CSCS Cards Explained

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme commonly known as CSCS is a card scheme that is used to provide proof that site operatives have the necessary skills and qualifications to perform their job safely and competently.

Sounds simple right? Wrong!

CSCS is an absolute minefield, and it’s a difficult scheme to understand and get to grips with. Don’t get me wrong the basis and theory behind it is brilliant, however, it’s not always used the way it should be.

In 2015 the Construction Leadership Council announced that the construction sector should promote the card scheme displaying the CSCS logo and accept no equivalent. The theory behind it was to encourage a “One Industry Logo” to provide employers, clients and contractors with a simple and consistent way to identify that an individual had met a set standard of qualification in their chosen occupation.

Is it not a legal requirement to have a CSCS card, however, the majority of the larger construction sites will look for you to have one.

It’s also important to note that the scheme is only intended for those performing a construction role.

So what card is right for you?

There are 11(ish) different CSCS cards, what role you perform will determine which card would best suit.

  1. Labourer
  2. Apprentice
  3. Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager
  4. Experienced Worker (temporary card)
  5. Trainee
  6. Skilled Worker
  7. Advanced Craft
  8. Supervisory
  9. Manager
  10. Academically Qualified
  11. Professionally Qualified

Full details of the qualifications you require for each can be found on the CSCS  website. You can also search by occupation.

Each card is generally made up of 2 parts;

  1. A qualification
  2. A 45-minute touchscreen test

Again, the card you are applying for will determine which test you need to complete.

Partner Schemes…

To make things even more confusing CSCS also have a number or Partner Card Schemes. These schemes tend to represent more specialised sectors such as; demolition, scaffolding and plant. So, for example CPCS, NPORS and IPAF are partners of the card scheme. Again, they are of a recognised industry standard and delegates must also complete the appropriate touch screen test in order to have the CSCS logo added to their card.

That’s pretty much it…

Essentially, without going into too much detail that’s it in a nutshell, however, at Training First we appreciate that it’s not always that straight forward. Get in touch with an advisor today to talk about your requirements.