Hard Landscaping CSCS Card: The Basics
A Hard Landscaping CSCS Card proves that you have the necessary skills to work in hard landscaping. There are different grades of card for different jobs. CSCS Cards mean that employers can be sure that any employees and sub-contractors working on their construction sites are competent to perform the tasks that they are given.
Why Were Hard Landscaping CSCS Cards Introduced?
Historically, the construction industry had a problem with high accident rates. The CSCS scheme was introduced to provide a way to benchmark construction workers’ skill and expertise.
Since the scheme’s introduction, the accident rate in the construction industry has fallen, and construction sites are now much safer places to work.
Do I Need a Hard Landscaping CSCS Card?
There has been widespread adoption of the CSCS Card in the construction industry. Around 80% of the construction sites in the UK insist on a CSCS Card before you are allowed on site. This includes virtually all of the major construction sites.
If all of your work is on private gardens, you may not need a Hard Landscaping CSCS Card. However, if you are working on larger projects such as parks or shopping centres, you will find it difficult to get work without one.
Most job vacancy adverts stipulate that applicants must hold a valid CSCS Card as a requirement.
Even if they do not stipulate it as a requirement, obviously an applicant with a CSCS Card will be more likely to get the job than an applicant without one because the CSCS Card will prove to the employer that they are competent.
How do I get a Hard Landscaping CSCS Card?
With the exception of the Red Hard Landscaping CSCS Card (provided to workers who have passed the operative CSCS test and are training for an NVQ), to get a Hard Landscaping CSCS Card you need to have passed an NVQ.
The NVQ required depends on which level of Hard Landscaping CSCS Card that you are applying for, with higher level NVQs being required for the higher level CSCS Cards.
In addition to the NVQ, you must also have passed a Health, Safety & Environment Test. This test must also be passed if you want to apply for a red trainee CSCS card.
As long as you fulfil the requirements, it generally takes around a couple of weeks to get a Hard Landscaping CSCS Card.
Renewing and Updating Hard Landscaping CSCS Cards
Hard Landscaping CSCS Cards are valid for a period of five years, and must be renewed at the end of that period if you want to carry on working in the industry.
To renew the card, you need to take the Health, Safety & Environment Test again. This ensures that you are up-to-date with any changes in legislation or working practices.
You can upgrade your Hard Landscaping CSCS Card if you have passed a higher level NVQ. This gives you more job opportunities because you will be able to apply for more technically advanced and senior positions in the industry.
If you work as a site supervisor or manager, some of the higher level cards may require a slightly different Health, Safety & Environment Test – either the specialist supervisor test or the Managers and Professionals test, so you may need to take another test if you decide to upgrade.
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