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what is a cscs card

What is a CSCS Card and Do You Need One?

Working at a busy construction site can be dangerous. Ensuring all on-site workers have a valid and up-to-date CSCS card shows proof that individuals working on the construction site have the appropriate training and qualifications for the job they do on-site. Using the CSCS card scheme as a gateway for site access helps to improve the standards and safety of UK construction sites. Essentially making them safer places to work in as all on-site workforce personnel will have passed relevant tests, courses and be knowledgeable with the latest health and safety protocols of working at a busy construction site.

Is it worth getting a CSCS card?

Yes – it makes you more employable. Holding a valid and up to date CSCS card is proof that you’ve earned the skills and knowledge that is required to work safely at a construction site. This gives employers and work colleagues reassurance when working with you.

Is it illegal to work on site without a CSCS card?

A CSCS card is not legally required to work at a UK construction site. However, most construction sites and major house builders in the UK will require a valid CSCS before being granted access and the permission to work on site.

What if my employees don’t have a CSCS card?

It is not a legal requirement but it’s best practice to ask for all onsite construction workers to hold a valid and up to date CSCS card before being allowed access and permission to work on site. CSCS card holders must pass relevant tests and courses, essentially proof of competency and knowledge of health and safety associated with working at a construction site. This approach maximises workplace safety for all those who work at a busy construction site and prevents serious injuries/death.

Can anyone get a CSCS card?

CSCS cards are open to all construction professionals. Once you pass all relevant tests and courses, you may apply for the CSCS card most suited to your respective job role. CSCS cards show a level of competency in your role due to the need to meet certain requirements, pass relevant tests and courses deemed essential by the CSCS.

Is it easy to get a CSCS card?

Very easy and straightforward at The Construction Helpline. Just give us a call on 0333 344 7657 to discuss how we can help you get a CSCS card.

Can I get a CSCS card without qualifications?

The only formal requirement is to have passed the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test within the last 2 years at the relevant level for the occupation which is being applied for. If you’re an experienced construction professional in your respective field of work, you may be able to apply for an Experienced Worker Card.

Is CITB the same as CSCS?

CSCS cards are often referred to as ‘CITB cards’ within the construction industry. They are in fact, the same thing.

Do I need CSCS if I have SMSTS?

It is recommended for all onsite workers at a construction site to hold a valid CSCS card. This includes those who have an SMSTS certification or qualifications relevant to becoming a site manager. SMSTS certification is separate to a CSCS card. You would ideally need both if you wish to work onsite as a site manager. Your SMSTS certification can be added onto your CSCS card as proof of your experience and qualifications.

What is the highest CSCS card?

The highest available CSCS card in terms of seniority and ranking is the Black CSCS card. It’s usually for those who hold managerial or technical lead positions within the construction industry.

How do I check a CSCS card is genuine?

Simply use the Online Card Checker feature which is available on the official CITB website. Employers will use this to check if your CSCS card is genuine. The form will ask for your name, date of birth, national insurance number and your CSCS ID number as part of the checking and vetting process. To streamline this process, please ensure you provide your employer with the correct required details.

Summary – do I need a CSCS card?

If you care about your career in construction, yes. Having a CSCS card improves your employability and removes the barriers from working at a UK construction site. Most UK employers will ask for a valid CSCS card before granting you access to the site as standard practice. If you’re keen in working and progressing your career in construction, it makes sense to devote the time and investment into working towards the CSCS card that’s most applicable to you. At The Construction Helpline, we offer the necessary courses and tests which are needed before you can apply for a CSCS card. Check out our pages on our website (CITB tests, NVQ courses and CSCS cards), or give us a call on 0333 344 7657 to discuss how we can help.


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