General scheme information
- 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) .
- How do I get qualified, who do I contact?
If you are employed talk to your manager or training provider. If you are self employed you need to contact your local college or training provider.
- 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.
- Who checks CSCS Cards?
Cards are usually checked by Site Managers or Supervisors at the site entrance. This is to ensure that you hold the relevant qualifications for the type of work you will be carrying out on the site. It is usually the main contractor or the construction client who have specified the use of CSCS cards.
Most principal contractors and major house builders insist that all workers on their sites hold a valid CSCS card. If you do not have a valid card you may be denied access to site.
- Are CSCS cards recognised across the UK?
Yes, CSCS is UK based and used widely in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Cards issued in Northern Ireland, however, are managed by a scheme affilated to CSCS called CSR (Construction Skills Register). You can call CSR on 028 9087 7150 or visit www.cefni.co.uk to find out more.
- What should I do if I get promoted or change occupation?
Use the CSCS Card Finder to find out if you need a different type of card or if you need to update the information on your existing card. This will depend on your new occupation. Alternatively you can contact the CSCS Helpdesk on 0344 9944 777 for advice.
More information about how to apply for a CSCS card can be found here
- Do the fees for the card and the test include VAT?
The £36 cost for a CSCS card is inclusive of VAT. The CITB Health, Safety & environment Test costs £21 and is VAT exempt because it is a training/educational test.
- Is there any funding available to help with the cost of training and applying for a card?
Funding is not directly available from CSCS, however, if you are unemployed your local JobCentre Plus office should be able to provide advice about financial help that may be available.
Construction businesses who are registered for CITB levy have access to funding and support services for skills and training. Find out more here.
- How do I register a complaint if I am unhappy with the service?
Please write to us at CSCS, PO Box 114, Bircham Newton, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE31 6XD or email [email protected]
- Can I use the CSCS logo on my letterhead, brochures, website etc?
As a general rule, we no longer permit third party organisations to reproduce the CSCS logo.
This decision was made to avoid actual or potential confusion with our separate certificatory function.
Therefore, if you already display the CSCS logo (whether on your website or otherwise), please remove it as soon as possible.
Please note the above does not prevent organisations from making bona fide references on websites or otherwise to CSCS (either by its corporate name Construction Skills Certification Scheme Limited, or by its trading name CSCS) in order to identify it or the services that it provides, but we request that any such reference be approved by the CSCS team.
Requests for such approvals should be emailed to CSCS at [email protected]
Should you wish to discuss this further please contact CSCS via the email address above.
- What should I do if I suspect someone is using a fraudulent card?
- Retain the card if possible
- Make photocopies of front and back
- Record cardholder’s name and address
- Ask cardholder where the card was obtained from
- Call the local police and report the matter
- Refuse access to site (subject to company rules)
- Forward copies of all evidence to Operations Team; CSCS Ltd, The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, London WC1E 7BT marked “SUSPECTED FRAUDULENT CARD” with details of the crime number given by local police.
CSCS will fully support any prosecution with technical and factual evidence.
- Why is the CRO card being withdrawn?
CSCS’s primary objective is to provide evidence that individuals working on construction sites have the required training and qualifications for the work they carry out.
CRO cards do not support industry’s desire for a qualified workforce – it tells your employer you do not hold a nationally recognised construction related qualification.
The majority of CRO cards do not require qualifications and applicants only need to pass the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test and obtain a declaration from a third party, usually an employer, that they meet the requirements for the card.
CSCS issues over 12,000 CRO cards per month. This demonstrates CRO cards are being used by site workers as the fastest route of entry to site without the need or commitment to be qualified.
The CRO card is no longer fit for purpose and CSCS has consulted with industry to determine the best way to address this issue. From 1st October 2015 new measures will be introduced which will pave the way for the eventual withdrawal of the CRO card.
The introduction of these new measures is a practical approach to industry’s desire for a fully qualified workforce whilst simultaneously improving standards and safety on UK construction sites.
- What happens after September 2017?
No new CRO cards will be issued. You will be expected to apply for the correct card for your occupation. Check the requirements here.
CRO cards issued before 1st October 2015 that expire after 30th September 2017 will remain valid until their expiry date.
- What happens if I have registered for but not completed my qualification by September 2017?
You will be able to apply for the Experienced Worker card. This card is valid for one year and is not renewable. You will be expected to complete your qualification by the time your Experienced Worker card expires so that you can move onto the appropriate skilled card for your occupation. If you do not complete your qualification by the time the Experienced Worker card expires you will be unable to obtain any other CSCS card.
- Who’s going to pay for me to get qualified?
There may be funding available depending on your circumstances. If you are employed your company may be able to claim some of the costs through their CITB Training Plan. If you are unemployed you should talk to your Job Centre.
- Isn’t this just CSCS’s way of selling more cards?
CSCS does not envisage issuing more cards as a result of this change. Instead, workers will be qualified and have the correct cards for the work they are carrying out, which has always been the main objective of the scheme.