Applying for CSCS cards
As discussed in our CSCS scheme blog, CSCS cards are a great way for grafters to prove to employers that they have the correct training, qualifications and experience for the job in question. Possession of a CSCS card increases the number of jobs you can apply for – some job postings may require applicants to hold a certain type of CSCS card before they can even be considered.
Now that you know the benefits of the CSCS scheme, there are still some questions to bear in mind. For example, how do you apply? How long does a CSCS card last for? How much do they cost? All of these are covered in our guide to applying for CSCS cards below.
How do you apply?
Before applying for a CSCS card, you need to have passed the appropriate CITB Health, Safety and Environment test for your occupation. The test lasts 45 minutes and includes 50 multiple choice questions. If you have already passed this test, then great! But make sure you have the passed the test within the past two years. If you haven’t, you may be required to retake the test before applying for your CSCS card. If you have not taken this test, you can book your test here
The next step is to send a copy of this qualification – along with any other qualifications you may need for the CSCS card you are applying for – to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re unsure about which card to apply for, or which qualifications you need, you’re in luck. The CSCS scheme have created a very handy tool called cardfinder that tells you which card to apply for, and the specific qualifications you’ll need, based on your profession.
Once you know which card you want to apply for, and you have all the necessary qualifications, the final step is to apply for your card. There are two ways you can do this.
The quickest way is to call CSCS at 0344 994 4777, where you can give your payment details over the phone and pay for the card. Following this, the card will be posted out to you on the next working day. You can also apply by post by downloading an . application form and returning it, along with your payment, to an address that CSCS will provide you with. Tip: this can take up to 15 days, so it’s better to apply over the phone if you can.
How much does it cost?
The two main costs that come with applying for a CSCS card recently increased. While the fee for a CSCS card used to be £30.00, this went up to £36.00 in September 2018. Similarly, the price for the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test increased from £19.50 to £21.00 in June 2018.
These are the standard prices, so be weary if you’re being charged any more than the prices stated here. There are third parties companies that offer card application and test booking services who may charge a little extra for administrative costs. But some companies have been known for tricking people into paying more than they should for their CSCS card. The CSCS scheme found that one third party company in particular had been charging customers an additional £25.50 for the Health, Safety and Environment test for no reason whatsoever. So if you do choose to use a third party company when applying for a CSCS card, be cautious of any additional fees that they charge before proceeding.
How long does a CSCS card last?
This depends on the type of card you’re applying for, but most cards last for five years. You can only renew your CSCS card six months prior to the expiry date and up to six months after the expiry date. So make sure to keep track on how long you have to renew your card to avoid any complications further down the line. To renew your card, you’ll need to retake the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test to demonstrate that you’re still up to date with your health and safety knowledge. Once this is done, the process for renewing your card is the same as if you were applying for a CSCS card for the first time.
What if I’m an employer?
If you’re an employer, you may be interested in ordering multiple CSCS cards for your workforce. Luckily, the CSCS scheme now offers an online employer application form where employers can order cards on behalf of their employees. This form can be used for applying for two or more applications at the same time, and can only be completed online. Once you’ve completed the form, you’ll be contacted by a member of the CSCS scheme by telephone. They’ll collect your payment details and discuss any further queries before sending out the cards. The prices for the cards and the CITB Health, Safety and Environment tests remain at £36.00 and £21.00 respectively.
Grafter is an online worker network, connecting UK businesses with workers. Whether you have a CSCS card or not, Grafter can help you find a variety of different work across six industry sectors. If you’re interested in finding some work for the new year, join the Grafter network today.