What is the Black CSCS Card?

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) aims to increase safety on construction sites and ensure that those in the construction industry work to an industry standard and have the ability to carry out their role safely and effectively.

The Black CSCS card is the Manager level card that is accessible to those that have achieved a level 5, 6, 7 SVQ or NVQ construction management. This card demonstrates that you have the skills,  knowledge, experience and capability to Manage in a construction environment.

See the bottom of this page for the NVQs CADUK offer that lead to the Black CSCS Card.

Black CSCS Card

Can I apply through the Profiled Route?

Previously individuals could access the Black CSCS card through the ‘Profiled Route’. The Profiled Route was introduced in 2011 and was intended for construction site managers or supervisors who have on site experience but did not hold a nationally recognised qualification in construction. The Profiled Route however was deemed not to support industry’s aim to fully qualify the workforce and CSCS stopped accepting Profiled Route applications on 1st April 2016. An NVQ/SVQ is now the only route to the Black CSCS card.

I have a degree, can I apply for the Black CSCS card?

The Black CSCS card is linked to a Level 6 or 7 NVQ which demonstrates occupational competence and confirms the skills, knowledge and experience of an individual that has been gained over time in a real-world construction site environment. The Black CSCS card is therefore is not accessible to those that have achieved an academic qualification (i.e a degree) but only have limited, or no actual experience on-site.

If you have a construction related HNC, HND or degree you are however eligible to apply for the White AQP (Academically Qualified Persons) CSCS card.

Do I need to pass the CITB Health & Safety test?

Yes. Although previously learners that had achieved a Construction Managerial level NVQ within the last two years were exempt from having to to pass the CITB  Health Safety and Environment Test, this exemption has unfortunately now closed.

All Black CSCS card applicants therefore now will need to complete the CITB Managers and Professionals (MAP) Health, Safety and Environment Test.  You can book this test online by clicking here.

An NVQ is a UK regulated qualification and therefore does not ever expire. The Black CSCS card however is valid for five years, after which time you will need to pass the latest CITB Managers and Professionals Health, Safety and Environment Test in order to renew the card.

Is it a legal requirement to hold a CSCS card?

There is no legal obligation to have a card before you work on a construction site, however all the major contractors who are members of UKCG have agreed that workers on their sites need to have a CSCS card. The law requires that those participating in construction work must be competent.

The Home Office recently announced a crackdown on fraudulent workers, failure to comply has serious financial repercussions – in the last Parliament the government doubled the maximum civil penalty for non-compliant employers to £20,000 for each illegal worker employed. Employers therefore need to ensure that they don’t fall foul of this penalty and the CSCS card scheme is the most effective and widely used method to do this.

I'm a Manager in Construction, why do I need one?

First and foremost, holding the appropriate CSCS card will undoubtedly increase your work opportunities and earning potential in the UK.  Most recruitment agents in the Construction industry specifically state that the applicant “must be a CSCS card holder”.

Employers in Construction need to demonstrate compliance to Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM 2015) by ensuring that everyone working on the project has the correct level of skills, knowledge and experience to carry out their role safely.

Many of these companies actually state on their websites that they are “working towards a 100% CSCS accredited workforce”. Adopting this scheme throughout the business maximises their tendering success by demonstrating that their projects are run safely, with high quality standards.

But I have years of experience, why do I need a CSCS card?

While experience is important, the construction industry’s aim is to improve standards and safety on UK construction sites. This is why clients, employers and contractors want construction workers to achieve a nationally recognised qualification for the occupation they are working in.

Employers are increasingly using CSCS cards as a means to check that workers on their sites have the correct qualifications for the job they are doing.

I need a CSCS card urgently, what can I do?

While a Construction related NVQ is being achieved, the Red Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager CSCS card can be applied for. This card is available to Supervisors and Managers with on the job experience (normally at least one year in the last three). The card is issued on a on a temporary basis, it is valid for three years and cannot be renewed. A relevant construction NVQ must be achieved within this time.

Which NVQs provide access to the Black CSCS Card?

CADUK offer the following NVQs at Level 6 & 7 that provide access to the Black CSCS card:

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