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What CSCS card do I need?

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Published on 07 February 2020

Here's what you need to know when considering a career in construction.

Since 2014, employment within the construction industry has experienced a steady increase, landing at a figure of just over 2.3 million workers in 2017. And with further government funding promised to this sector over the next decade, and a growing demand for infrastructure nationwide, this figure is set to rise.

Although job prospects are high within this industry, most sites you work on will require you to have a construction specific qualification called a CSCS card. So how do you go about obtaining these qualifications and what role can you expect to be working in once you have achieved them?

What is a CSCS card?
A CSCS card, or Construction Skills Certification Scheme card acts as proof that you have the necessary training and qualifications for the type of work you will be carrying out on the construction site.

Holding a CSCS card is not a legislative requirement, however most major contractors do require construction workers on their sites to hold a valid CSCS card, and expect their workers to carry their card at all times.

Types of CSCS cards

Green - Labourer
This is a basic site skills card for a general labourer
Requirements - QCF Level 1/SCQF Level 4 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment, or other accepted alternative qualifications which can be found here.

Validity – 5 years
Average Salary Expectations: £17,000 – £20,536

Blue – Skilled Worker
Requirements - a construction related NVQ or SVQ level 2 or completed an apprenticeship, such as an Employer sponsored apprenticeship, a City and Guilds of London Institute Craft Certificate or a CSCS Approved Trailblazer

Validity – 5 years
Average Salary Expectations: £19,000 - £22,492

Gold – Advanced Craft
Requirements – a construction Related NVQ or SVQ level 3, or completed an approved indentured apprenticeship or completed an employer sponsored apprenticeship which included the achievement of the City and Guilds of London Institute Advanced Craft Certificate.

Validity – 5 years

Gold – Supervisor
Requirements – This card is available for supervisor and technical occupations subject to the achievement of a Construction Related Supervisory/Technical NVQ or SVQ level 3 or 4
Validity – 5 years
Salary - £31,787- £51,926 (average salary for Site Supervisors)

Black – Manager
This card is available for manager and technical occupations subject to: Achievement of a relevant Construction Management/Technical related NVQ/SVQ level 4, 5, 6 or 7

Validity – 5 years
Salary - £41,570 - £57,500 (average salary for Site Managers

White – Academically Qualified Person
This card is available to people who have completed certain construction related degrees, HNDs, HNCs, CIOB Certificates and NEBOSH diplomas.
Validity – 5 years

White – Professionally Qualified Person
This card is available to competence assessed members of CSCS approved Professional Bodies.
Validity – 5 years

Yellow – Construction Site Visitor
This card is required by site visitors.
Please note, this card will be discontinued in 2020.

Red – Apprentice
This card is available to people who have commenced a recognised apprenticeship framework.
Validity – 4 years and six months, cannot be renewed

Red – Provisional
This card is available for those working through probationary periods.
Validity - This card lasts for six months and is not renewable. Before it expires Provisional card holders must achieve or be registered for a recognised construction related qualification and apply for the appropriate CSCS card for their job.

Red – Trainee
If you are a trainee and are enrolled on to a qualification that will lead to a skilled CSCS card (most commonly NVQ) this is the card for you.
Validity – 5 years and cannot be renewed

Red – Experienced worker
This card is available to workers with on the job experience (normally at least one year)
It is issued on a temporary basis, while a Construction Related QCF qualification is being achieved. It is expected to be replaced by a Skilled Worker card (Blue) on achievement of a Construction Related NVQ or SVQ Level 2 or higher.

Validity – 1 year and cannot be renewed.

We hope that you have found this guide useful! Why not browse our current range of opportunities within the construction sector? Or you may wish to contact one of our recruitment experts for further advice and information.
What CSCS card do I need?