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Construction Skills Certification Scheme

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme is a register of competent workers in the construction industry. The main aims of the scheme are to improve standards of workmanship and reduce accidents in the construction industry. The scheme is supported by organisations such as the Major Contractors Group and possession of an appropriate CSCS card is increasingly being required for access to construction sites in the UK.

What is a CSCS card?

A CSCS card is a plastic card, the size of a credit card, with an individual’s name, photo and CSCS reference number on it. The card shows the individual’s occupation and that they have undergone health and safety awareness training and testing. There are different coloured cards for different levels of an occupation, from trainee to senior management. Cards are valid for either 3 or 5 years, depending on the type of card.

Routes to CSCS cards

The normal route to get a CSCS card is to achieve the appropriate N/SVQ for the required occupational level. However, there are other routes such as industry accreditation (usually available for a limited period of time after a trade becomes available for CSCS cards) or the professional membership route. Fellows of the Geological Society can qualify for a CSCS card through a professional membership route – see below for further details.

All cards require completion of a health and safety test. There is an application fee for CSCS cards and a fee for taking the health and safety test. See the CSCS website at www.cscs.uk.com for details of the types of cards available, the requirements and fees and to request application packs.

What CSCS cards can Fellows apply for?

Candidate Fellows and Fellows

Candidate Fellows and Fellows can apply for the red Technical, Supervisory & Management Trainee card. This card requires completion of the Health and Safety Test. The card is valid for three years. It can be extended on application and by retaking the Health and Safety Test, but generally only for another three years.

Chartered Geologists

Black Construction Site Manager CardBlack management card

Chartered Geologists can apply for the Black Construction Site Manager card through the professional membership route. The platinum card was withdrawn from the Scheme on 1 January 2010. From this date anyone who has passed S/NVQ levels 4 or 5 should apply for a black CSCS card (existing platinum card holders will receive black cards upon renewal. This card requires the completion of the Manager Health and Safety test and a CPD record for the two years prior to application. The card is valid for five years and is renewable on condition that the Health and Safety test is retaken, Chartered Geologist status is current and the CPD record continues to be satisfactory.

For more information on the Black Construction Site Manager card, please visit the CSCS website.

To apply for this card:
  • Complete the Manager Health and Safety Test (book a test through www.citb.co.uk)
  • Obtain the TSM application form from CSCS (www.cscs.uk.com)
  • Ask your employer to sign the form to certify that you have worked at the Construction Site Manager level for at least one year
  • Ask a Chartered Geologist to sign the form to confirm that you are competent to the required standard and that you have completed CPD records for the last two years.
  • Send the completed application form to CSCS.
If Fellows wish to gain this card by applying for the Chartered Geologist title, they will need to demonstrate that they can meet the requirements for the NVQ Level 4 in Construction Site Management. Further information is available on the Chartered Geologist page.

Professionally Qualified Person CardPQP card

From 1 August 2009, all cards that previously required applicants to pass the Professionally Qualified Persons test (PQP and Managers cards) will now need to take the Managerial and Professional test (MAP). Individuals who have taken the PQP test prior to 1stAugust 2009 will still be eligible to apply for a PQP, Manager or lower level card within two years of passing the test.

For more information on the Professionally Qualified Person card, please visit the CSCS website.