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Written by
on 01 May 2013


Many of you working in the construction industry will no doubt be aware of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) and are probably members of it but, for those that are not, the following information will hopefully prove invaluable and encourage you to join.

What is CSCS?

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) was introduced back in the 1990s with a view to improving the competence of site workers, reduce the likelihood of accidents happening and enhance efficiency on site.

A database is maintained of people working in the construction industry that have been able to reach an agreed standard of occupational competency. Those that have are provided with a CSCS card have passed the touch screen CSCS Tests that evidences their competency level and provides proof of identity.

The scheme has proved so popular that there are currently almost 1.8 million cardholders in the UK. Workers are increasingly being asked to provide proof of their competencies either by public or private clients or contractors.

What are the benefits of the CSCS scheme?

The CSCS Test provides a standard way of checking the competency level of a construction worker before providing him or her with site access thus reducing costs. It indicates the cardholder’s commitment to working in an efficient and safe manner on the construction site.

A CSCS Card is definitely an aid to someone obtaining work as one is now required on most construction sites.

What is the CSCS Test application process?

To apply for the CSCS card you have to show that you have obtained the qualifications that are needed for your occupation and that you have passed the appropriate Health, Safety and Environment test. You can then complete the application form, pay the test fee of £34.50 and the card fee of £30.

The application can be processed through your employer or direct or there are some organisations that provide a processing service.

The CSCS card that will be issued will be appropriate to your occupation in the construction industry, your experience and your qualifications.

What is the CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test?

Normally, PC-based CSCS test is designed to assess your knowledge over a number of subjects related to improving safety and productivity on construction sites. The type of test that you will be expected to take will vary dependent upon the CSCS card that is being applied for. It is usually taken at an accredited testing centre or a mobile testing unit.

You can access CSCS revision (Books) material through the CITB, online or high street bookshops.
This CSCS test replaced the Health and Safety Test on 2 April 2012.

The Required Qualifications for CSCS Cards

If you have passed an SVQ or NVQ relating to the construction industry in the last two years you may not need to take the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test in order to apply for the CSCS card.

Hopefully, the above has proved useful in explaining the process and benefits of obtaining a CSCS card and taking the CSCS test for what we are sure you will agree is a minimal outlay in relation to what you can potentially get in return.

If you need to book a CSCS Tests contact us on 0800 1488 677 today.

About the author

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.