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A guide to CSCS cards

Your ticket to a construction career.

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A guide to CSCS cards- your ticket to a construction career.

If you are thinking about a career in construction or want to progress to the next level, then our handy guide to CSCS cards (often called tickets) is all you need to get started or make your way up the ladder in construction (no pun intended).

This guide should help you to understand what card is right for you and also explain the difference between CSCS and CCNSG cards.

Why are CSCS cards needed?

Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) cards provide proof that individuals working on construction sites have the appropriate training and qualifications for the job they do.

Health and safety is paramount for construction and as such we offer an array of training modules designed to ensure site safety and compliance.

What training do I need to get on site?

Anyone who plans to work on a construction site must hold a CSCS card.

Holding a CSCS card is not a legislative requirement and it is entirely up to the principal contractor or client whether workers are required to hold a valid card before they are allowed on site. However, most principal contractors and major house builders require workers on their sites to hold a valid CSCS card.

Please note: those attending site to perform a non-construction related occupation should not be expected to carry a CSCS card, this includes (but not limited to) security guards and cleaners. For further guidance please visit our webpage: Not everyone needs a CSCS card.

Cards range from Trainee and Apprentice cards through to the Gold Skilled Worker card, intended for highly-trained operatives who hold a construction-related NVQ or SVQ Level 3.

CSCS issue 13 different cards, reflecting the many occupations and qualifications within construction. It is important to apply for the right card, as holding the wrong card may result in you being refused entry to site.

The cards are listed alphabetically on the CSCS site but for ease, we have explained them in order of skill level below.

  1. Academically Qualified Person
  2. Apprentice
  3. Blue Skilled Worker
  4. Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager
  5. Experienced Worker
  6. Gold Skilled Worker
  7. Industry Placement
  8. Labourer
  9. Manager
  10. Professionally Qualified Person
  11. Provisional (temporary only)
  12. Supervisory
  13. Trainee

What do I need to do to get a CSCS card?

The test required for a CSCS card is the CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test (HSE), also referred to as the touch screen test.

If you are looking to obtain your CSCS card then you must take the CITB Health, Safety & Environment test.

What is the CCNSG safety passport? 

The CCNSG (Client Contractor National Safety Group) Safety Passport is the nationally recognised safety card for the UK engineering construction industry.

What is the difference between CSCS and CCNSG? 

The CCNSG card is for engineering sites and the CSCS card is for construction sites. Whichever of these sites you work on will determine which certification you should choose. It is also recommended to ask your employer or the client who is running the site.

CSCS Cards Explained

For ease, we have explained which cards you need depending upon your level of seniority and whether you have supervisory or management responsibilities. Please see the relevant section below to find out more.

Placements, apprentices and provisional CSCS cards

Industry Placement Card

Who is it for?

This card is designed for anyone undergoing a construction-related qualification or training programme which requires the completion of a minimum 30-day work placement, such as T-Levels or Trainee Skills Development Programmes.

How long is it valid for?

This card is valid for three years and cannot be renewed. The Industry Placement card does not lead to a skilled CSCS card.

Eligibility

To be eligible for this card, applicants must:

  • Be aged 16 or above
  • Be registered onto a qualification or training programme requiring a minimum of 30 days’ work placement
  • Provide proof of registration onto their T Level, Traineeship, or other programme by completing the Enrolment Evidence Form and upload it during the application process.
  • Have successfully passed the CITB Health, Safety and Environment Operative test within the last two years.

Apprentice card

Who is it for?

The CSCS Apprentice card is issued free of charge and is for individuals on recognised apprenticeships.

How long is it valid for?

It is valid for four years and six months and cannot be renewed. Cardholders are expected to complete their apprenticeship by the time the card expires and apply for a skilled CSCS card.

Eligibility

The CSCS Approved Apprenticeship Standards list, includes all the recognised CSCS occupation titles.

Trainee Card

Who is it for?

The Trainee card is available to those registered to complete a construction related qualification. The qualification may be vocational, academic or professional, but it must be acceptable for a skilled CSCS card.

How long is it valid?

The card is valid for five years and cannot be renewed. Cardholders are expected to complete their qualification by the time the card expires.

Eligibility

Provisional Card

Who is it for?

The Provisional card is for individuals working through probationary periods while employers assess their suitability for employment.

How long is it valid?

It lasts for six months and is not renewable.

Eligibility

    • This card can only be applied for once
    • You can only apply for a provisional card if you have not held a CSCS card before
    • Provisional card holders should achieve or be registered for a recognised construction related qualification and apply for the appropriate CSCS card for their job before this card expires.
    • Applicants must have passed the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test within the past two years.

Labourer & Skilled Worker CSCS Cards

Labourer Card

Who is it for?

This is only applicable to people doing unskilled occupations. Do not apply for this card if you work in a skilled occupation.

How long is it valid?

The Labourer card is valid for five years and cannot be renewed. Instead, individuals should apply for a new Labourer card when their existing card expires.

Eligibility

All applicants must pass the CITB health, safety and environment test for operatives and hold one of the following:

  • The Level 1 (Scotland Level 4) Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment
  • The Scottish Level 5 REHIS Elementary Health and Safety Certificate
  • The NOCN/CSkills Awards Construction Health and Safety (F/618/0738) unit
  • A CSCS approved alternative qualification

Blue Skilled Worker

Who is it for?

This card is for those who have achieved any of the following:

  • NVQ/SVQ level 2
  • SVQ at SCQF level 5
  • Completed an apprenticeship, such as an Employer sponsored apprenticeship, a City and Guilds Craft Certificate (CGLI) or a CSCS-recognised Apprenticeship

How long is it valid?

The Blue Skilled Worker card is valid for five years.

Eligibility

  • If you do not have these qualifications, but you are experienced in your job and have registered for a qualification applicable to your occupation, you may apply for an Experienced Worker Card.
  • All applicants must have passed the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test within the last two years, at the relevant level for the occupation being applied for.

Experienced Worker Card

Who is it for?

The Experienced Worker card is for workers with on the job experience (normally at least one year in the last three) who are registered to a complete an approved construction related NVQ/SVQ level 2, SVQ at SCQF level 5 or higher.

How long is it valid?

The card is valid for one year and cannot be renewed. Cardholders are expected to complete their qualification by the time the card expires and apply for a skilled CSCS card.

Eligibility

Gold Skilled Worker

Who is it for?

The CSCS Gold Skilled Worker card is available for those who have any of the following:

  • A Construction Related NVQ/SVQ level 3 or SVQ at SCQF level 6.
  • Completed an approved apprenticeship.
  • Completed an employer sponsored apprenticeship that included the achievement of a City and Guilds of London Institute Advanced Craft Certificate.

How long is it valid?

This card is valid for five years.

Eligibility

Applicants must have passed the CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test within the last two years, at the relevant level for the occupation being applied for.

Supervisors & Managers

Academically Qualified Person

Who is it for?

The Academically Qualified Person card is available to people who have completed certain construction related degrees, HNDs, HNCs, CIOB Certificates and certain NEBOSH diplomas and certificates.

How long is it valid?

This card is valid for five years.

Eligibility

Supervisor Card

Who is it for?

The CSCS Supervisor card is available for supervisor and technical occupations subject to the achievement of Construction Related Supervisory/Technical NVQ or SVQ Level 3 or 4.

How long is it valid?

This card is valid for five years.

Eligibility

Manager Card

Who is it for?

The Manager card is available for managers and those in technical occupations if they hold:

  • Achievement of a relevant Construction Management/Technical related NVQ/SVQ level 4, 5, 6 or 7
  • An SVQ at SCQF Level 10 or 11 in Construction Management/Technical related qualification

How long is it valid?

This card is valid for five years.

Eligibility

Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager Card

Who is it for?

  • The Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager card is available specifically for Supervisors, Managers and Technical Workers with on -the -job experience (normally at least one year in the last three).
  • They are also registered to a complete an approved construction related Technical, Supervisory or Management (TSM) NVQ/SVQ Level 3, SVQ at SCQF level 6 or higher.

How long is it valid?

This temporary card is valid for three years and cannot be renewed. Cardholders are expected to complete their qualification by the time the card expires and apply for a skilled CSCS card.

Eligibility

Professionally Qualified Person Card

Who is it for?

The Professionally Qualified Person card is for members of the CSCS-approved professional bodies.

How long is it valid?

The card is valid for five years. This card cannot be renewed, please apply for a new Professionally Qualified Person card. Applications to renew existing cards will be rejected.

Eligibility

How Simply Learning Can Help

Simply Learning provides the following training courses, designed to support your construction career journey:

CITB Health, safety and environment (HSE) test

The test is multiple choice and consists of 50 questions covering five core knowledge areas:

  • Legal and management
  • Health and welfare
  • General safety
  • High risk activities
  • Environment

There are 3 different types of CITB test that you can take, and they are as follows:

  1. Operative
  2. Manager and Professional
  1. Specialist

Specialist tests include:

  • Supervisory (SUP)
  • Demolition (DEM)
  • Plumbing (JIB) (PLUM)
  • Highway works (HIW)
  • Specialist work at height (WAH)
  • Lifts and escalators (LAEE)
  • Tunnelling (TUNN)
  • HVACR – Heating and plumbing services (HAPS)
  • HVACR – Pipefitting and welding (PFW)
  • HVACR – Ductwork (DUCT)
  • HVACR – Refrigeration and air conditioning (RAAC)
  • HVACR – Services and facilities maintenance (SAF)

Candidates have 45 minutes to answer the 50 questions.

We also provide the following courses:

Both can be used to get the green Labourers card.

For more information on our courses or to speak to one of our friendly and experienced team, please contact us.