What is a Carpentry CSCS Card?

A Carpentry CSCS Card is a card that shows that you have the skills required to work safely on site as a carpenter. It means that employers can be sure that the employees and sub-contractors working on their construction sites are competent.

Carpentry CSCS Card

Why do I need a Carpentry CSCS Card?

There has been widespread adoption of the CSCS Card because the CSCS Card scheme has been shown to increase construction site safety and efficiency, and the number of accidents on construction sites has fallen sharply since its introduction.

It is difficult to get work on a construction site if you do not hold one. Around 80% of the construction sites in the UK insist on all workers holding a CSCS Card, including all construction sites operated by the Major Constructors Group (which consists of a number of national developers and contractors) and the Major House Builders Group.

Most carpentry job vacancy adverts will list a valid Carpentry CSCS Card as one of the requirements for any job applicants.

What are the different types of Carpentry CSCS Card?

There are a number of different Carpentry CSCS Cards which reflect the level of competence of the card holders. These are:

  • Red – Trainee
  • Green – Construction Site Operative
  • Blue – Skilled Worker
  • Gold – High Level Skilled Workers and Supervisors
  • Black – Managers

These different types of Carpentry CSCS Card mean that employers can make sure that their employees and sub-contractors have skills that are at the right level for the level of the tasks that they are performing.

The cards can be updated from lower level cards to higher level cards as your career progresses and you gain additional qualifications.

How do I apply for a Carpentry CSCS Card?

All of the Carpentry CSCS Cards other than the Red Carpentry CSCS Card require you to have passed an NVQ in Carpentry. The higher level cards require higher level NVQs:

  • Green – Level 1 NVQ
  • Blue – Level 2 NVQ
  • Gold – Level 3 NVQ
  • Black – Level 4 or higher NVQ

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 Carpentry CSCS Card.

It generally takes around a couple of weeks to get a Carpentry CSCS Card.

Renewing and Updating Carpentry CSCS Cards

Carpentry CSCS Cards are valid for a period of five years, and the Health, Safety & Environment Test needs to be taken again when the card is renewed at the end of the five year period to make sure you are up-to-date with any changes in legislation or working practices.

You can upgrade your Carpentry CSCS Card if you have gained additional qualifications. Upgrading your card, for instance from a Blue, “Skilled Worker” card to a Gold, “Supervisors” card means that more job opportunities will be available to you. You may need to pass a different Health, Safety & Environment Test when you upgrade because some cards require slightly different tests.

image source: flickr

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