The CSCS card or Construction Skills Certification Scheme was initiated to enable the construction industry to improve Health and Safety standards on site and illustrate competence and quality on all construction projects.
At present over 80% of UK contractors and construction sites are complying with the scheme and will only employ a carded workforce; which means that without a CSCS card you are likely to be denied site access and therefore you may lose work.
No Card equals No Access and No Access equals No Job! So it is now more important than ever to join the CSCS card scheme.
Acquiring a CSCS card not only depends on you current occupation and skill level but it also depends upon your past experience and qualifications. Essentially to get a CSCS Card you will need to hold or be working toward a construction NVQ and you will need to pass the CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test.
The CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test is a multiple-choice exam normally taken on a PC at an accredited test centre.
The type of Health, Safety & Environment Test you sit and the exam content will vary depending on your current occupation and the card level you are applying for. Please see below for further details about which CSCS card relates to which Health, Safety & Environment Test.
Types of CSCS Cards and the Types of Test
If you are applying for a Blue CSCS Card (Craft), a Construction Site Operative Green CSCS Card, one of the Red Trainee or Experienced Worker CSCS Card, a White/Grey CRO CSCS Card or the Gold Advanced Craft CSCS Card then you will need to pass the CSCS Construction Skills Health, Safety & Environment Test.
The Construction Skills Health, Safety & Environment Test is split into four basic test types and depending upon your occupation and the type of card you are applying for you will face questions from one of the following sections:
• Operative Health, Safety & Environment Test
• Working at Heights Health, Safety & Environment Test
• Highways Health, Safety & Environment Test
• Lift and Escalator Health, Safety & Environment Test
Therefore you do not need to revise all the test sections; only the one(s) that relate to your job role. But it is important to note here that all tests, no matter which card type you are applying for, will include questions from the general health and safety responsibilities section.
The Construction Skills Health, Safety & Environment Test is made up of 50 multiple choice questions and you will have 45 minutes to complete the test.
If you are applying for the Gold Supervisory CSCS card then the CSCS Test you will need to take is the CSCS Supervisor Health, Safety & Environment Test.
For candidates applying for the Black Management CSCS Card the Managerial and Professional Health, Safety & Environment Test (MAP test) will be the one you need take. Some candidates applying for the White/Yellow PQP CSCS Card may also need to sit the MAP test.
Both the CSCS Supervisor Test and the CSCS MAP Test are made up of 50 multiple-choice questions and you will have 45 minutes to complete the test.
There are multiple revision materials available for the CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test in the form of a book, DVD Rom. Separate revision materials are available for the CSCS MAP test.
Taking the CSCS Test
Unless otherwise stated in the exemption section, you cannot acquire a CSCS card without passing the CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test first. You will also need to sit the CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test each time you renew or upgrade your CSCS card.
So at some point everyone working in construction will have to take the test. It is highly recommended that you use the CSCS test revision materials before you take the test, this way you can familiarise yourself with the content and greatly improve your chances of passing the test first time.
On the day of your test don’t forget to take the following items with you or you may be turned away; Photographic Identification, Proof of Signature and your CSCS Test Confirmation Letter.
CSCS Test Exemptions
Candidates who have completed a construction NVQ Level 2 or higher in the past 24 months may be exempt from taking the CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test and can apply for their chosen card directly. However it is advisable to check with your training provider to ensure you are exempt.