The CSCS card scheme covers 350 different construction related occupations and the card that is right for you depends upon your past experience and qualifications as well as your current occupation and skills.
If you are employed in a construction supervisory or managerial role then you will need to apply for the Gold Supervisor CSCS card or the Black Manager CSCS card.
The Gold Supervisor Card
The Gold Supervisor CSCS card is available for workers employed in a Supervisory role in the construction industry.
Candidates who achieve or have achieved a construction Level 3 NVQ/SVQ, in a relevant construction occupation, can apply for the Gold Supervisor CSCS card.
All candidates wishing to acquire the Supervisor Gold CSCS Card must first pass the Supervisory CSCS Test. The test is a computer based, touch screen multiple-choice exam that takes place as a registered test centre.
As the supervisory test is more advanced than the regular Health, Safety & Environment Test there will be additional questions but you will be given extra time to answer these. There are also various revision materials available to assist candidates in revising for the CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test.
The CSCS scheme has recently introduced an alternative application method for the Gold Supervisory card and it is called the Profiled Route. The Profiled Route is aimed at highly experienced and competent supervisors who are currently employed in a supervisory role. To achieve this route you will need to complete an Evidence Sheet, which is reviewed by CSCS upon completion of the scheme.
An application reviewer also needs to be appointed by your employer. The CSCS profiled route can be completed very quickly, with applicants gaining Gold cards in as little as two weeks. This route is also becoming more popular following the recent government cuts to national course funding.
The Black Manager Card
The Black Manager CSCS card is available for all construction manager occupations. It covers Site Managers as well as other construction roles that include senior manager functions. Candidates who achieve or have achieved a Level 4 or higher construction NVQ/SVQ, in a relevant construction occupation, can apply for the Black Manger CSCS card.
All candidates wishing to acquire the Black Manager CSCS card must first pass the Managerial and Professional CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test, known as the MAP test. This test varies in content from the regular CSCS tests and therefore there are specific revision materials available especially for the MAP test.
The Profiled Route (detailed above) is also available for the Black Manager card and it is designed for highly competent managers who have a good knowledge of construction management and who are currently employed in a managerial role. The assessment process for the Black Manager card Profiled Route is the same as the Gold card Profiled Route; you will need to complete an Evidence Sheet, which is reviewed by CSCS upon completion of the scheme and an application reviewer also needs to be appointed by your employer.
If you have completed your construction NVQ in the past two years you may be exempt from sitting the CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test and can apply for the card directly. However if you are unsure always check with your training provider.