What is the CSCS Skilled Worker card?
The CSCS Skilled Worker card is available to all experienced construction workers who possess an NVQ Level 2 qualification and a CITB Health, Safety & Environment test (HS&E) pass.
Also known as the Blue Card, the Skilled Worker card validates your skill and experience in your trade. It also demonstrates your knowledge of health and safety requirements in construction.
Although it is not a legal requirement to own a CSCS card onsite, most contractors make CSCS card possession a mandatory requirement in accessing a building site.
Am I eligible to apply for a CSCS Skilled Worker card?
To apply for the CSCS Skilled Worker card, you will need to achieve a relevant NVQ Level 2 with an accredited college or training provider, and pass the HS&E test at your local test centre.
Experienced construction workers with at least three years’ experience in their trade can take their NVQ via either the onsite assessment (OSAT) or Experienced Worker Practical Assessment (EWPAR) routes.
– NVQ via OSAT
The onsite assessment route takes around three to four months and involves building a portfolio of evidence to validate your level of skill and experience. OSAT requires at least one workplace observation carried out by your assessor.
– NVQ via EWPAR (also known as Fast-track)
The EWPAR/Fast-track route is an intensive, high-pressure, one-day assessment programme where you will complete a set of tasks issued by your assessor using your own tools. Unlike with onsite assessment which does not involve any travelling, you will need to attend a training centre to complete a fast-track NVQ.
CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test
You can book your test by calling 0344 994 4488 or visiting https://wsr.pearsonvue.com/testtaker/signin/SignInPage/CITB. The test costs £21 (be wary of third-party online booking companies who charge a premium to book the test on your behalf).
Revision material for the test is available on the CITB website.
On the day you apply for your card, you must have passed the CITB HS&E test within the last two years.
How much does the Skilled Worker card cost and how can I order it?
The CSCS Skilled Worker card costs £36. You pay this directly to CSCS over the phone with a debit or credit card when you order your card. To order your card, call CSCS on 0344 994 4777. Your card will usually be posted to your home address on the next working day.
Employers, friends and family members are also permitted to order your card on your behalf as long as you are present when the call is made to give your consent. Third-party companies are not permitted to apply for your card.
How do I renew my card?
The Skilled Worker card is valid for five years. To renew your card, you will need to retake and pass the CITB HS&E test. Once you have passed your test, you can call CSCS on 0344 994 4777 to order your new card.
You can renew your card up to six months before and six months after the expiry date printed on the card. CSCS will send you a reminder by mail when your expiry date is approaching.
Is there a temporary card I can use while I am doing the NVQ?
If you need a card while you are working towards your NVQ, you can apply for the CSCS Experienced Worker card. This card is valid for 12 months and cannot be renewed once it expires.
To apply for the Experienced Worker card, you must send proof of NVQ enrolment to CSCS at email@example.com. Your training provider or college will provide you with this.
You must also have passed the CITB HS&S test within the last two years.
All information in this article was accurate as of October 2019.