Guidance for Managers with academic qualifications

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.