Construction Skills Certification Scheme Definition | EcoOnline US
Health & Safety Glossary

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)


What is the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)?

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) LogoThe Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) is a British, limited liability company that offers training and qualification verification schemes that are commonly used throughout the construction industry in Britain. 

The company is renowned for its CSCS card, which is a smart card that serves as evidence that the holder has received a particular level of health and safety training that’s relevant for the construction industry.

Currently, there are more than 1.6 million individuals who possess the CSCS card.  

What is the Importance of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)?

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) is quite important for people who want to pursue a career in the construction industry. 

Most clients and contractors generally require some sort of evidence or proof that employees have received appropriate training or qualification that’s relevant to their construction role.

By holding an appropriate CSCS card, an individual can provide evidence of their health and safety training. All cards are issued depending on a qualified construction qualification, and are valid for a period of five years. 

Individuals can reapply and renew their cards after the 5-year period expires. The company also offers temporary card types that are available with different validity periods, primarily targeted towards individuals who are studying for a recognized construction qualification. 


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The History of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme was originally incorporated as a limited liability company in early 1995. The company started by offering smart cards to construction workers, which served as a proof of their qualification and training.

The primary purpose of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme was to provide qualifications to construction workers throughout the UK and to ensure that they were able to gain a suitable education and a qualification that suited their role. 

Since 1997, the scheme has been overseen and administered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). After a series of deaths in the construction industry, the government took action against major contractors, which led to many contractors moving towards a carded policy. 

As a result, they began requiring every worker on site to have a CSCS card to prove their overall competence in the health and safety department. This increased interest in CSCS, and originally, the company welcomed it. 

However, the vast majority of the cards issued at the time were for categories that required a simple touchscreen test. This led the company to deviate from its original objective of offering qualifications to construction workers. 

There was also an additional requirement for visitors to possess a CSCS card when visiting a construction site, which led to the company issuing more than 120,000 cards, more than it ever planned on doing. 

In 2012, after a new chief executive took over, the company discontinued its operatives cards, focusing on cards that required a level 1 qualification at least. Another category of cards, with a total circulation supply of 350,000, was also discontinued in 2017. 

As a result, the company began to move towards skilled occupations cards, and started to focus more towards individuals that wanted to seek a relevant qualification in the construction industry. 

How to Get a CSCS Card

There are different qualifications that an applicant must possess before they’re eligible for a CSCS card, since the qualification varies. At the very least, you must pass a CITB health safety and environment test, and individuals must pass a CITB Health and Safety Awareness Training Course.

Other cards, such as one required for a technical manager, obviously requires prior qualifications before a person can apply for the card. 

Ensure All Workers Have the CSCS Card with EcoOnline’s Health & Safety Software

EcoOnline’s Health & Safety Software allows organizations to easily maintain lists of all personnel on different sites, including their qualifications.

The modular software makes it easy for organizations to maintain records of all employees and their CSCS qualifications. It can also be used for maintaining asset registers, and for recording, reporting, and investigating incidents in the workplace to ensure worker safety.