In the UK construction industry, if you do not have a CSCS card, you will struggle getting a good construction job. But if you are planning to apply for a CSCS card in Liverpool, you will quickly realize application for the card is joined at the hip with Liverpool construction NVQs. Save for rare circumstances such as application for visitor CSCS cards, the NVQ is a prerequisite for virtually every Liverpool CSCS card a construction industry professional can apply for.
Two paths to a Construction NVQ and the Liverpool CSCS card
As you chart your path to a CSCS card, you will have to make some important decisions at the NVQ level. There are two paths to the NVQ – the On Site Assessment And Training (OSAT) and the Experienced Worker Professional Assessment (EPWA). Understanding what each involves will help you plan in good time which one is perfect for you.
The OSAT route to Construction NVQs and CSCS card in Liverpool
Of the two routes, the OSAT is by far the more widely used. As the name suggests, the OSAT is carried out at your place of work and this means you do not have to take time off work. The approved assessor will be onsite to look at how you execute different aspects of your job that are relevant to the NVQ you have applied for. The assessor will also look at your interaction with other employees and might consider training courses you have attended in the past. If your skills are up to par, you will be cleared for the NVQ and can proceed to later apply for a CSCS card in Liverpool.
The EPWA route to a Construction NVQ and the Liverpool CSCS card
The EPWA is the fast track to an NVQ and by extension its corresponding CSCS card in Liverpool. Far fewer professionals will qualify to go through the EPWA route to the NVQ than those who qualify via the OSAT.
In fact, EPWA is currently restricted to just a few level 2 NVQs. The EPWA is for construction professionals that have been in the industry for a while – at least 5 years.
Unlike the OSAT where the assessment must be conducted at your place of work, the assessment done via the EPWA route is usually carried out off site under the observation of an approved assessor. Unlike the OSAT route where your competence is assessed via several tasks, in the EPWA, all skills are assessed through a single task.
Before your application for the EPWA is approved, your skills and experience will be evaluated. Independently verifiable documentary proof of what you have done and your skills will come in handy. Documentary proof could be anything from signed witness statements from supervisors and customers, site plans and site photos.
Proof of employment and any formal qualifications you have should be part of the portfolio you submit as part of your EPWA qualification. You should know almost immediately whether you have passed after which you will get your certificate in a couple of days so you can apply for the Liverpool CSCS card. If you are unsuccessful, you will be referred to the OSAT route.