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CSCS Gold Card — Requirements, Application, Cost (2023)

Talha Riaz

July 03, 2023

Read time : 03 mins

Table of contents

What is a CSCS Gold Card?
CSCS Gold Card Test
How Long Does It Take To Get A CSCS Gold Card?
Job Roles
Cost of a CSCS Gold Card
CSCS Gold Card Renewal


cscs gold card

The construction industry is growing at a fast pace, which means more job opportunities. But the reality is a little different when it comes to acquiring those jobs. Wondering why?

Let me explain…

The opportunities are undoubtedly doubling up, but so is the competition. If you have no competitive edge compared to those applying for the same roles, you would most probably have a hard time landing your dream job.

As the Health and Safety Executive puts it, the UK construction industry faces an average loss of £1.2 billion every year. This is why most companies rely on supervisors to outsource this additional work, ensuring that standards are met and operations are carried out correctly. It shows that site supervisors earn high salaries.

If you want to become a site supervisor on a construction site for a better job position, the CSCS Gold Card can surely give you this edge and help you stand out.

While this might seem complex, in this blog, I have made sure to take you on a journey from building this up from the very scratch to actually getting your CSCS Gold Card.

Let’s get straight into it!

What is a CSCS Gold Card?

A simple explanation for that would be the card indicating that you’re qualified to oversee construction workers and ensure the deliverables are provided following health and safety parameters. 

This understanding is crucial before delving any further into the topic. Let us establish some context – the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) is a third-party organisation that approves the skill levels of construction workers in the United Kingdom. Depending on the particular role an individual wishes to pursue, CSCS issues a card that attests to their academic and practical knowledge. Some people mistakenly believe that CSCS is a government entity, but it is not. Nonetheless, it enjoys high regard within the industry as employers place great value on its recognition.

You may ask, why is that? 

The reason for this lies in the fact that employers would typically be responsible for training their workers on health and safety principles, as well as approving their academic achievements. However, this burden is effectively outsourced to CSCS. By entrusting CSCS with these tasks, employers can ensure that their workers receive comprehensive training and evaluation. Consequently, individuals who possess a CSCS card undoubtedly hold an advantage over those who do not. 

If someone carries a CSCS Gold Card, it signifies that they are qualified to work as either a foreman or a supervisor. Needless to say, they are well-versed in safety protocols that can potentially safeguard their own lives and those of others around them.

Types Of CSCS Gold Cards

Quite often, people use the term “CSCS Gold Card” interchangeably with the supervisor card, which can be a bit misleading. In actuality, there are two distinct types of CSCS Gold Cards, each catering to a specific group of individuals with particular skill sets.
If you’re still unsure what CSCS card you must choose, check out our blog What CSCS Card Do I Need?

Let’s delve into the details of two CSCS gold card types:

1. CSCS Gold Card (Supervisory)

cscs gold card

The CSCS Gold Supervisor Card is most suitable for individuals who are currently working as supervisors on construction projects or those who aspire to assume similar roles in the future.

  • Validity
    This card remains valid for 5 years, after which you’ll need to renew it. There are a variety of CSCS cards, each with its own validity: For more information, learn How Long Does A CSCS Card Last?
  • Eligibility Criteria
    Obtaining a CSCS Gold Card (Supervisory) requires you to fulfil certain prerequisites. These include:

Successfully passing a construction-related supervisory/technical NVQ or SVQ Level 3 or 4.
Clearing the CITB Health, Safety & Environment test. You should specifically book the test for supervisors. For a comprehensive understanding of this test and its contents, we recommend reading this informative blog post: All You Need To Know About A CSCS Card.

2. CSCS Gold Card (Skilled Worker)

cscs gold card skilled worker

Now, if your aim is not to progress into a supervisory role but rather to excel in your existing skill set and gain recognition as an expert, the CSCS Skilled Worker Card is ideal for you. While the CSCS Blue Card also signifies proficiency, the gold card represents the pinnacle of excellence in your craft. It portrays you as an absolute genius in areas such as Decorative Finishing, Formwork, Plant Maintenance, Plastering, and various other specialised operations.

  • Validity

Similar to the supervisor card, this card remains valid for a period of 5 years and requires renewal either within 6 months prior to its expiry or within 6 months after it has expired.

  • Eligibility Criteria

To apply, you’ll need specific documents to demonstrate your qualifications for the card. There are several options that satisfy the requirements:

  1. Either of the following qualifications would work:
  • If you’ve achieved a Construction-related NVQ/SVQ level 3 or SVQ at SCQF level 6, you’re eligible.
  • Completion of an approved apprenticeship will also qualify you.
  • Alternatively, if you’ve finished an employer-sponsored apprenticeship, you meet the criteria.
  1. In addition, it’s mandatory to pass a CITB Health, Safety, and Environment test within the past two years.

CSCS Gold Card Test

Now, let’s delve into the CSCS Gold Card test. Proceed with caution, especially if you’re attempting it for the first time. Failure to do so could result in wasting your money, effort, and time.

Basically, the CSCS Gold Card test refers to the relevant CITB Health, Safety, and Environment test that leads to obtaining the Gold Card. However, there are different types of CITB tests available, making it challenging to determine the most suitable one for you. The primary objective of the CSCS test is to assess your knowledge of health and safety principles. Naturally, the safety protocols expected from a labourer are different from those expected from a manager, aren’t they?

As a labourer, your main concern is your personal safety, whereas a manager must ensure the safety of every team member on the site. Therefore, it’s crucial to identify the specific test that corresponds to your role and leads to acquiring the CSCS Gold Card.

For the supervisory card, you’ll need to pass a specialist CITB test. On the other hand, the Skilled Worker card can be acquired with the operatives test.

How Long Does It Take To Get A CSCS Gold Card?

The time it will take you to obtain the CSCS Gold Card depends on how quickly you complete your qualification and submit your application. Generally, it takes around 3-4 months to finish a Level 3 or 4 qualification. Once you’ve completed your qualification, it will take an additional 3-5 working days for your application to be processed. Therefore, if you’re starting from scratch, it will practically take you approximately 5-6 months to get everything sorted.

However, if you already hold a relevant qualification and are currently in a similar role, you just have to proceed directly to apply for the CSCS gold card. If you’re unsure about the application procedure, I recommend checking out our comprehensive guide, where we outline the steps on how to get the CSCS Card after passing the test. It will provide you with the necessary information to navigate the application process smoothly.

Job Roles After Acquiring A CSCS Gold Card

Here are some roles that you can pursue after you acquire a CSCS Gold card:

  • Site Supervisor
  • Construction Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Estimator
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Health and Safety
  • Officer
  • Plumber
  • Carpenter
  • Painter
  • Bricklayer

These are just a few of the many job roles that are available to those with a CSCS Gold Card.

How Much Does A CSCS Gold Card Cost?

When considering the necessary steps for acquiring a CSCS Gold Card, the first aspect is allocating a budget towards completing the relevant qualifications. Therefore, it’s important to have an understanding of the CSCS Card Price.

In general, construction-related Level 3 or 4 NVQs can be pursued within a price range of £1,000 to £2,000. The exact figures cannot be precisely determined due to the significant variability in qualification costs.

In addition to the qualification fees, there are a few other expenses to account for. Booking a CITB test incurs an additional cost of £22.50, and there is a further application fee of £36 to be paid when applying for the card itself.

Fortunately, there exists an alternative avenue that can considerably reduce your overall expenses – applying for CITB grants. It would be prudent to explore whether you qualify for any grants and potentially secure financial assistance from the esteemed Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). By availing of such grants, you can confidently advance your career without being burdened by the qualification fees.

How to Renew Your CSCS Gold Card?

Facing the imminent expiry of your CSCS card can be a precarious situation, jeopardising your job security and the potential to forge a promising career. It’s therefore imperative that you familiarise yourself with the exact time for initiating your CSCS card renewal process. It ensures you can continue delivering your valuable services as either a supervisor or a skilled worker on construction sites.

It’s worth noting that you have a generous timeframe of one year to complete the renewal process – six months prior to the card’s expiration and six months following its expiration. This duration gives you ample time to meticulously organise your affairs and take the most out of your valid card.

Now, let’s delve into the essential documents you must possess in order to apply for renewal:

  • Completed CSCS Card Renewal Application Form
  • Current CSCS Card
  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Qualifications
  • CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test
  • Present Employment/Workplace Details
  • A Passpot-Size Photograph
  • Credit/Debit card to pay renewal fee

To explore the CSCS card renewal processes in detail, we have a guide that you’d absolutely find helpful.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the role of a site supervisor?
The role of a site supervisor, also known as a foreman, primarily involves in efficiently executing the plans set forth by a construction manager. Additionally, it falls upon the site supervisor to ensure that the deadlines are met and that team members adhere to safety protocols on-site.

What distinguishes the CSCS Gold Card from the CSCS Supervisor Card?
The CSCS Gold Card is part of the broader CSCS scheme and encompasses two specific types: the CSCS Gold Supervisor Card and the CSCS Gold Advanced Craft Card. The term “CSCS Supervisor” is sometimes used interchangeably with the CSCS Gold Card, but this is not exactly the same.

What is meant by a virtual gold card?
CSCS has introduced a new application called “My CSCS,” which eliminates the need to carry a physical card to a construction site. This digital solution allows employers to verify the validity of your CSCS card for the required role.

Can I apply for the card over the phone?
Certainly! You can apply for a CSCS card over the phone. However, this method may potentially delay the arrival of your physical card.

How long is the CSCS Gold Card valid for?
Your CSCS Gold Card remains valid for five years. After this period, you will need to renew your card to continue enjoying the same benefits on construction sites.


After reading this blog, you must have gained a comprehensive understanding of the CSCS Gold Card and its impact on your construction career. You have learned about the criteria and requirements necessary to obtain a Gold card, including the combination of qualifications, experience, and industry knowledge. Furthermore, you have recognised the importance of maintaining up-to-date qualifications to retain their Gold Card status.

Obtaining a CSCS gold card can undoubtedly enhance your resume and set you apart from the competition. Even if you’re already excelling as a foreman or supervisor, acquiring this esteemed card is never a misstep. With a CSCS Gold Card in your possession, you can significantly broaden your job prospects and position yourself at the forefront of employers’ considerations.

Wondering what are other types of CSCS cards? A quick read into this article will certainly clear all your queries.