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Trainee card changes

  • Why has the Trainee Card changed?
  • The primary objective of the CSCS card is to provide proof that individuals working on construction sites have the required training and qualifications for the type of work they carry out.

    Feedback from industry has told us the acceptance of qualifications not based on a National Occupational Standard caused confusion amongst card holders and their employers.

    In particular, Trainee TSM card holders who mistakenly considered SSSTS, SMSTS and NEBOSH General as qualifications that lead to a skilled CSCS card become increasingly frustrated when they realised they could not progress to a skilled CSCS card. Trainee Card holders must obtain a qualification based on a National Occupational Standard before moving onto the appropriate skilled CSCS card.

    The construction Industry requested that CSCS stop accepting qualifications not based on a National Occupational Standard and to only issue Trainee Cards when the qualification is based on a National Occupational Standard that leads to a skilled CSCS card.

  • What happened on 1st August 2016?
  • From 1 August 2016 the following Trainee card requirements were introduced:

    • Only one Trainee card (irrespective of occupation) is available
    • The card is red in colour and clearly marked “Trainee”
    • The occupation is not displayed on the reverse of the card. It simply says “Trainee”
    • The card is valid for 5 years and is non-renewable
    • Prior to applying for a card an applicant must register for a CSCS recognised construction related qualification
    • SSSTS, SMSTS and NEBOSH General are not accepted as routes to a Trainee card
    • Applicants must have completed the appropriate CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test less than 2 years prior to applying for their Trainee Card
    • Applicants must complete their qualification before the Trainee card expires
    • On completion of the qualification applicants can move onto a skilled CSCS card.
  • What happens if I have registered for but not completed my qualification by the time the new Trainee Card expires?
  • Applicants must complete their qualification before the Trainee 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 Trainee Card expires you will be unable to obtain any other CSCS card.

  • Do I need to pass the CITB Health Safety & Environment Test to obtain the new Trainee Card?
  • Yes, all applicants must complete the appropriate CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test up to 2 years prior to applying for their Trainee Card. The operatives level test is the minimum requirement but CSCS will also accept a number of the specialist tests. Visit CITB’s webpage for further information on the test.

  • I expect to obtain Professional Membership during the five year life span of my new Trainee card. However, the membership could take more than five years to achieve. Will I be able to renew the Trainee card?
  • The rules state the card is non renewable. However, CSCS does not wish to prevent cardholders from achieving their professional membership. In this scenario it is likely CSCS will consider a renewal if the cardholder can submit evidence of their professional membership achievement timeline.

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