The Construction Skills and Certification Scheme test is an initiative that was developed in 1995 as a means of reducing the number of accidents that took place on UK construction sites. It was believed that a rigorous health and safety test was needed in order to improve employee knowledge and decrease the number of foolish accidents. It was discovered that lack of knowledge was the main reason why there were so many accidents in the first place.
At the beginning, the CSCS card was optional but since 2007, it has become mandatory. Very few construction sites within the UK will hire anyone lacking a CSCS card as it is a qualification that proves the holder is competent enough to work in their role. Hiring someone without this card is a chance few companies are willing to take. This is especially the case in an era where a compensation culture is prevalent.
Types of CSCS Cards
There are a vast number of CSCS cards, each of which has its own distinguishable colour. The card you apply for depends on your role within the construction industry. For instance, a green card is for general employees who have basic skills. A yellow card is for frequent visitors to sites including engineers and architects. The black card is for senior managers and so on.
Getting A CSCS Card
There is no great mystery when it comes to attaining this qualification. After all, more than 1.75 million CSCS cards are currently in use within the UK so it is hardly a difficult qualification to get if you are dedicated. In order to earn your card, it is necessary to pass a designated Health, Safety and Environment test related to your role. This exam takes the form of a multiple choice quiz where you have 45 minutes to answer all the questions. Each examination takes placed in a dedicated testing centre with special computer screens set up for each applicant. All you need to do is touch the screen to answer the question.
The fee for the test varies though there are some organisations that charge less than £20 depending on your role. After you have passed this exam, you are free to apply for the card. Each CSCS card has your information on it and can be scanned by a hiring panel at a construction site to ensure it is up to date and is the right card for your position. In a nutshell, it is your passport to a career in the construction industry. As you climb the corporate ladder, you will perhaps need to update your CSCS card to reflect your new role so you may need to take further tests.
After you have applied for your CSCS card, it could take up to a month to receive it and this is only if you have provided the right details including your CSCS Test Pass Certificate, 2 passport photos and other relevant documents. However, there are fast-track delivery services available that can deliver the card within 10 working days.