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What is the Black CSCS Card?

There are a number of different CSCS Cards that are available and they cover all of the different jobs and roles that there are in the construction sector. The cards are issued as part of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme which is run by the CITB. These CSCS Cards include the Black CSCS Card.

black cscs card

Why do you need to have a CSCS Card?

CSCS Cards are a measure of health and safety knowledge and competence. They record the level of qualification and experience that each construction site worker has. People who have passed the CSCS Test are awarded the CSCS Card as proof of their competency.

A valid CSCS Card is required before you can work on around 80% of construction sites in the UK and virtually all of the major construction sites in the UK require that workers have a CSCS Card. The Major Constructors Group (which consists of a number of national developers and contractors) and the Major House Builders Group both insist on CSCS Cards.

Since the introduction of the CSCS Card, accident rates in the construction sector have fallen, and construction sites are a much safer place to work.

Who is the Black CSCS Card for?

There are different CSCS Cards aimed at different jobs and roles within the construction industry.

The Black CSCS Card is the card that is aimed at people in managerial and senior managerial roles. It shows that the holder of the card has the experience and skills to perform at that level.

Many construction sites will not allow you to work in a managerial position unless you hold a Black CSCS Card. You will have access to many more employment opportunities at a senior level if you are a Black CSCS Card holder than if you are not.

How do you get a Black CSCS Card?

To qualify for the Black CSCS Card you must have achieved an NVQ/SVQ Level 4 or 5 in site management. An alternative is the Profiled Route where you will be assessed based on your experience rather than your qualifications. This assessment takes into account your:

  • CV
  • Qualifications
  • Training history
  • References

The Profiled Route can mean that you get a Black CSCS Card faster than if you had to achieve the qualifications first. In some cases, you can get a Black CSCS Card in as little as two weeks.

Regardless of whether you are applying because you have an NVQ/SVQ or are applying via the Profiled Route, you will also be required to pass the Managerial and Professional Health and Safety test.

You can also apply for the version of the Red CSCS Card which is aimed at experienced managers. This lasts for three years which will give you enough time to achieve the qualifications that you need to upgrade to the Black CSCS Card.

How long does a Black CSCS Card last?

The Black CSCS Card lasts for five years. When it expires, you have to renew it which means that you have to sit (and pass) the Managerial and Professional Health and Safety test again.

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