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Health & Safety Test Every person wishing to work on a construction site in the UK needs to pass a health and safety test. Passing is also necessary to apply for a skill card such as a CSCS card.
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Understanding Red CSCS Cards

Red CSCS Card

Red CSCS Cards aren’t only for Trainees. They also acknowledge the situation of skilled workers, who have yet to achieve the Construction NVQ they need in order to get the CSCS Card that goes with their role.

The CSCS Card code system has been arranged to ensure that valuable construction workers, who have been in their trade for a long time and have years’ worth of skill and experience to give to the industry, may be accredited with a CSCS Card while they work to achieve the NVQ they need. In this case, the worker in question (all the way up to Management level, if necessary) will be awarded a Red CSCS Card.

In the CSCS Card colour scheme, red denotes a person who is enrolled in, but had not yet achieved, a Construction NVQ in the relevant discipline.

CSCS Card Colours From Start to Finish

CSCS Card colours map your construction career route, signposting the Construction NVQ Levels you achieve and providing valuable evidence that you have a current pass mark in the relevant CSCS Test. The Red CSCS Cards are the first stage in the CSCS colour scheme chain. Be aware, though, as noted above, that having a Red Card doesn’t necessarily make you a novice or an unskilled worker.

You can be studying for a Construction NVQ Level 5 (the highest, Managerial Level) and still possess a Red CSCS Card. Indeed, the only way you can be studying for NVQ Level 5 and not hold a Red CSCS Card, is if you already hold your Construction NVQ Level 4 and the Black CSCS Card that goes with it. Any construction worker who does not hold the NVQ Level prior to the Level they need, can’t hold the CSCS Card that denotes it. That’s when the Red CSCS Card comes into play.

The Four Types of Red CSCS Card

Red CSCS CardThere are of course some types of Red CSCS Card that are specifically designed for new construction workers, or graduates with no practical experience of working in the field.

The Red Trainee CSCS Card is for new construction workers, who have yet to achieve their Construction NVQ but are working towards it. Once these workers have gained NVQ Level 2 they can swap their Red CSCS Card for a Blue Skilled Workers Card.

The Red Graduates CSCS Card is similar to the Trainee Card. It is for workers who have graduated with a recognised Construction degree or higher education qualification: but who have yet to gain the Construction NVQ Level appropriate to their role. The Graduate Card can technically be held forever, if there is no NVQ necessary for the role in question. You need to pass the MAP (Manager’s and Professionals) Health, Safety & Environment Test.

The other two Red CSCS Cards are for Experienced Workers (one Card); or Experienced Technicians, Managers and Supervisors (the other one). These two Red CSCS Cards work as described above. Experienced Workers may hold a Red CSCS Card until they pass their Construction NVQ Level 2. Experienced Technicians, Managers and Supervisors must pass higher NVQ Levels, according to the requirements of their job.

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