Different Types Of CSCS Cards Explained | Trade Safety

CSCS Cards: What Type of Qualification Do You Require?

Trade Safety Training & Sales has been founded upon the principle that no factor should be taken for granted when referring to health and safety within the construction sector. Not only is this important to meet the current legal guidelines, but potentially serious and even fatal accidents can be avoided. This is why Trade Safety Training & Sales offers a second-to-none level of knowledge in regards to the latest industry standards. One of the issues which our team covers involve CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) cards. These cards are used to illustrate that the individual in question possesses the proper knowledge and training required to carry out tasks within a construction environment. As there are numerous types of CSCS cards, it is wise to take a closer look at the 12 different categories as well as what each encompasses.

What CSCS Card do I Need?


Green CSCS cards are considered to represent the basic entry-level requirement for those who wish to work on a construction site. Obtaining this card will normally require a recommendation from an employer.


Blue denotes a semi-skilled worker. This card is also associated with the previous achievement of a Level 2 NVQ or SVQ. Certifications from the City & Guilds scheme may likewise be present.

Gold (Skilled Worker)

Skilled workers who have already completed an employer-sponsored apprenticeship may obtain this card. The same holds true for those who possess or a Level 3 SVQ or NVQ qualification. Those who have been granted an Advance Crafts Certificate from City & Guilds may also apply for this card.

Gold (Supervisor)

Similar to the above, candidates will need to possess a Level 3 NVQ or SVQ. However, the main difference is that they must also have gained experience within a supervisory position (such as a foreman or site manager).


Black CSCS cards are used to denote senior positions within the construction sector. Holders of this care will need to have completed a Level 4 or Level 5 certification in site management.


Also known as a Professional Qualified Person (PQP) card, this title highlights that the individual has a working knowledge of relevant health and safety procedures within the construction sector. Some titles which are associated with this card include surveyors, consultants, engineers, and architects.


This more “generic” certification is often referred to as a Construction-Related Occupation (CRO) card. In other words, it is used to display the exact title of the individual in question. This card will often be issued when one’s responsibilities do not fall into common CSCS categories.


Those who are granted a yellow CSCS card are considered to be visitors on a construction site. They will normally not possess any type of recognised industry experience.

Red (Trainee)

RED CSCS cards are used to highlight those individuals who are considered to be trainees within the construction sector. The most common example involves someone who has not yet completed his or her Level 2 or 3 NVQ or SVQ. This certification may also indicate that the cardholder is currently studying to obtain a specific qualification (such as within a university or trade school).

Red (Graduate)

Those who have been granted a red CSCS card are recognised as graduates within supervisory, technical or management fields. These cards are valid for three years and they illustrate that the individual in question has successfully completed some type of construction-related course offered by a nationally accredited institution.

Red (Experienced Worker)

Workers who possess one year of experience within the construction sector can apply for this card. However, keep in mind that they will also need to have been granted an NVQ or SVQ certification. This card is valid for a single year and it is provided after one has successfully completed the CSCS examination. The test consists of 35 questions and these must be completed within 45 minutes.

The Numerous Types of CSCS Cards: A Kaleidoscope of Options

Getting a CSCS card is extremely important in terms of health and safety within the construction sector. However, we also need to point out that they are now required in order to gain access to the industry itself. The good news is that it is quite easy to book a course at your local CITB Health, Safety & Environment test centre. Not only will you be provided with the latest practical knowledge, but the fact of the matter is that these cards are excellent ways to demonstrate your overall level of competency.

However, there may be other certifications that you are interested in obtaining. If you would like to learn more or to speak with one of the representatives at Trade Safety Training, please contact a representative at your convenience.

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