Training, assessment and qualifications

  • What is 'industry accreditation' or 'grandfather rights'?
  • For some types of CSCS card applicants could previously apply based upon experience as evidence of their knowledge. This was known as Grandfather Rights or Industry Accreditation. CSCS no longer accepts card applications by this method.

    Use the cardfinder to check what qualifications you need for your occupation in order to apply for a CSCS card.  Alternatively you can call the CSCS Contact Centre on 0344 994 4777. This is a local rate number.  Calls cost 5p per minute from a landline (mobile phones may vary) .

  • No qualification exists for my occupation, what should I do?
  • Talk to your employer to agree the best course of action.

  • Why have the green card application requirements been changed?
  • CSCS’s purpose is to provide a scheme for the construction industry that certificates site workers’ training and qualifications.  The CSCS green ‘Construction Site Operative’ card did not fulfil this requirement.  Many workers who carry out skilled occupations on site have been applying for green cards as the easiest way to gain access to site.

    This made it difficult for contractors to use CSCS cards as a reliable method to check that site workers had the appropriate skills to work on site safely and effectively.

    The green card has now been renamed ‘Labourer’ and applicants are required to achieve a Level One award ‘Health and Safety in a Construction Environment‘ or a recognised equivalent.  Further information about the CSCS green card changes is available here.

  • How does the card application process differ between an Employers Apprenticeship and an Approved Appenticeship?
  • There are two routes to obtain a CSCS Card through an apprenticeship.

    Employers Apprenticeship (Blue & Gold Card)

    The card applicant will need to provide a copy of their final completion certificate from the employer with whom they completed the apprenticeship with details of when it was completed. They will also need to provide copies of their Individual’s City & Guilds (Craft or Advanced) Certificates.  The applicant will then be issued with a blue CSCS Card if they have the Employers Apprenticeship and Craft City & Guilds.  A gold CSCS Card will be issued if they provide copies of Advanced Craft City & Guilds Certificates with the Apprenticeship Papers.

    Approved Apprenticeship (Gold Card)

    The card applicant will need to provide copies of their fully Indentured Apprenticeship papers gained through the  apprenticeship provider eg NJCBI. Different providers will have different types of certificates for their apprenticeship.

    If the card applicant can provide copies of City & Guilds Certificates with this as well, this will be included on the reverse of the card.

    If the card applicant does not have their apprenticeship documents find out more about the appeals process here.

  • What is the profiled route?
  • Profile route was a route to obtaining a black or gold card, available to construction site managers or supervisors who had on-site experience but no national recognised qualifications. Profile route closed on the 31st March 2016.

  • Other than my trade or occupation can I have other qualifications printed on my CSCS card?
  • Qualifications that can be printed on a CSCS card are:

    • City & Guilds Craft Certificate
    • City & Guilds Advanced Craft Certificate
    • SCOTVEC Advanced Craft Certificate
    • Winter Maintenance Qualified (for Highway Maintenance Operatives)
    • Indentured Apprenticeship (where this is not the main Route of Entry)
    • CAS (Construction Apprenticeship Scheme)

    To add these qualifications to a card, copies of certificates must be sent to CSCS. If they are included with the initial applications there is no additional charge. If a request is made for them to be added after a card has been issued an additional £36.00 must be paid for a new card.

  • What should I do if I've gained my qualification outside of the UK?
  • You should contact UK NARIC.

    UK NARIC  is the National Recognition Information Centre for the UK and is the national agency responsible for information provision on international education and qualifications. UK Naric provides recognition service and comparability information of international qualifications from 183 countries worldwide with those in the UK.

    To apply for a CSCS card construction qualifications must be mapped and be directly comparable to an NVQ or SVQ at the appropriate level.

  • I've lost my apprenticeship certificate. What should I do?
  • Depending on the type of apprenticeship you completed, one of the following organisations may be able to help you:


    The National Joint Council for the Building Industry – Tel: 0844 576 3556

    In Scotland – Building Apprenticeship and Training Council – Tel: 0131 556 8866

    Thermal Insulation

    National Joint Council for the Thermal Insulation Contracting Industry – Tel: 01325 466704

    Felt Roofing

    The National Joint Council for the Felt Roofing Contracting Industry – Tel: 01444 440027


    National Joint Council for the Flat Glass Industry – Tel: 020 7403 7177

    Mastic Asphalting

    Mastic Asphalt Council – Tel: 01424 814400

  • I have been doing my job for a long time and do not want to go back to college to get a vocational qualification. Are there any other options for me?
  • OSAT and EWPA
    Depending on the type of work you carry out you may be able to undergo Onsite Assessment and Training (OSAT).  This process assesses  existing skills and experience and translates this into a nationally recognised qualification such as an NVQ or SVQ. Assessments are carried out whilst on site so no need to take time off to go to college.

    There is also the Experienced Worker Practical Assessment (EWPA).  This is a fast route available through the CITB awarding body, CSkills Awards. It is for workers with a minimum of 5 years experience and who do not need further training. The skills needed to pass the NVQ are included in one task which is observed by an approved assessor. EWPA is currently only available for level 2 qualifications in certain trades.

    Contact your college/training centre for further information regarding these options.


  • How can I find out where I can take an NVQ or SVQ?
  • Contact your local college of further education.  There are also private training centres across the UK offering construction related vocational qualifications.

  • Which card should I apply for?
  • It depends on the type of work you carry out, your experience and your qualifications.  Find out which is the right card for you by using the CSCS cardfinder.

  • Can I renew a red Experienced Worker CSCS card?
  • No, the Experienced Worker CSCS Cards are non renewable as the card holder should have been working towards and gained the appropriate NVQ or SVQ (or QCF/RQF equivalent) qualification. It should be replaced by a blue, gold or black skilled card on achievement of an appropriate vocational qualification.  Visit the types of card page to find out more.

  • Can experienced managers and supervisors apply for a CSCS card without achieving an NVQ?
  • If you hold an academic qualification you may be able to apply for an AQP card. If you are a member of a competence assessed professional body you may be able to apply for a PQP card. If you have registered for a NVQ level 3 or higher (but have yet to complete it), then you are able to apply for the Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager card. This card is valid for 3 years and is non-renewable.

  • What qualifications do I need to have to apply for a CSCS card?
  • It depends on the job you do, your experience and your qualifications.  Find out what you need to do by using our cardfinder.

  • I am a member of a professional body. Do I still have to gain an S/NVQ?
  • It depends on which professional body you belong to. Many of them have worked with CSCS to have their membership mapped against CSCS criteria. Members of professional bodies recognised by CSCS can then apply for a PQP card without the need to undertake an S/NVQ. You can see a full list of recognised professional bodies here.

  • I have a construction related HNC, HND or degree. Can I apply for a CSCS card?
  • The CSCS AQP (Academically Qualified Persons) card is available if you have achieved a construction related degree or other construction related academic qualification. You can see the full list of accepted qualifications here

  • What evidence do I need to confirm I am qualified?
  • It depends on which qualifications you have and which card you are applying for. Check the requirements on cardfinder.

  • What qualifications do I need for my occupation to be able to apply for a CSCS card?
  • Use the CSCS Cardfinder to find out which qualifications you require.