Why do you need one?
The construction industry in the UK accounts for up to 25% of all work-related fatalities and a similarly large proportion of injuries. This one fact on construction site risks shows you why the CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card is held in such high regard.
If you are looking for a job or would like to otherwise participate in the construction industry in the UK, you will experience difficulty making significant headway if you do not have a CSCS card.
The CSCS card has been embraced by major construction industry stakeholders. This has given the card ‘brand recognition’ – flashing the CSCS instantly gives you credibility and demonstrates your dependability as a safety-conscious professional.
While employers always retain overall responsibility on safe working conditions, every employer is more at ease with safety-trained staff. In the eyes of an employer, the bearer of a CSCS card is a low risk asset.
Types of CSCS cards
There are different types of CSCS cards. The type of card you apply and qualify for depends on the N/SVQ (National or Scottish Vocational Qualification) credential you possess and what your role is on site.
There are 6 broad categories of CSCS cards – Trainee, Skilled, Experienced Worker, Professional Membership, Visitor and CRO (Construction Related Occupation). The validity of the different types of cards ranges from 1 to 5 years. You will be required to sit for a CSCS exam in Manchester where your grasp of safety and health issues will be put to the test.
The CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test
Some CSCS card applicants may be exempted from sitting for the exam but you should consider this the exception rather than the norm. That being said, even when you do qualify for an exemption, sitting for the exam is a great way to polish up on your knowledge and be certain that you are up to date on best safety practices.
The Manchester CSCS test is not the same for each card. For instance, if you are applying for a Manager card, you must sit for the Managerial and Professional (MAP) health, safety & environment test in Manchester.
On the other hand, if you want the Supervisor card, the prerequisite exam is the Supervisor health, safety & environment test.