Last edited 04 Jan 2018

Construction Skills Certification Scheme


[edit] Overview

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) was established in 1995. It is a card certification scheme for construction. The cards certify that the holder has the appropriate training, experience and qualifications for their work (in particular in relation to health and safety).

Many contractors require that site workers hold a valid CSCS card. Checks are made before allowing workers entry to a construction site, and if they do not have the appropriate card for their work, they are not allowed access. Increasingly these checks are made by electronically reading smart cards. Cards can also be used for checking identity and recording on-­site training.

There are eight different colours of card, covering 11 different types of occupation:


  • Craft.

White / yellow:

  • Professionally qualified person.
  • Academically qualified person.

White / grey:

  • Construction related occupation. This card does not require any qualifications, and following a decision by the Construction Leadership Council, is no longer issued from March 2017, and all existing cards will expire by the end of September 2017. This affects 230,000 card holders. There is more information on the CSCS website.



  • Trainee.
  • Experienced technical supervisor or manager.
  • Experienced worker.



  • Management.


  • Advanced craft / supervisory.

In addition, there are a 10 other card schemes that are affiliated with or amalgamated into the CSCS scheme.

[edit] Updates

In 2014, the board of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme considered introducing a single 'smart' card, but these plans were dropped in 2015. Ref Construction Manager, 28 April 2015.

In April 2016, Build UK published a Training Standard, specifying and promoting card schemes carrying the CSCS logo. This was published alongside a new standard Safety Helmet Colours.

Suzannah Nichol MBE, Chief Executive of Build UK, said: “Health and safety is a priority for Build UK and we are delighted with the positive response from our members who have welcomed the latest standards, which aim to make life easier and help them meet the increasing demands of working on-site."

In June 2017, CSCS told site managers that site catering, cleaning and delivery staff do not need to have skills cards. Alan O’Neile, CSCS Head of Communications said; “CSCS cards are intended for construction related occupations only."

Administration and testing for the scheme is provided by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), however, in December 2017, CITB announced it was giving notice to withdraw from this role. CSCS have 3.5 years to find an alternative provider.

Graham Wren, CSCS chief executive said; “The three-and-a-half-year notice period provides an opportunity to identify new and smarter ways of working, such as online applications, that could benefit not just individual card holders, but their employers too. We would like to reassure card holders that the scheme will operate as normal while the process to identify a new service provision takes place."

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