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Archaeologists no longer eligible for CSCS cards

Published: January 26, 2024

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards are only issued to those in core construction occupations, not those attending site to perform a non-construction occupation.

This guidance is in line with Construction Leadership Council (CLC) recommendations, which state that “Cards will be required by those working predominantly on construction sites undertaking a recognised construction occupation. Cards will not be issued in respect of non-construction related occupations.”

With this in mind, and following discussions with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA), CSCS will no longer accept applications for Archaeological qualifications from 1st May 2024.

Those already holding cards, including those wishing to renew, can apply for a card up until 30th April 2024. This means archaeologists can still apply for the AQP or PQP up until 30th April 2024 and the card will be valid for five years.

Archaeologists will be allowed access to site to carry out archaeological work without a CSCS card. It remains the responsibility of site managers to induct non-construction workers and those on short-term work experience before escorting them where appropriate.

Site induction and access will continue as normal for archaeologists working on construction sites, who will not experience any changes to the way they go about their work.

CSCS encourages any individual who is refused access by a site insisting on a 100% carded workforce to report the details of the site directly to CSCS, who will then take the matter up with the appropriate authority.

“Rigid enforcement of a 100 per cent carded workforce results in legitimate, non-construction workers being refused entry to site as they do not hold a card,” said Alan O’Neile, CSCS Head of Communications.

“This indicates a misunderstanding of the scheme and undermines the construction industry’s desire for a fully qualified workforce.

“If a worker is there to carry out a construction activity then a relevant card should be required as proof of their training and qualifications. If they are there to perform a non-construction activity, such as archaeological investigation, it then becomes the responsibility of site managers to ensure appropriate induction takes place.”

Over recent years, CSCS has withdrawn both the Construction Site Visitor and Construction Related Occupation cards from circulation as the industry works towards a fully qualified construction workforce.

Details of all occupations that do not require a CSCS card can be found via the official CSCS website:

Download the Build UK Training Standard for further information on site access and and related Construction Leadership Council requirements.