What Skill Card do I need for my Trade?

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skill card need tradeThe standard CSCS card comes in several different versions which cover various trades, roles and grades in the construction industry. Each card indicates the level of competence the holder has and their role within the industry so it’s vital to get the right card.

Since the CSCS card demonstrates your level of competence, you will need to have certain qualifications (normally NVQs or SVQs) at a specified level or pass specific tests before a card is issued to you.

In addition to the standard CSCS cards available for any construction worker, there are also various CSCS affiliated cards for specific trades and sectors within the construction industry.

Visitor Cards

If you only visit sites to make deliveries or have some other sort of job that doesn’t require you to spend much time there, a yellow Regular Visitor card should be sufficient.

You will be required to pass a health, safety & environment test but will then be able to access a site without going through a site induction each time. Similarly, a white and grey Construction Related Occupation card should be sufficient if you don’t actually work on a site but visit frequently and spend time there. Passing the health, safety & environment test is also required and both cards are valid for five years.

Red Cards
red cscs cardThose new to the industry may need a red card that is available in three versions. No safety test is necessary for the Trainee version as long as you are registered for an NVQ/SVQ course and have not yet attained level 2 or 3.

The Graduate version requires you to have completed a nationally recognised construction related qualification and to pass the managerial and professional health, safety & environment test. The Experienced version is for those with job experience but no qualifications and requires registration for a Construction NVQ/SVQ and the health, safety & environment test to be passed. A red card is valid for three years and is not renewable.

Skill Levels

You can get  a range of cards for different skill levels and qualifications:

green cscs cardGreen is for operatives with basic site skills and requires NVQ/SVQ level 1 or employer’s recommendation

blue cscs cardBlue covers skilled workers with NVQ/SVQ level 2 or equivalent

gold cscs cardGold is also for skilled workers or supervisors but with NVQ/SVQ level 3 or similar qualifications

black cscs cardBlack applies to managers and senior managers that have NVQ/SVQ level 4 or 5 in site management

pqp cscs cardWhite/Yellow is for professionally qualified persons, such as consultants, architects and surveyors who are not resident on site, are chartered members of an approved institution and have up-to-date professional development records.

All cards other than the red trainee versions require holders to pass the Heath, Safety & Environment test. This may be the managerial and professional version or a standard version, depending on the level of the card.

Other than the red card, which is non-renewable, all cards must be renewed every five years. Depending on circumstances at the time, this may involve attaining higher qualifications so you can move up to another level of card and get a better job.