College of Contract Management United Kingdom
College of Contract Management
United Kingdom

CSCS | An Ultimate Guide | The CCM UK

cscs cards

CSCS – An Ultimate Guide


What are CSCS cards?


CSCS stands for the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. The CSCS offer numerous cards to a variety of levels of workers within the construction industry. The cards, though not a legal requirement, are a must have for construction workers. Many construction sites actually require you to have a valid CSCS card to enter site, highlighting their importance.


Needless to say, it’s a great addition to your toolkit of qualifications and shows your understanding of health and safety measures. In order to qualify for a card, you need to have completed a Health, Safety and Environment test. Administered by the CITB, these tests tell an employer that you are the qualifications necessary to be on-site and you will follow routine procedures while working.


Health, Safety and Environment Tests


Firstly, the main importance of a CSCS card is showing your competence to understand and enforce health and safety regulations. This is absolutely paramount when working within an active construction site. With heavy and technical machinery, heights and other risk factors, it’s important to work with care and attention.


In total, there are 3 categories of Health, Safety and Environment test available. You can choose to take the Operative, Manager or Professional test, depending on your role in the industry. To determine what type of test you need to take, you need to first know what category of card you plan to apply for. The online card finder questions will help you determine both factors.


Who are CITB


The CITB are the Construction Industry Training Board. They administer the health and safety tests needed to become eligible to apply for a CSCS card. This is an educational training organisation that issues the tests that are mandatory for success in implying for a CSCS card. Without passing this test, you won’t be eligible for your CSCS card of choice. You will have to retake the CITB test until you pass.


CSCS Card Guide


There are numerous different cards which can be acquired throughout a construction-worker’s career. The goal of many managerial professionals in the industry is to acquire a CSCS Black card. This is the highest-ranking CSCS card and shows your professional competence as a manager.

Green Card –

This card is acquired by labourers who are qualified as construction workers and labourers within a construction environment. This card shows that they have valid and relevant skills to work on site and perform their duties.

Red Card –

The red card has four differing versions depending on your experience. All red cards are temporary. These four types are: apprentice, experienced technical supervisor or manager, experienced worker or general trainee/industry placement card. Generally, the red card is for those just starting in the construction industry, those who will soon progress to a different role or for those temporarily enlisted in their role.

Blue Card –

Blue cards are eligible to those who are deemed as ‘Skilled Workers’, this means they will have completed a relevant qualification such as an NVQ or SVQ course. You can also apply for this if you have taken an apprenticeship within the industry that has been endorsed by an employer.

Gold Card –

Gold cards are excellent cards for proving that you are well-trained and experienced in your field. Advanced Craft gold cards are issued to those who have taken a relevant NVQ course at Level 3 or above an apprenticeship approved by relevant authorities. The other gold card is for experienced supervisors with NVQ or equivalent qualifications level 3 or 4.

White Card –

The white card is the second-highest achieving card within the organisation. These cards are for those who are professional members of leading institutions which are approved by the CSCS. This card is known as the Professionally Qualified Person.

The other White card, Academically Qualified Person is for those who have completed degrees, diplomas, HND’s and other accredited courses and qualifications. This is a great qualification for those who have just received a qualification and are looking for a card to help them into the industry.

Black Card –

This is highly respected in the industry as the top card you can receive. You’ll need a construction-related qualification in either Level 5, 6 or 7. This will show that the individual has a high level of education as well as expert experience as a manager.

Yellow Card – WITHDRAWN

The yellow card is a temporary card offered to visitors of a particular site. This card was withdrawn from applications in February 2020, however, there may still be some Yellow visitor cards which are still valid.




Where do you apply?

Application can be done online on the CSCS website. The process is quick and easy, moreover, there are several videos available to help talk you through each step.

How much do they cost?

Each card costs £36, regardless of level. In addition, you will be required to pay £22.50 for the Health, Safety and Environmental Test.

What is the validity of a CSCS Card?

All cards are valid for a total of 5 years before they require renewal. Each card has its expiry date printed on the card, letting you know when your card is due for renewal.

Checking cards as an Employer

Should you want to check a card at any point, you can use the an online checking service. There are multiple ways available for checking cards. For more information on each way our CSCS Card checker blog goes through each in detail.

How can you book a CSCS card test?

You need to have already completed a CITB HS&E test. Offered by the CITB, this test can be accessed online. Additionally, you need to have passed the test within the past two years. Any longer than two years since passing and you will be required to take the test again.

How long does it take for a CSCS card to be delivered?

As a standard, you can expect your card to arrive within 3-5 days of completing your application. Should delivery take over 10 days, contact the CSCS customer support and they will help you.

What card should I apply for?

You can use the online card finder to help you understand which card matches your skills and qualifications. This service consists of a few questions to identify which card you should apply for.


College of Contract Management CSCS Courses


Several of our courses here at the College of Contract Management offer the opportunity to apply for CSCS cards. In particular the white card and black manager card. These courses offer the right skills to make you qualified for certain roles.

Our CIOB Level 4 Certificate and Diploma in Site Management is one of those courses. If you complete the Certificate, you will be eligible to apply for the CSCS White Card, but if you complete the full course, you will be eligible for the CSCS Black Card. Not only can you apply for these cards, this course is also accredited by the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building). The CIOB are known for their excellent standards of health and safety within the construction industry and taking an accredited course shows your excellence in demonstrating professional practice.


Management Skills


Management positions are highly regarded in the construction world, it takes a lot to deal with high-pressure situations and the responsibilities of running a team effectively. Therefore, a trait of a good manager is communication. It is imperative to effectively motivate your team and inform them of changes and obstacles through a project. Being able to solve problems quickly and appropriately is also another skill that is needed in management. Some of these skills you can be taught through courses, but some managerial skills will just come naturally to born-leaders.

The Site Manager Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is a course which is essential for all managers within construction. After gaining your certificate, it is valid for 5 years, the same length of time a CSCS card is valid for. This course and certificate allows managers the best possible training for keeping their workforce and the public safe. The course is risk assessment based in order to be consistently aware of changing and appearing risks.


CSCS Card Online Courses


Online courses are an excellent source of knowledge and skills. Moreover, you can learn from the comfort of your home while getting a well-regarded qualification. Our courses like Level 4 Diploma in Site Management will give you all the skills and learning objectives you need to be eligible to apply for a Black card. Additionally, another benefit of taking a course online means that you can continue to work in your role in the construction industry. Each day you spend at work, you can use your new skills and apply them to your job in order to show your employer your commitment to developing.

Another course that can be used as a trailblazer to gain a CSCS Black card is the NVQ Level 6 Diploma in Site Management.


Why Choose the College of Contract Management?


Our courses here at the College of Contract Management are offered through flexible payment plans – another incentive to apply as our courses are already much more affordable than our traditional university competitors. Primarily because we don’t have to include expensive fees such as buildings and campuses. We can focus all our financial outputs into our courses and acquiring the highest quality lecturers. Our online virtual learning environment is an excellent resource for our students to use. They can contact their lecturers, find all their course content and catch up on live lectures they missed with the online learning platform Moodle.

Ultimately, any career that involves construction is a dynamic career path. Choosing to apply for CSCS cards is a great way to prove your competence if your employer doesn’t already require them. Moving up the ranks of CSCS cards is a great way to progress in your career. Therefore, it’s important to always be seeking improvements and looking for new ways to grow personally. In conclusion, CSCS White cards and CSCS Black cards are a great way to prove your competence within the industry.