The Construction Industry Certification Scheme (CSCS) is a system that verifies the skills and training of UK construction workers. If you've got a CSCS card, then you've got proof you're qualified to do the job.

The scheme's about keeping the UK's construction sites safe, and building the industry's reputation for world-class quality. With over 2 million cardholders across the UK, CSCS is widely accepted as a mark of excellence.

How do I get a CSCS card?

To get a CSCS card, you need to show that you've got the expertise to do your job safely and proficiently.

There's a range of cards to cover all areas of the industry. Managers will have to pass different tests from a skilled labourer, for example. Health and safety topics are covered, along with specialised fields like hazardous materials handling.

There are different levels of card, but even the basic Labourer one takes a good standard of work to earn. Your card's valid for five years, but you can upgrade or renew it when you need to.

How much does a CSCS card cost?

It costs £30 to get your CSCS card, so try not to lose it. You can apply for your card on your own, or get professional advice and help.

There are also costs for the various Health, Safety and Environment tests you need to take. For example, you can expect to pay £140 for the one-day Site Safety Plus Health and Safety Awareness course.

How do I qualify for a CSCS card?

The qualifications you need for a CSCS card vary with the type of work you do. For starters, you'll need at least one the following:

  • A Level One Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment.
  • A Site Safety Plus Health and Safety Awareness Course certificate.

Beyond these basic requirements, it all depends on the card you're going for. The Skilled Worker card, for example, requires a construction-related NVQ or SVQ level 2. An Apprentice card, on the other hand, just needs you to be registered to a recognised apprenticeship scheme.

What do I do once I have the CSCS qualifications?

Once you're sure you've met the qualifications for your card, you can apply for it by post or phone. Pay the £30 fee and your card will be sent out to you. You can get the application form from the CSCS site. 

Sometimes, CSCS cards will be applied for by employers on their employees behalf. Depending on how the application is made, the process tends to take 10-20 days.

What is RIFT and what does it do?

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