The CSCS card is probably the best known and most widely issued card in the construction industry, with over 1.7 million card holders. It’s issued through the the Construction Skills Certification Scheme and comes in a number of colour-coded versions that denote the holder’s job role and level of skill.
The various types of CSCS card indicate specific levels and grades rather than a particular trade since they are intended for construction workers generally. Each card requires the holder to have a certain level of qualifications relevant to their role, which are listed on the back of their card.
To get a CSCS card, the holder has to pass an appropriate Health, Safety and Environment test. Apart from the general Health, Safety & Environment test, there are several versions of the Test that are intended for particular types of work such as site managers, people who specialise in property maintenance or those who generally work at height. Nevertheless, the CSCS card is mainly intended for general construction workers and so those with certain specialised trades may want to get a CSCS Affiliated Card which is more appropriate for what they do.
CSCS Affiliated Cards
To address this need, there are various organisations that provide support and training to specialist types of construction worker.s Many of these are affiliated to the CSCS and so the cards they issue carry the same weight as CSCS cards themselves. Consequently, they generally require the same level of qualification to attain them. Available affiliated cards include:
CCDO (Certificate of Competence for Demolition Operatives), issued by the National Demolition Training Group (NDTG). This is a peer assessed competency scheme and cards are available for different types of demolition operative.
CISRS (Construction Industry Scaffolder’s Record Scheme) requires that holders satisfy an employer or sponsor as to their competence to work on scaffolding.
CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) covers the plant section of the construction industry and is issued by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), otherwise known as ConstructionSkills.
JIB (Joint Industry Board) is available for those working in plumbing, heating and mechanical & electrical services.
EUSR (Energy & Utility Skills Register), which is for the electrical, gas, waste management and water industries and has a range of schemes for different types of worker within those industries.
SKILLcard applies to the mechanical services sector of the building services engineering industry and generally applies for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration workers.
ECS (Electrotechnical Certification Scheme) covers those working in the electrotechnical industry, such as data-communications, electronics, security systems and fire detection and alarm systems.
ACE (Assuring Competence in Engineering Construction) is supported by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board and is for engineering construction workers.
Choose the Right Card
Each of these cards will demonstrate you have the necessary training and competence to do your job. Crucially, since they are CSCS affiliated, they will ensure you can gain access to construction sites.
If you’re not sure what card is right for you, whether a standard CSCS card or one from an affiliated scheme, you must seek advice. Because employers demand that their workers hold appropriate cards to prove their competence, you should ensure that you get a card that is right for your particular trade.