Once you have started your construction career and achieved the Red CSCS Card (Trainee), where do you go next? Unless you are looking at labouring, or doing a site job that requires only basic skills – in which case you will be awarded a Green CSCS Card for Site Operatives, through NVQ Level 1 or employer’s recommendation – you’ll be looking to move up through the Card rankings. Your passage through your trade is marked by the achievement of Construction NVQ Levels and the receipt of coloured Cards – Blue for Skilled Workers, and Gold for both Skilled Workers and Supervisors.
The Blue and Gold CSCS Cards
The Blue CSCS Card denotes the achievement of NVQ Level 2 in your trade. Different trades consider that you have qualified (i.e. finished your period of apprenticeship, and become a full member of the trade) at different levels: some building trades consider you qualified after you have achieved NVQ Level 2, while others, usually with more complex equipment and health and safety requirements, “pass” you when you have achieved NVQ Level 3.
Achievement of NVQ Level 3 in your trade will allow you to apply for a Gold CSCS Card. The Gold Card is awarded, like the Blue, to a Skilled Worker (that’s someone who has completed their apprenticeship and is ready to work as a full member of the trade). You can also apply for a Gold Card if you are aiming at a Supervisory position in your field.
Applying For the Gold CSCS Card as a Supervisor
A Supervisory position carries different health and safety responsibilities than a Skilled Worker position. In addition to the completion of a construction NVQ Level 3 or above in your trade, you’ll need to complete the CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test for Supervisors.
The CSCS Gold Card is valid for five years. The Blue CSCS Card is also valid for five years. Please note that the possession of a Blue Card doesn’t qualify you for a Supervisory position: if you wish to develop a role as a Supervisor in your trade you will follow the Card Route from Red to Blue to Gold. As you achieve higher construction NVQ Levels you will start to learn how to develop a specialty in your field – whether that’s to start your own business or to move into consultation and supervision.
Special Circumstances in Your CSCS Card Route
There are still building trades where a full NVQ or SVQ does not exist. If you are working in one of these trades you will be able to take trade specific modules without completing a whole NVQ or SVQ. In these cases, you will be able to apply for a Blue CSCS Card at Craft Unit Level. All possessors of a Craft Unit CSCS Card are expected to pass the CSCS Test, as are applicants for a full Skilled Worker CSCS Card.
Construction Support Line provides nationwide booking for the CSCS Test, and ECS Test as well as On Site Assessments for NVQ modules.