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Your skills are your major investment when working or planning to work in the construction industry. While it is easy to say you have this and that certifications and qualifications, employers will always need a proof to support your claim. After all, the construction industry is one of the most important yet most dangerous fields today and having skilled and competent workers is essential.

Because of the risks associated, 80% of construction firms in the UK require proof of competence and skill from all its workers. Hence, the CSCS or the Construction Skills and Certification Scheme was introduced.

What is CSCS?


In a nutshell, CSCS is a scheme that is aimed to improve the quality of work in the construction industry. Aside from the skills, CSCS ensures that all the workers are equipped with the basic health and safety knowledge in order to reduce a number of accidents and other construction-related risks.


What is a CSCS Card?


A CSCS Card is an important qualification in the construction industry. It proves your skills needed to work well in your trade. It also shows that you are equipped with the basic health and safety knowledge in order to safely and efficiently work on the site.


The CSCS Card is colour coded. Depending on your occupation, you will be issued with any of the relevant CSCS cards. Here’s a rundown of each colour codes:


  • Red – For workers in further education or working towards SVQ/NVQ accreditation.
  • Green – For workers with non-specific skills but has NVQ Level 1.
  • Blue – For workers with a completed Level 2 NVQ/SVQ or has completed the employer apprenticeship.
  • Gold – For skilled workers or supervisors who have completed an indentured apprenticeship or Level 3 NVQ/SVQ.
  • Black – For managers with Level 4 NVQ/SVQ.


What are the requirements for obtaining a CSCS Card?


Being CSCS-certified has become a mandatory requirement for most construction companies in the UK. To qualify, the following requirements must be complied with.


  1. You must demonstrate the qualifications needed for your chosen field to obtain the specific CSCS card.


  1. Submit a CSCS Application Form. There are corresponding application forms depending on your skills and occupation. Application forms may be –


    • CSCS Craft Application – Ideal for site visitor, construction operative or construction-related occupation.
    • Professionally-qualified Person Application Form
    • CSCS TSM Application – For technical, supervisor or manager applicants.
    • Profiled Route Application – For experienced and competent construction site supervisors and managers.
    • Employer Application Form


  1. Pass the relevant Health, Safety and Environment Test. Also referred to as the HS&E Test, this type of test is a major component in order to obtain a CSCS card. Take note that the test should be taken within two years from the date of application.


Test Components

It is composed of 50 multiple choice questions that need to be completed within 45 minutes.


12 questions are related to behavioural case study about the “Setting Out” video. The video talks about the different safety measures on the construction site as well as tips on promoting a safer working environment on the site.


On the other hand, 38 questions will be asked to test one’s knowledge of health, safety and environment issues.



The primary purpose of the HS&E test is to improve the health and safety awareness among workers in order to reduce accidents, injuries and death on the construction site.


Test Types

There are different HS&E tests depending on your skills and occupation. This includes the following:



For all the categories, a score of 47 out of 50 must be obtained in order to pass.


  1. Payment of corresponding fees. A fee of £17.50 for the test and £30.00 for the card must be paid by the applicant.


Once these requirements are met, you will be eligible for a CSCS Card. This is important in order to ensure competency, skill and quality of work of all the workers. At the same time, construction-related risks such as accidents or deaths will be reduced since every individual is equipped with the basic health, safety and environmental awareness.  And above all, it’s your ticket to the construction world.

Is there other way to obtain CSCS Card?

Yes, through apprenticeship. It can either be Employer’s Apprenticeship or Approved Apprenticeship.

Under the employer’s apprenticeship (blue card), you need to provide a completion certificate from your employer together with the details on when it was completed. A copy of the City & Guilds (Craft or Advanced) certificates must also be provided.

For the approved apprenticeship (gold card), you must provide a copy of fully indentured apprenticeship documents gained from an apprenticeship provider. A City & Guilds certificate should also be submitted.

Nonetheless, the HS&E Test must still be taken.

Why do I need a CSCS Card?

Upon the introduction the scheme, fatal accidents and other construction-related risks reduced significantly. It also provided a method to check the workers’ competency and knowledge before allowing them to enter the sites. Because of these benefits, acquiring a CSCS card has become a mandatory requirement for most construction companies.

The CSCS Card is your way of proving your competency in your stated occupation. It is also a proof that shows your awareness in terms of safety and health concerns. Without the card, you may even be denied access on the site.

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