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.
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!
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