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What is the CSCS card and how to apply?

Lavoratori con elmetto in una azienda

The CSCS card (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) is a card attributed to construction workers to demonstrate that they have received adequate training and qualifications to work properly. It was introduced to improve standards and safety on construction sites.

Finding work without this card is not impossible: it is not mandatory. However, most large companies do not hire employees without a CSCS card, so we advise you to request it if you intend to work in this sector in England. Let’s find out how to get it together.

What types of CSCS card are there ?

There is no a unique type of CSCS card: depending on the specific work you do in construction (architect, construction engineer, bricklayer, etc.) you will need to request the CSCS card corresponding to your activity. On this site you will find all the existing categories: click on the one you are interested in to find out what are the qualifications necessary to obtain it. If you are not sure which card you need, you can use the card finder to find out which card suits your skills or qualifications.

Some of the categories are:

  • Laborer: You can receive this card if you have achieved the RQF Level 1 / SCQF Level 4 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment or the SCQF Level 5 REHIS Elementary Health and Safety Certificate. Visit this site to find out where these certificates can be obtained. The card you will receive will be valid for five years;
  • Trainee: You can receive this card if you are currently studying to obtain a certificate. You must have already completed the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test Operative Level in the past two years. This temporary card is valid for five years but cannot be renewed;
  • Skilled Worker: this card is for those who have already obtained an NVQ or SVQ Lelev 2 certificate, or an apprenticeship in the construction sector. This card is valid for five years.

With the exception of the trainee card, all others are renewable. There is also the possibility of requesting the card for a higher role if you progress in your work.

Types of CSCS Card

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How do I apply for a card?

The application is made online on the official CSCS website. Make sure you have all the necessary certificates before submitting your application. In addition to the certifications you will be asked to pass the CITB Health Safety and Environment (HS&E) Test: currently the cost is £ 21; starting from April 1st 2020 the cost will be £ 21.50. This is a 50-question test to test your knowledge of workplace safety regulations. Also in this case there are different types of tests depending on your work.

Now that you have all the documents available, let’s find out what you need to send the application to obtain the CSCS card:

  • A scanned copy of your certificates, or a document demonstrating your enrollment in a qualified course for which you will receive a certificate;
  • The Test ID Number of the HS&E test shown on the certificate;
  • Indicate the type of HS&E test achieved;
  • Make sure that the personal data shown on the HS&E certificate is correct;
  • Have a checking account to make a £ 36 payment.

Alternatively, you can call 0344 99 44 777 to request the CSCS card. Make sure you have access to an email account during the call.

Once your request is accepted, the card will be shipped the next day and you will receive it in less than a week.

Watch the video and follow all the instructions to request the CSCS card

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How to prepare for the HS&E test?

Passing the CITB Health Safety and Environment (HS&E) test is essential in order to receive your CSCS card. At the time of application, your certificate must be less than two years old. You can use the card finder to know which type of test you need to pass.

On the CITB online shop you will find a series of books to help you study for the test. The main book with all the information is the Health, Safety and Environment Test for Operatives and Specialist: make sure you have the most recent copy at the time of purchase. The books are exclusively in English, but the smartphone application (available for iOS and Android) is available in 14 languages.

The exam is carried out on a touch screen computer in a center recognized by the CIBT. During the exam it is possible to receive assistance in different languages.

Can an employer apply for a card for his employees?

If you are an employer, you can request the CSCS card for all your employees yourself. After creating an employer account on the CSCS website you will need:

  • Send a scanned copy of the certificate of all your employees, or a document showing that your employees are in the process of obtaining a recognized qualification:
  • Send the test ID number of the HS&E certificate of each employee;
  • Know the type of paper your employees require;
  • Communicate the personal data of each employee.

This application (multiple questions) can only be done online. For this reason you will have to communicate an email address for each of your employees, and you will need to have a current account to make the payment (£ 36 per card).

Renew or replace the card

To renew the CSCS card, just go to the CSCS website where, once logged in to your account, you can request a renewal. You will again be required to demonstrate that you have the necessary qualifications and to declare any changes in your work. The card can be renewed six months before or after the expiry date.

In the event of loss or theft, or if your card is broken, you just need to log in to your account and request a new one. Alternatively you can call +44 (0) 344 994 4777, making sure you have your CSCS registration number on hand or, alternatively, your National Insurance number.

I have my own qualification, can I do the conversion?

The answer is yes. On the NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Center) website you can convert and certify your documents, to be attached later in your application to receive the CSCS card.

Do you work in the construction sector? Write us in the comments!

How to prepare for a job interview

Come preparare il colloquio di lavoro

How to prepare for a job interview

Has your application been successful and have you finally been called for a first job interview?

Here are some tips to follow to better prepare for the job interview:

  • It may seem obvious but when you are given a date and place for the job interview, try not to decline or postpone, nor anticipate. Do whatever you can to be free on the requested date.
  • Conduct research: it is essential to arrive prepared for the interview, enter the website of the company you have applied for and read the story. How the company was born and the words of its founder / CEO – remember that the idea and philosophy behind the brand will be the subject of several questions that you will be asked during the interview.
  • Review your Curriculum Vitae: It is obvious that you know very well your CV but do not forget to review your professional history, important especially if they will ask you questions regarding some specific positions held during your career; be ready to answer.
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  • If there are long periods of time (gaps) in your Curriculum Vitae in which you have not worked for various reasons, prepare an intelligent justification. If the reason is personal, hopefully never too serious, be honest. Also be sincere for reasons concerning travel or volunteering, both of which are welcomed very well here in England. If the reasons are others, try to articulate a plausible answer and make sure the conversation move on the fact that in your career you have always been a hard worker, apart from these breaks.

Avere successo nel colloquio di lavoro

Some of the most frequently asked questions will be the following:

Why did you decide to apply for this role?”

At home, write down plausible answers. Only you really know what really pushed you to apply, be honest, express your admiration towards the company, if possible, towards the products / services it sells. In the case of a fashion company, for example, it may happen that you have worn the garments of that particular brand several times, then make them aware of it and express your interest as much as you can.

“What improvements do you think you can bring to our team?

Here, too, I always recommend taking pen and paper and analyzing your best qualities and using them to ensure that they can represent a potential improvement for the company, eventually you are hired.

List a number of strengths and weaknesses that belong to you”

Once again, make a wise choice and choose weak points that, from another point of view, can also be seen as a strength.

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Where do you see yourself in ten or twenty years?”

Study this answer with caution. Communicate your dreams and, obviously, if your intention is not to be in the company for at least 5 years, do not tell that. We know that sometimes, some jobs are a springboard but this is certainly a detail not to be communicated during a job interview.

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What other basic ideas to follow

– Do not speak if you are not questioned, listen carefully to the manager or the recruiter and if you can, use most of his own words in the answer you will formulate. This will demonstrate not only that you are an excellent listener and a respectful individual but also that your language approaches them.

– Do not take uncomfortable positions, sit straight and it is advisable not to cross your arms. Be confident but humble and make clear that you value anything you are told on the other side.

The outfit: in general, black trousers and jacket, and a shirt that can be either white or black. Specifically, for men a tie is obviously welcome (if the environment is an office and / or formal, and for women, if you choose a skirt, always black, I recommend wearing one with a length that goes beyond the knee. No colored shoes, always choose a black, elegant and formal ones. Light heel, but it is not essential as long as, I repeat, the shoe is black and sober.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE MORE IDEAS ON HOW TO DRESS FOR A JOB INTERVIEW?

– Study well the itinerary in advance. Consider the various traffic and strikes and especially the time you will start the journey, to make sure you arrive on time.

– If you were to succeed at an initial interview and you are asked to start immediately, you will be asked how much notice you will have to give to the company for which you are currently working. If you are not asked, you can mention it, saying that you have a notice to give and respect. The fact that you respect it, speaks volumes about you, as you will be seen as a loyal and respectful worker to any company you will work for.

If you have any suggestions you want us to put on the list of ideas, please let us know in the comments below.