Durpy Hoves

    For everyone saying its a tax, its not a tax. Its an independent company, a business. No doubt an idea they originally proposed to the government as a good idea to keep workers safe and made sure its enforced. its revenue pretty much exceeds beyond any small business. Just shows how capitalism has corrupted everything.

  • Pissedofgrafter

    Test is a bump ! Can’t even check over the ‘ behavioural studies questions ‘ yet you can on the other ones ! It all goes out the window when the site need somthing done ASAP ! Piss takers

  • Hoddy

    Over 40 years onsite as a bricklayer, I have my cscs card. It’s due to expire in October and I’m now told I have to do an NVQ to obtain my renewal/next card!!! Can cost up to a £1000 to do NVQ. Is this true and if so why?

  • Cas

    I totally agree that it is a con, there should be a cut off age as many people like myself have over 30 years experience. I will do the test because I have to but at 55 its a joke! The card will only last for 5 years… Everything is enforced on us Brits, another western countries don’t seem to operate like us – i wish there was a forum where the government would listen to the plight of the people, we complain but do they listen?

  • PAUL

    I passed my CSCS test over 2yrs ago along with manual handling and abrasive wheels ,even though i been in the job for 20+yrs.This yr i got job on the Heysham bypass bit of a change and the firm put me through the CPCS roller test which i passed also 1st time.The problem i got is which don’t get is i have 2 card numbers,my CPCS card is withheld as they say i need to sit the HS&E test to obtain the card.
    I took the CSCS test 4mth before the change and yet my current employers say i should be cleared to work on the roller as i took the old test,this is a career change and better wages.Can someone clarify if i and my employer is right or wrong,as when i ring up they just say i do test,thanks…..????

  • sam

    Been a HGV DRIVER for over 27years,load loaders,artic tippers,8-wheeled tippers,cat 773 dump trucks,volvo dump trucks,etc etc.taken my first aider course,NVQ 2,Tarmac golden rules,international CPC.etc etc,continuous site inductions,toolbox talks on weekly basis.Now i hav,nt passed this f**@/#; test,and A OH,i,m not qualified to do the job!!!!,which i,ve been doing for the last 9+ years,and cannot work till i do. You could,nt make it up.

  • Paddy Gibbons

    You see we all moan about these tickets we need you’ll need a ticket soon to have a sh1t on site why dont we pull our minds and bodys together and act on this its like these payroll companys who i despise with a vengance who charge us to pay us what a b#####d cheek who do they think they are when you fone them over errors of payment they fill your head full of garbage that you dont understand half the time but its our own faults its like this our for fathers jumpin on the agency band wagon for that extra £2-3 well agencys to advantage look at us now dont complain lets get together tell these companys pay us direct or we dont work for you simple if we all stuck together and there was no scabs we’d win and life would be one less hassle

  • Mick

    I don’t know why all of you are whinging about, I’ve just done the test ad passed with 100% and I’ve never worked on a construction site in my life. The test was a piece p*ss. I think there is a lot of you out there that are afraid because you don’t know jack about health and safety and/or don’t give a sh*t about the life’s of the friends and colleagues. Just a bunch of conspiracy mongers. Quit your b*tchin’ get off your arse and either do the damn test or don’t because believe me there are plenty of people out there that will be quite happy to replace you, including me. Oh and by the way I haven’t paid a penny for my test, that includes the BTEC level 1 in construction course I had to do, the cscs test or for the actual card itself.

  • Micle Jon

    Article is very nice about CSCS Test and certification scheme in UK.

  • victor walker

    Yeah the test was not so difficult,and i think anyone that have work in some kind of woodworking activity could pass it.

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