A Complete Introduction to the CSCS Scheme and Test

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) has been developed as a means of educating the UK workforce about safe working practices and is specifically designed to reduce the number of accidents in the construction industry. The CSCS test is the final hurdle and must be passed in order to get the coveted CSCS Card. The construction industry is filled with peril and workers that don’t go through this industry standard procedure will find it difficult to gain employment in the UK. The CSCS Card is also an indication of how experienced a worker is in his/her field and most importantly, proves that the individual is safety certified.

CSCS History
The whole idea of coming up with the CSCS test to prove an employee is well trained in safety procedures originated in the 1990s. The construction industry comprises a number of different trades (over 300 in all) and at that time, there were no standardised health and safety tests in place. With an alarming number of accidents taking place in these fields, it was deemed essential to have an all-encompassing safety monitoring system. This is how the CSCS test was born. It was seen as a single measurement of experience and ability and enabled the industry to conjure up a qualification that could be seen as a benchmark across the board.

Why Do I Need To Pass The CSCS Test?
In a nutshell, the CSCS test is now deemed to be the industry standard so if you fail to get your CSCS Card, finding a job in the construction industry will be exceedingly difficult. At the beginning of the 21st Century, the Deputy Prime Minister decided that a comprehensive review of the construction industry in the UK was required. This review found that a standardised health and safety test was essential with the CSCS test and card recommended. More than 80% of UK sites are happy to accept the CSCS Card as the only proof that an employee has completed the required health and safety requirements. Passing the CSCS test also proves that the employee is trained to a level that corresponds with their employment position.

What Lies Ahead For The CSCS Test?
Because the CSCS test has been implemented for more than 10 years, it has undergone a recent review. When the test was first introduced, there were some teething problems because sites were not always able to understand the differences between the different card levels. However, the CSCS Card has kept up to date with modern technological advances and now contains an electronic chip which enables construction sites to quickly and effectively look through a prospective employee’s previous work history.

In the first few years of the CSCS test scheme, UK construction sites had signs that said ‘No CSCS Card, No Work’. In the new age, this sign now says something along the lines of ‘Wrong Card, No Work’. Although it may be seen as a gross inconvenience for employees, the CSCS test does protect you from harm by educating you on the various pitfalls associated with the construction industry.

How To Apply For The CSCS Test
If you wish to apply for a CSCS Card and join the estimated 1.5 million UK workers that possess it, you need to complete a health and safety test. The actual CSCS test you take depends entirely on your role and experience because there are various CSCS Cards. You will need to go online and find out the specific requirements of your job before you begin studying for the CSCS test. For example, if you wish to apply for the Blue Card, you will need a level 2 SVQ or NVQ in the appropriate area or else you will need a qualification specific to your industry which is accepted as meeting the same level of experience. It is also necessary to pass the ConstructionSkills Health, Safety and Environment Test before being eligible to apply for a CSCS Card.