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  • I don’t have an NVQ, does that mean I will have to get qualified?
  • It depends on the type of card you have:

    • CSO – CSCS no longer issues these cards. There is information here about what you need to do when this card expire.
    • CRO – CSCS will stop issuing Construction Related Occupation (CRO) cards in April 2017. All CRO cards issued from 1st October 2015 will expire on 30th September 2017 and are not renewable. You will be expected to register for a nationally recognised construction related qualification before the card expires. Read more about the CRO card changes.
    • IA – From 1st January 2020, all cards renewed under Industry Accreditation will expire on 31st December 2024 and CSCS will stop issuing the card from 30th June 2024. Read more about the IA withdrawal.
    • Profiled Route – CSCS stopped accepting applications via the Profiled Route in April 2016 but cards already obtained this way are renewable. Read more about the Profiled Route changes.
    • AQP, PQP – These cards will continue to be renewable.
    • Site Visitor – All Construction Site Visitor cards issued from 3rd September 2018 will expire on 31st August 2020 and are non-renewable. CSCS will stop issuing the card from 28th February 2020. Read more about the Visitor card withdrawal.
  • What do card scheme operators have to do to comply?
  • They will need to meet the requirements set out by the CLC.

    In early 2015 CSCS completed an internal audit of the scheme against the CLC’s requirements. The results of this audit may be useful to other scheme operators to help them to determine what actions they need to take to ensure their scheme is compliant with the CLC’s stipulations.

  • When do card scheme operators have to meet the requirements?
  • The CLC action states “A transition process to bring all existing cardholders up to the minimum standard by 2020 will be agreed and implemented”. So if plans are not in place by 2020 a card scheme will be prevented from displaying the logo.

  • Will card scheme operators incur costs for becoming CSCS logoed?
  • CSCS will not charge for auditing schemes against the CLC criteria or supplying the logo. There may be extra charges from card producers for adding the logo which card schemes would need to consider.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Can I apply for the Black Managers card with a construction related academic qualification?
  • Those who have completed a construction related academic qualification should apply for the Academically Qualified Persons (AQP) card. This is available to people who have completed certain construction related degrees, HNDs, HNCs, CIOB Certificates and NEBOSH diplomas. Use the AQP search tool to find out if your qualification is accepted for an AQP card.

    CSCS do not accept construction related academic qualifications for the Black Manager card. The Black Manager card is only available to those who have completed the relevant Construction Management related NVQ/SVQ level 4, 5, 6 or 7.

    An NVQ/SVQ is gained by completing a range of practical tasks, demonstrating practical skills and displaying underpinning technical knowledge. Completing an NVQs does not require the undertaking of any particular learning program and taking formal written examinations.

    An academic qualification is assessed through assignments, projects and practical tasks that you complete as part of the set course. Candidates may gain the skills and knowledge required for their job but the qualification does not include a practical assessment of the candidate’s work.

    In summary – the NVQ is a practical and skills-based qualification and an academic qualification is a knowledge-based qualification.

    This is why CSCS issue different cards to those who have completed an NVQ and those who have completed academic qualification. The black manager’s card demonstrates that the cardholder’s practical skills have been assessed, while the white AQP card demonstrates that the cardholder’s knowledge has been assessed.

    This does not mean that the manager’s card has a higher standing than the AQP card; the cards are issued at equivalent levels of qualification. What matters is the occupation listed on the reverse of the card. Both the black manager’s card and the white AQP card (depending on the qualification), can have “Management” listed on the reverse of the card.

  • How do I find out more?
  • We are committed to keeping the industry updated on progress and further announcements will be made throughout the year. The best way to keep up to date with our progress is to keep an eye on the website, follow us on Twitter @CSCS or sign up to our free newsletter via the website.