If you are looking to work in the construction industry in the UK, then you need to apply for CSCS card to confirm that you have the appropriate training and qualifications for onsite construction work. The Construction Skills Certification Scheme or CSCS was introduced by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), a non-profit company set by the government. It started with the intention of reducing accidents on constructions sites by ensuring that workers have the necessary training for the job, to strengthen the safety and effectiveness of UK construction sites.
Applying for CSCS cards
While CSCS cards are not a legal requirement it has become the norm for major contractors to prefer workers that are in possession of a CSCS card. It is considered a guarantee of your competence to be hired as a skilled worker. There are two ways to apply for a CSCS card, either as an individual or via your intended employer. Owing to the current social distancing measures the entire process is conducted online.
If you are applying as an individual, you will have to pay the card fee and submit the application via email. You will be required to submit personal and professional information. This includes qualifications plus proof that you have completed the appropriate CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test for the CSCS Test within the last two years. The aim of the test is to examine the applicant’s knowledge regarding topics on safety and productivity on a construction site.
If you are an employer applying on behalf of employees, the process is similar. You can access the online form and fill in the necessary details and information. Once submitted you will be contacted for payment, depending upon the number of employees you have applied for. You will also be required to book them for the Health and Safety test.
How much does a CSCS card cost?
At present the cost for the CSCS card stands at £36, while the Health and Safety test costs £21. You should receive your card in the post within 20 days of submitting your application. During this time, you may be contacted for further information or clarifications. If you do not receive your CSCS card within five weeks of submission, then contact the CSCS for information. It is also important that you submit your application within 90 days of starting the process or it will be closed and you will have to reapply.
Are there different types of CSCS cards?
Yes, there are different types and it is important that you apply for the correct one for you. This will depend on your occupation, experience, and the qualifications you hold. For instance, if you have completed an apprenticeship with an approved body or have an employer sponsored apprenticeship then you may even be able to apply for the Skilled Card or the Advanced Craft Card. Applicants with National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are able to submit applications based on their qualifications.
If you have relevant academic qualifications, then you may be considered for the Academically Qualified Person or AQP card.
How long is a CSCS card valid for?
A CSCS card is valid for five years before it needs to be renewed. If your information, qualifications, and experience remain the same then the renewal process will be quite straightforward, meaning you simply need to be issued with a replacement card. However, if your skill levels and qualifications have changed since your last application, then you will need to submit the new details to qualify for a different type of CSCS card.
A CSCS card will greatly help you towards securing work with reputed construction companies. While it is not a legal requirement, when you provide a CSCS card, it proves your skills and qualifications at a glance to a potential employer and confirms to the UK Government that you have the capacity to work on a construction site with the necessary diligence and efficiency.