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

CSCS | Everything You Need to Know | College of Contract Management


CSCS | Everything You Need to Know About CSCS

Who are CSCS?
Who are CITB?
CSCS Cards Guide
How to Apply & Renew
Prices of Cards
Health Safety & Environment Tests
CSCS Card Checker

College of Contract Management CSCS Courses
Why Choose the CCM?


Who are CSCS?

CSCS stands for the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. They offer cards for various levels of construction worker within the industry. While it is not a law-abiding practice to need a CSCS card, many large construction firms deem them essential today anyway. Needless to say, it’s a great addition to your toolkit of qualifications and shows your understanding of health and safety measures. It tells an employer that you are fully-trained to be on-site and you will follow routine procedures while working.



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.









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CSCS Cards Guide

There are numerous different cards which can be acquired throughout a construction-worker’s career. Each card will last 5 years from the time of approval. 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. 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 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 –

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.




All CSCS cards are integrated with scannable chips to ensure site managers know which site staff have received certain training. The cards can also be used to keep track of which site members have logged issues with safety equipment and keeping track of stock of materials through scanning. It also allows contractors to communicate and have shared knowledge of site members through technology. This innovative technology makes it easier than ever to manage which members are qualified and have received relevant training. The CSCS are trying to move towards more virtual card issuing in order t save money and make facial recognition software commonplace. This will resolve the issues of fraudulent, lost or broken cards and will create a much safer working environment for all.


Credit: CSCS YouTube.


CSCS Cards For Managers

Any top manager in construction is an owner of, or aspiring to own, the CSCS Black Card. This card takes a lot of experience and knowledge to achieve. You’ll have to complete a CITB Health Safety and Environment Test just as all the other CSCS card applications.



CSCS Cards for Visitors

The CSCS Yellow card is for visitors of a construction site who are not qualified for construction purposes. However, these are usually outside contractors or overseers who regularly visit the site.



How to Apply & Renew

Applying for CSCS cards is fairly simple. You will apply through the CSCS website. You can only apply once your CITB Health Safety and Environment Test has been passed successfully. This is because the health and safety portion of the application is most important and will allow for safe practices in the workplace where construction is taking place. Once you have been approved, your card is usually sent out to you quickly and you should receive it within 10 days. However, cards can take up to five weeks to arrive, this is unlikely to happen but if it should you should get in touch with CSCS directly.


The easiest and quickest way to renew your CSCS card is by heading online. There are numerous services online which allow you to check your card status, type and expiration. This online card checker is explained in great detail here, or similarly, you can check out the card checker here.

Prices of Cards

So, all CSCS cards will incur a cost of £36. Additionally, you will also have to pay £21 for the Health Safety and Environment Test issued by the CITB. Upon successful completion of all the requirements for the CSCS card, you will be issued with your card which will be valid for 5 years. The expiration date will be on the front of the card, much like it is on a bank card. You can apply for funding but this is subject to certain requirements. Quite often, construction companies and agencies will pay for the cost of your CSCS card to enable you to work on site. Yet, it is a small investment for a big reward; you will be able to showcase your skills and health and safety knowledge every day in your workplace.


Health, Safety and Environment Test

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. This test covers five categories from welfare to environment to legal safety. 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 Checker

Similarly to renewing your CSCS card, you can check your expiration, your rank and your subscription all online. The CSCS card checker also shows what relevant tests you have passed and which courses you have completed or are in the midst of completing. A tool to check your card is found online on the CITB website. Using this tool is especially helpful for checking when your card is expired.


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. This is because 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 of skills to deal with high-pressure situations and the responsibilities of running a team effectively. 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.


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. This is 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.