Although holding a red CSCS card is not a legislative requirement, most construction sites prioritize those who are CSCS card holders since the card proves their knowledge and skills on-site. This article is going to give you an overview and steps to successfully get your card.

1. What is a red CSCS card?

CSCS red card is a temporary card for those working on construction sites, which proves the knowledge and skills towards the employers. Those CSCS red cardholders are normally trainees or junior members of the team and aim to work for qualifications relevant to the position on-site. 

However, there exist several types of CSCS red cards available for different positions including: 

  • Red CSCS Apprentice Card
  • Red CSCS Experienced Technical Supervisor or Manager Card
  • Red CSCS Experienced Worker Card 
  • Red CSCS Trainee Card
  • Red CSCS Provisional Card

We’ll look further into each type in detail in the next part.

2. How many types of red CSCS cards?

Here is the list of different types of CSCS red cards in specific positions you need to take into consideration:

2.1. Red CSCS Card – CSCS Apprentice Card

This card proves you have completed a training scheme recognized by CSCS which has accredited training periods.

Your card is valid within 4 years and 6 months but it cannot be renewed, which means your apprenticeship progress must be completed during the time to upgrade to a skilled CSCS card.

This card requires you to:

  • Register an apprenticeship scheme 
  • Pass a CITB Health Safety and Environment Test for Operatives

cscs apprentice card

>> Read more: Construction apprenticeship

2.2. Red CSCS Card – CSCS Experienced Technical Supervisor or Manager Card

This card should be taken by applicants with construction-related experience and who are currently studying for a related qualification. Being a temporary card, it can be upgraded once construction qualifications are completed.

This card is available for 3 years and cannot be renewed.

In order to own this card, applicants are required to have experience working in this role on-site for one year or SVQ Level 3 or higher.

cscs experienced technical supervisor or manager card

2.3. Red CSCS Card – CSCS Experienced Worker Card

To qualify for this temporary card, a construction worker must have experience or be in the process of completing a qualification.

It cannot be renewed after one year of validity.

1-year experience in the role related to the construction site is the first requirement for this card application. Also, you need to perform a CSCS recognized NVQ/SVQ qualification.

cscs experienced worker card

2.4. Red CSCS Card – CSCS Trainee Card

The name suggests that this card is for those in the construction industry who tend to begin their careers. 

The valid time of a Red CSCS Trainee Card is within 5 years and it also cannot be renewed.

Red CSCS Trainee cardholders need to have a deep knowledge of the construction industry and take a CITB Health Safety and Environment Test for operatives within the last 2 years.

CSCS Trainee Card

2.5. Red CSCS Card – CSCS Provisional Card

During a probationary period, employers can determine if a candidate is suitable for employment by issuing employees this card. 

Like other types of red CSCS cards, Provisional CSCS card is also non-renewable and valid only for a period of six months.

To hold this card, applicants are also required to pass a CITB Health Safety and Environment Test for operatives within the last 2 years.

cscs provisional card

3. How much does a red CSCS card cost?

The cost of owning a CSCS red card doesn’t have any difference compared to other types of CSCS cards. It costs you £36 to apply for the card after taking the CITB Health, safety, and environment test with the cost of £21. 

Direct CSCS on 0344 994 4777 or via email at [email protected].

4. How to get a red CSCS card?

Three steps below should be followed if you aim to own a CSCS red card:

4.1. Make preparations for adequate qualifications

Remember that your requirements for each type of CSCS red card are different, so make sure to complete the appropriate qualifications. 

4.2. Take a CITB Health, Safety, and Environment Test

This test is valid within the last 2 years only, so be careful to check the expiry date of the test. The CSCS test for Operatives will include 50 multiple choice questions related to Health, Safety, and Environment within 45 minutes. 

The test needs frequent practice, hence, CSCS test online will be the best choice for those heading for the CSCS test to get a CSCS card.

4.3. Apply for the CSCS card

This step can be quickly done by phoning 0344 994 4777 or registering via the online application service. The payment can be made with your credit or debit card.

5. Can you renew a red CSCS card?

Unfortunately, you cannot make CSCS red card renewal. There is a four-year and six-month validity period for this card, so when the card expires, it is expected that you will have completed your apprenticeship. 

6. What are the benefits of owning a red CSCS card?

  • Owning this card gives you an opportunity to work while learning. During the process of taking equivalent qualifications, you can still earn from the work you’re doing. 
  • You will be able to access construction sites with your CSCS red card.
  • Once having a CSCS red card, you’re on a decent level with knowledge and skills to work on-site safely and healthily. This will be included in your CSCS test. 
  • Your CSCS red card can exhibit the competence and proficiency towards employers, hence, your chance of a prospective future career in the construction industry can be polished up.