Your Complete Guide to Achieve a CSCS Card


Your Complete Guide to Achieve a CSCS Card

CSCS is the Construction Skills Certification Skills Ltd, the UK’s certification body for providing proof of skills via cards within the construction industry.

Probably one of the biggest misconception around CSCS Cards is that, holding a CSCS Card, it’s a legal requirement – it isn’t. CSCS Cards are being used by construction workers, companies and contractors to provide and check proof that individuals working on live construction sites have the appropriate training, qualifications (NVQs) and expertise for the role they carry out on site. Essentially, CSCS Cards are the preferred method of checking an individual’s training, skills and qualifications.

You also must be aware that there are several ‘CSCS Partner Card Schemes’ affiliated to CSCS, however, these are not CSCS Cards. These 38 separate card schemes represent different sectors of our construction industry such as Electrical (ECS), Plumbing & Heating (JIB), Glazing (GQA), Asbestos (ACAD) etc.

Right, so how do you start your journey on achieving a CSCS Card?

All applicants must meet the strict 2-element criteria to be eligible to apply for a CSCS Card: Pass your CITB HS&E Test, which are usually valid for 2 years, and achieve a Construction-Related Qualification (NVQ).

You must know that there are a variety of CSCS Card Types available, depending on your role you carry on a live construction site:

  1. Green Labourer CSCS Card – specifically designed for people carrying out labouring duties on site, especially the first time ‘entrants’ to the construction industry. This card is valid for 5 years.
  2. Red Apprentice CSCS Card – available to people registered on a recognised apprenticeship, this card is currently free to apply for and valid for 4 years and 6 months.
  3. Red Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager CSCS Card – available to Supervisors, Managers and Technical Workers with on-the-job experience whom are registered to an NVQ or SVQ at Level 3 or higher. This card is valid for 3 years and cannot be renewed.
  4. Red Experienced Workers CSCS Card – available to Experienced Workers currently registered to complete a construction-related NVQ or SVQ Level 2 or higher. This card is valid for 1 year and cannot be renewed.
  5. Red Trainee CSCS Card – available for trainees registered to complete a construction-related vocational, academic or professional qualification, acceptable for a Skilled CSCS Card. This card is valid for 1 year and cannot be renewed.
  6. Blue Skilled Worker CSCS Card – available for skilled workers which have completed an NVQ Level 2 or a CSCS Approved Trailblazer. This card is valid for 5 years.
  7. Gold Advanced Craft CSCS Card – available for those tradespeople which have completed a construction-related NVQ or SVQ Level 3, or an approved indentured apprenticeship. This card is valid for 5 years.
  8. Gold Supervisors CSCS Card – available for trade supervisors which have completed an Occupational Work Supervision NVQ or SVQ Level 3. This card is valid for 5 years.
  9. Black Managers CSCS Card – available for technical site managers which have completed a relevant Construction Management NVQ/SVQ levels 5, 6 or 7. This card is valid for 5 years.
  10. White Academically Qualified Persons (AQP) CSCS Card – available for individuals who have completed certain construction related degrees eg. CIOB Certificates, NEBOSH Diplomas, HNDs or HNCs. This card is valid for 5 years.
  11. White Professionally Qualified Persons (PQP) CSCS Card – available for competent assessed members of Professional Bodies. This card is valid for 5 years.

What is the CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test (HS&E) and its relation to a CSCS Card?

To apply for a CSCS card you are required to pass the appropriate level of CITB Health, safety and environment (HS&E) test within the last two years, in addition to achieving the relevant qualification (NVQ/SVQ) related to your occupation. CITB stands for the Construction Industry Training Board, whom we are an Approved Training Organisation (ATO) by.

The HS&E Test is a robust way for construction workers to show the industry employers that they are able to carry out a job safely. The scope of the touchscreen test is to examine knowledge across a variety of safety topics to improve health, safety and productivity when working on a construction site.

All tests are PC-based, taking place at our dedicated PearsonVUE CITB Test Centre in Hemel Hempstead.

If you are unsure which HS&E test to take, use the CSCS Card Finder. Simply enter your occupation or qualification into Card Finder and follow the steps on the screen. Card Finder will show you which card you are eligible for and which CITB HS&E test you need to take. The appropriate test for you will depend on your occupation and the qualifications you hold. Please make sure that you sit the correct test as completing the wrong one will delay your CSCS card application

Achieve your CSCS Card with CDC Group

Trading in the industry for over 7 years, we have been first-hand through the various developments and changes around CITB and CSCS Cards over the years, therefore you can rest assured you’re in the right hands. We have designed tailored training packages to suit your needs, whether you are just considering a career in construction or you’re a Senior Project Manager, we can assist.

Book your next training adventure with us today or find out more about our range of Construction, Electrical, Plumbing & Gas Training Courses at

Do you have any more questions about Your Complete Guide to Achieve a CSCS Card?

Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for news and updates.