Construction workers receive cards from CSCS, which is held by the CITB, to demonstrate their proficiency in a particular job role. There are various CSCS card kinds that allow you to perform a variety of jobs, including labouring, supervising, carpentry, bricklaying, etc. However, there are many who will purchase a fake CSCS card because it is the quickest and easiest option.

1.  What is a fake CSCS card?

Fake cards are not a recent occurrence, and construction site management teams can prevent untrained individuals from entering their sites when they produce a fake card by being vigilant.

Fake CSCS cards are prohibited under the Fraud Act of 2006 because they might be used to deceive employers. If a potentially risky task is carried out on-site by someone who is not adequately qualified, this can cause a lot of problems and could even result in deaths.

2. The dangers of fake CSCS cards

Since the CSCS card program’s goal is to improve site safety, a fake CSCS card might result in a number of problems on the job site. You put yourself and others at risk when working when you use a fake CSCS card, which is one of the biggest problems. 

Everyone who works on-site must have the necessary training and health & safety skills to do their task, as construction is one of the most hazardous industries in the world. If you use fake qualifications, you will not be trained and you’ll be able to work without having any knowledge of health and safety. You and the other workers would be at risk of harm or death as a result.

For site management, a fake CSCS card is a problem as well. If an employee brings a fake CSCS card onto your property—either intentionally or due to improper checks—you could be held responsible for any harm, loss, or destruction it causes. The Health and Safety Executive estimates that workplace accidents cost employers £16.2 billion in 2018–19 2. In fact, an incident—or worse, a fatality—on your construction site can possibly be the end of your company.

3. How to spot a fake CSCS card 

Verify the presence of the following on the CSCS cards you are shown. Keep in mind that the CSCS regularly updates the cards, so constantly be aware of updates.

CSCS Cards Issued Before December 2019

CSCS Cards Issued Before December 2019

CSCS Cards Issued Before May 2020 and after December 2019

CSCS Cards Issued Before May 2020 and after December 2019

  • The cardholder’s full name appears on the card, instead of just their initials and last name.
  • The HS&E tested holofoil no longer appears on the card.

CSCS Cards Issued After June 2020

CSCS Cards Issued After June 2020

  • The smart chip embedded in the card is no longer visible
  • There is a contactless symbol next to the cardholder’s photograph

3.1. The CSCS Card’s name

Make sure the name on the CSCS card matches a form of ID, like a driver’s license, as the first thing to look for. Because ID must be presented upon attendance to a Health, Safety, and Environment Test, they should match if the name on the card does not match their ID. Another possibility is that they borrowed a card from a friend or relative, which is likewise illegal under the Fraud Act of 2006.

Simply making sure the name matches is just the beginning. The formatting must be accurate for the card’s date. As you can see above, the card will show “Mr/Mrs/Miss/Dr,” the first initial, and the last name if it was issued before December 2019. If the card was printed after December 2019, the whole name will be seen.

3.2. Expiry Date

The next key identifier is the expiry date. With the exception of Red CSCS cards, which only last a year, CSCS cards typically last 5 years. The card is quite likely to be a fake if its expiration date is more than five years away. Your suspicions should be aroused if the expiration date also doesn’t fit the format of the card variety.

3.3. Registration Number

A registration number is required on all CSCS cards in order to facilitate identification. You can verify the card’s authenticity using this number, which is specific to the cardholder. This number can be used to check with the CITB card checker.

3.4. Smart Card Microchip

All CSCS cards contain the smart card microchip. The latest card, however, will not have a visible microchip; instead, it will feature a contactless symbol next to the picture. This can be used to display the operative’s profile and use an NFC reader to confirm the card.

3.5. Picture

The CSCS card’s front photo serves as a means of authenticating the bearer’s identification. However, if the card is a fake, you cannot rely solely on this information. If the image isn’t in the appropriate CSCS format, it can trigger suspicion. According to CSCS, the image has to be a passport-style photo on a simple background.

3.6. CSCS Hologram

There is a hologram on the top left of every CSCS card. This demonstrates that CSCS is formally endorsing the card. This is also stated on NPORS and CPCS cards. Although difficult to replicate, this hologram is not impossible. Therefore, don’t assume that having this proves a card is authentic.

3.7. CITB Card Checker

The CITB card checker is the best approach to ensure that a CSCS card is authentic and genuine. Only credentials that CITB is aware of will be displayed in the operator profile when the registration number on the front of the card is utilized. The card is probably false if the CSCS card does not appear.

4. What to do if you spot a fake CSCS card

If you spot a fake CSCS card, you should follow this process:

  • Retain the card if possible
  • Make photocopies of front and back
  • Record cardholder’s name and address if possible
  • Ask cardholder where the card was obtained from
  • Contact the local police and report the matter*
  • Refuse access to site (subject to company rules)
  • Forward copies of all evidence to:

The Operations Team


85 Tottenham Court Road


Or email re[email protected] making sure to include copies of all evidence

5. How to avoid fake CSCS cards entering the workforce

Controlling the application process yourself is one method to guarantee that no one in your workforce uses a fake CSCS card and that everyone complies. Employers can apply for CSCS cards for current workers and potential hires through the CSCS.

Your application for a CSCS card has already been completed as part of the hiring process. You can stop individuals who do not meet the requirements before you confirm their appointment by applying for cards for new recruits yourself.

Before you complete the hiring process, it is possible to determine whether candidates do not possess a CSCS card. By doing this, you can both protect your workers from potential harm and save your company important time and money.

In order to get a CSCS Card, the CSCS test, or CITB Health, Safety and Environment test is a compulsory requirement. To be able to answer any question, you need attentively read a range of questions and practice as much as you can. Practice with the CSCS Online Test to review your knowledge and obtain your CSCS card.