A CSCS card clarifies your eligibility for working in a construction site. In order to obtain a CSCS card, you must pass the CITB Health, Safety, and Environment test, which strives to increase standards throughout the construction industry. In addition, you also need to show up related qualifications to get your CSCS card. This article can help you identify what CSCS qualifications you will need.


CSCS stands for Construction Skills Certification Scheme. This awarding organization manages the issuance of CSCS cards, which are widely accepted as identification of a construction worker’s qualifications and experience in order to enter a work site. Although it’s not required by law, many businesses won’t let construction employees on the job without the appropriate CSCS card for their position.

cscs card qualification

To apply for a skilled level CSCS card, an applicant must hold a nationally recognised construction-related qualification.

There is a common misconception that CSCS only accepts NVQs as proof of qualification. In reality, CSCS accepts a wide variety of qualifications, which are listed below:

1. Vocational Qualifications

1.1. National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)

Description: NVQs assess your proficiency in relation to a predetermined framework for a certain skill. A national occupational standard is the name of this framework. NVQs come in several levels. An applicant must demonstrate more sophisticated talents for higher levels. For blue skilled CSCS cards, level 2 NVQs are needed; for gold cards, level 3 NVQs; and for black cards, level 5, 6 or 7 NVQs (in a construction management qualification).

Practical assignments and a portfolio of evidence that an applicant compiles are used to evaluate NVQ candidates. Typically, an assessor would watch the applicant at work and ask them questions about their tasks. Once the applicant has attained the necessary standard, the assessor will subsequently approve individual units within the NVQ.

On Site Assessments (OSAT) or Experienced Worker Practical Assessments (EWPA) are two ways experienced workers can complete an NVQ. These examinations lead to the completion of full NVQs, but they are more expedient and affordable than a conventional NVQ evaluation. However, they require that applicants have a significant amount of professional experience.

Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are used in Scotland instead of NVQs, however, the qualifications’ core components are the same.

Construction qualification

>> Read more: Construction NVQ

1.2. Apprenticeships

Description: While an apprentice is working, they receive training in accordance with a recognized apprenticeship standard from their employer, who formally hires them as a paid employee. This is followed by an assessment at the end of the apprenticeship.

2. Academic Qualifications

2.1. Higher National Certificates (HNCs)/Higher National Diplomas (HNDs)

Description: Technical skill courses are offered by higher and further education colleges as HNCs and HNDs. HNDs take longer to accomplish than HNCs because they are one level higher. HND courses take two years, whereas HNC courses last one year (two if attended part-time) (4 if taken part time).

2.2. Degrees and Postgraduate Diplomas/Certificates

Description: A degree is a qualification given by an academic organization, like a university. There are several degree levels, such as bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees, but not every degree level qualifies for a CSCS card.

3. Professional Qualifications

Professional Body Membership

Description: The membership of certain professional bodies has been approved by CSCS as equivalent to a qualification. These professional bodies assess the competence of their members as part of their membership. 

4. Historical Qualifications

CSCS recognises that construction workers may hold a number of older qualifications which are no longer available, these include:

City and Guild Craft/Advanced craft

Employer/Indentured/Approved Apprenticeships

This is not an exhaustive list, there will be other historical qualifications that CSCS accept.

5. Can You get a CSCS card without qualification?

cscs qualification

CSCS may issue you a temporary card if you lack an accepted credential. The temporary will expire soon, therefore, you must be registered for the necessary qualification for your occupation before a temporary card can be provided. The card you obtain won’t be reissued, but it will be good for as long as it takes you to meet the qualification requirements. After that, you can apply for a skilled card from CSCS.

As stated above, to achieve a CSCS card you need to sit a CSCS test, or CITB Health, safety and environment test. Practice with the CSCS test online right now to pass the exam and get your CSCS card.