Person putting mortar on a brick

Given the various health risks that come with working on a construction site, it’s vital that you understand exactly what is needed to legally and safely do so. 

Unsurprisingly, whatever trade you plan to work in, there is often rigorous training and numerous practical and theory assessments that you must complete before being able to work on a construction site in the UK. 

What accreditation does a worker need to hold before working on a construction site? 

While the length of a training period will vary depending on the trade sector you want to work in and the level of qualification you require, anyone who plans to work on a construction site must hold a Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) card. 

CSCS is the leading skills certification scheme within the UK construction industry, and CSCS cards provide proof that an individual working on a construction site has the appropriate training and qualifications to complete the job they do on site. 

Are there different levels of CSCS cards available?

CSCS issues a range of cards depending on a person’s qualifications and the kinds of work they’ll be carrying out when on site. This ranges from a Labourer card, for those who have achieved a Level 1 Award, through to the Gold Skilled Worker card, intended for highly-trained operatives who hold a construction-related NVQ or SVQ Level 3. 

You can find the full list of CSCS cards available here.

How does a construction worker obtain a CSCS card?

To apply for a CSCS card, you must hold a nationally recognised construction-related qualification. You can check which qualifications are eligible here.

Once you hold the necessary qualification, you must complete a CITB Health, safety and environment (HS&E) test. You must have passed this test within the last two years to be eligible for a CSCS card.

There are three different levels of HS&E tests depending on the level of card you require, these are ‘Operative’, ‘Manager and Professional’ and ‘Specialist’. You can use the CSCS Card Finder tool to understand which test is right for your needs. 

Once these criteria have been met, you can apply for your card by sending a scanned copy of your qualification certificate and your HS&E test ID number.

If you’re unsure what level of training you’ll need to complete to be eligible for the level of CSCS card you hope to acquire, our team of construction experts here at Able Skills would be happy to help and point you in the right direction. If you do want to chat, you’re welcome to visit us in the Able Skills Construction Training Centre any time we’re open, where our team would be happy to help. If you can’t make it in, give us a call on 01322 280 202.