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How To Get A CSCS Card After Passing The Test

Talha Riaz

May 26, 2023

Read time : 04 mins

Table of contents

How Much Do You Need To Pay?
When Will You Receive Your Card?
How Long Does The CSCS Card Last?
How Can I Renew My Card?


Competence is rarely the issue when it comes to obtaining a CSCS card in the UK. Instead, it is the ability to navigate the process effectively that poses a challenge. Surprisingly, a staggering 40% of CSCS cardholders in the UK actually possess the wrong card. This statistic suggests that many individuals struggle with correctly completing the application process. 

Just imagine, one out of every three people in the construction industry, despite having been a part of it for some time, are clueless about the proper procedure for obtaining a CSCS card.

This step-by-step guide will effortlessly lead you towards obtaining your very own CSCS card. With our assistance, you can navigate through the application process with ease and confidence. So why wait? Let’s get started!

What Are The Steps To Obtaining The CSCS Card?

CSCS cards are of 13 different types, which can make it quite challenging to determine the correct application process for any particular card. Let’s dive into a four step process that will guide you towards obtaining your very own CSCS card.

Step 1: Select A Card Relevant To Your Role

You definitely wouldn’t want to find yourself among the 40 percent of people who had absolutely no clue and relied solely on their gut feeling, would you? So, it’s crucial that you determine the specific role you’re aiming to pursue. Whether you’re already in that role or aspiring to work towards it, one thing is certain: you need to have a clear destination in mind. Without a precise understanding of why you need this card, you’ll likely miss the mark.

Thankfully, CSCS has developed a handy tool called “Card Finder” to make your life easier. By utilising this tool, you can identify the card that aligns with your desired role. But that’s not all—the tool goes a step further and recommends the CITB Health, Safety, and Environment test that you need to take. 

All you have to do is input your occupation or qualification into the tool, and it will analyse the information and present you with the most suitable card for your role. For example, if you’ve obtained a Level 1 Health and Safety in a Construction Environment qualification, the tool will suggest a Green Card option. Likewise, if you enter any other qualification, it will provide you with a card that you should strive to attain.

This tool takes the guesswork out of the equation, ensuring that you’re on the right track from the very beginning. It’s a valuable resource that streamlines the card selection process, saving you time and effort.

Step 2: Complete The Relevant Qualification

Once you have a clear understanding of the precise requirements to pursue your desired CSCS card, the next step is to enrol on a relevant qualification or training program. The duration of this process will depend on the level of qualification you aim to achieve. 

For instance, you might be able to complete the necessary qualification for a CSCS Green Card in just one day and be on your way. However, if you’re aiming for a Level 3, 4, or 5 qualification to obtain a CSCS Black Card, the timeline would be quite different. In such cases, you might have to invest months or even years into the work, especially if you’re aspiring for a managerial role.

It’s essential to allocate yourself sufficient time based on the requirements of your chosen qualification. Realism is key when it comes to setting a deadline for completing the qualification. Rushing through the process may compromise the quality of your learning and ultimately hinder your chances of obtaining the desired card. Therefore, it’s important to strike a balance between efficiency and ensuring that you grasp the necessary knowledge and skills.

Step 3: Pass the CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test

As discussed in Step 1 how the Card Finder tool can also suggest the CITB Health, Safety, and Environment test you need to take. Now, let’s discuss the CITB test in detail that comes in three different types: 

  • Operatives
  • Specialists
  • Managers and Professionals

Sometimes, this variety can lead to confusion among applicants, causing them to select the wrong test and consequently apply for the wrong card. So, it’s important to double-check which CITB test the tool recommended and stick with that recommendation.

Now, you might be wondering what this test entails. Essentially, it’s designed to assess your knowledge of health and safety principles essential for working on construction sites. Of course, the content of the test will differ depending on the role you’re pursuing. For instance, a manager would need to study topics like behavioural psychology and occupational health governance in addition to the subjects covered by an operative.

Step 4: Apply For The Card

So, assuming you’ve been diligently following the steps in the proper sequence, it’s now time to gather all the necessary documents to prepare yourself for the application process. These are the documents you must have before you proceed any further:

  1. Scanned copy of your qualification certificate or proof that you’re registered on a construction-related qualification.
  2. The CITB Test ID number, which you can find at the top of your passing certificate.
  3. Lastly, make sure you have a debit or credit card handy to pay the application fee of £36.

Gathering these documents ahead of time will save you from any last-minute scrambling or delays. Once you have the necessary documents prepared, let’s get onto the real thing – APPLICATION!

There are two ways you can apply for a CSCS card:

1. Online Application

Create an Account:

The first step is to create an account on the CSCS online portal. Once you’re on the portal, you’ll be prompted to select who you’re creating the account for. For example, if you’re applying for yourself, go ahead and choose the “Individual” option. On the other hand, if you’re creating an account on behalf of your employees, opt for the “Employer” account. Just remember, before you dive into the process, make sure you have all the relevant documents with you.

Once you’ve selected the appropriate account type, it’s time to provide your personal details. Fill in the necessary information and hit the “Register” button. You’re one step closer to obtaining your CSCS card. Shortly after registering, keep an eye on your inbox because you’ll receive an email. Make sure to verify your email address by following the instructions provided, and you’re good to go!

create an account for cscs

Select a Card:

Click on the “Apply for a card” button located at the top right corner. From there, choose the specific card you wish to apply for. If you’re uncertain about which card to pursue at this stage, don’t feel pressured to decide quickly. Take your time and utilise the Card Finder to identify the appropriate card.

Proceed with the application only when you’re absolutely certain about your choice.

Provide your qualification details, and the system will prompt you to upload a qualification certificate. Additionally, you’ll need to select the CITB test you have booked, enter the testing ID, and provide your postcode to verify your test information.

select cscs card

Add the Necessary Details: 

Since you have already provided your personal details, certain sections of this page will be automatically populated. This is where you can specify the desired address for CSCS to send your card.

fill details for cscs card

Review your Application:

Take a moment to carefully double-check all the details you’ve provided in your application. Make sure your personal information, qualifications, and any other relevant information are accurate and up to date. This way, you can avoid any unwanted delays in the processing of your application.

By reviewing your application thoroughly now, you’ll save yourself from the frustration of waiting longer for your card due to avoidable errors.

review cscs application

Make a Payment:

Now it’s time to proceed with the payment for your card. Please enter your credit/debit card details and continue with the payment process. Keep in mind that all CSCS card applications have a cost of £36. If any organisation requests a higher payment, it’s highly likely that they are offering additional benefits on top of the application.

cscs card final application form

To ensure a smooth and timely process, it’s important that you follow these 5 steps in chronological order. By adhering to the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can expect to receive your CSCS card and be ready to apply for your dream job within a maximum of 3-5 days. However, if any step is not carried out exactly as instructed, it could lead to errors and potential delays. In such cases, additional approvals and verifications may be required to rectify the situation and get the process back on track.

2. Over the Phone

If you’re someone who isn’t very tech-savvy and prefers sticking to traditional methods, there’s an option for you to apply for a CSCS card after passing the test over the phone. The process for online application is hassle-free and quick, requiring minimal human involvement. 

To apply over the phone, all you need to do is call the helpline at 0344 994 4777 to apply for the CSCS card. Additionally, make sure you have a functioning email address before speaking to a CSCS agent on the call, as you will be required to verify your email. Normally, it takes around 3-5 days to receive your card, but if you choose to apply over the phone, the waiting time may extend to up to 10 days.

How Much Do You Need To Pay?

To apply for any CSCS card, you’ll need to pay £36. However, it’s important not to confuse this fee with the separate cost of £22.50 for booking the CITB Health, Safety Environment test. When you combine the charges for the test and the application, the total will come to £58.50.

Besides that, the price mentioned above does not include the cost of the qualification required for the card you’re applying for. This qualification fee needs to be paid separately. Nevertheless, there are some organisations that can assist you throughout the entire process, including applying for the CSCS card on your behalf. If you opt for a CSCS Green Card, you can take advantage of this option and let the company handle the A-Z processing on your behalf.

For a thorough guide on understanding the expenses associated with different CSCS cards, we suggest giving this blog post a thorough read.

When Will You Receive Your Card?

The time it takes to receive your card actually depends on how you choose to apply for it. If you opt for the online portal and submit your application online, the approval process usually takes no more than 3-5 days. It’s a relatively quick and convenient option

Contrarily, if you decide to apply over the phone, there are some additional checks that need to be done on your end, which can end up causing some delays. In this scenario, you might have to wait for up to 10 working days before your application is processed and approved.

Applying online is generally the faster route, so if you’re eager to receive your card as soon as possible, that’s the recommended method. But if you choose the phone option, be prepared for a slightly longer wait due to the extra checks involved.

How Long Does The CSCS Card Last?

CSCS cards come in various types, and the duration of validity differs depending on the card you have. The majority of these cards are valid for a solid 5 years, which gives you a good amount of time to benefit from them. On the other end of the scale, there are also cards with shorter durations, typically lasting for just 6 months. The maximum validity period for any CSCS card is 5 years. Before you apply for the CSCS card, you must learn about How Long Does A CSCS Card Last?

So, in essence, we can say that the time frame for these cards falls within the range of 6 months to 5 years, with the majority expiring after the 5 year mark. It’s crucial to keep track of the expiration date on your card and plan accordingly for its renewal to ensure continued access to relevant benefits and opportunities.

How Can I Renew My Card?

You must prioritise the renewal process as it plays a vital role in ensuring the continuity of your CSCS card. The CSCS has specific timeframes within which they accept renewal applications, making it crucial to adhere to these guidelines. For instance, if your card expires and surpasses the 6-month mark, you won’t be able to renew it. To maintain an active CSCS card, you have two options: renew it up to 6 months before its expiry date or within 6 months after its expiry.

When submitting your renewal application, you need to attach supporting documents that validate your previous cardholder status. These documents serve as evidence of your eligibility for the renewal process. Here is a complete breakdown of the steps you need to follow to renew your CSCS card.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are CSCS and CITB tests the same?

While CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) and CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) are closely related, they are not the same thing. CSCS is the scheme that provides certification and issues CSCS cards, which demonstrate an individual’s competence in the construction industry. On the other hand, CITB is an organisation that develops and manages the tests required to obtain a CSCS card. So, the CSCS test is administered by CITB, but they are separate entities.

Which card is best for me?

The best CSCS card for you depends on your occupation and level of experience in the construction industry. CSCS offers a range of cards tailored to different roles and skill levels, such as the Green Labourer Card, Blue Skilled Worker Card, Gold Supervisor Card, and Black Manager Card, among others. To determine the most suitable card for you, consider your job role and the qualifications or certifications you possess. 

Can I get a CSCS card on the employer’s recommendation?

Yes, you can get a CSCS card on the employer’s recommendation. If your employer is willing to sponsor you, you can take the CSCS test and apply for a card without having to provide any evidence of qualifications or experience. This route is set to expire on 31st December, 2024 – so, this isn’t suggested. 

How will this card help me grow professionally?

Holding a CSCS card can greatly enhance your professional growth in the construction industry. The card serves as proof of your competence, skills, and commitment to health and safety standards. It demonstrates that you have passed the required tests and possess the necessary knowledge to carry out your job safely and effectively. Having a CSCS card can improve your employability, as many employers and contractors require it as a prerequisite for hiring. It can also open doors to better job opportunities, career progression, and higher wages, as it showcases your dedication to professionalism in the construction industry.

What is the fastest way to get a CSCS card?

The fastest way to obtain a CSCS card is to efficiently follow the key steps. Firstly, you’ll need to determine the most appropriate card for your occupation and level of experience. Next, you should prepare for and pass the relevant CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test. Once you’ve successfully completed the test, you can apply for the CSCS card online or over the phone, ensuring that you provide all the required documentation and meet the specific card’s criteria. Applying online is often quicker, as it allows for faster processing and reduces the chances of errors or delays in the application.


The application process might seem intimidating at first, but we’ve got your back. This guide we’ve created covers every aspect you’ll come across during your journey. You’ve read it thoroughly, so you’re well-prepared for whatever comes your way.

Go ahead and take the next step. Submit your application, complete any additional requirements, and then await the arrival of your CSCS card. Remember, this card is more than just a piece of plastic—it’s a symbol of your hard work, dedication, and expertise. Once you have your CSCS card in hand, make sure to keep it safe and carry it with you to every worksite. Embrace the confidence that comes with knowing you have met the industry standards and are an integral part of the construction workforce.

Want us to apply for a CSCS Green Card on your behalf? Check out the premium plan of the course.