July 04, 2023
Read time : 03 mins
There’s this common misconception in the industry that you gotta have those National Vocational Qualifications under your belt to obtain a CSCS Card.
Let me break that myth – NVQs aren’t necessarily a must-have to get a CSCS card.
Note: Going through the NVQ route definitely has its perks as it opens doors to other types of CSCS cards.
In this blog post, we’re gonna dig deep into the CSCS White Card. We’ll get to know different types of white cards, so we can figure out which one fits your current gig. We’ll also walk you through the whole process of getting the CSCS White Card.
Ready to hop aboard? Let’s get started!
A quick overview of the CSCS — a Construction Skills Certification Scheme operating within the United Kingdom. This scheme grants cards to construction workers, serving as a testament to their exceptional proficiency in their respective trades. While it’s not legally mandated, the CSCS is widely recognised throughout the UK and therefore holds considerable significance. This explains why workers often strive to obtain these cards, enabling them to distinguish themselves and demonstrate their valuable skill sets to prospective employers.
Among the array of CSCS cards available, the CSCS White Card holds a prominent position. Like any other card, it serves as an indicator that the bearer is well-suited for their role.
Now that we have a general understanding of the CSCS and its purpose, let us delve deeper into the specifics of the white card. This particular card serves as tangible evidence that you possess the necessary academic or professional qualifications and possess comprehensive knowledge of health and safety principles vital for working on construction sites. The CSCS White Card can be further divided into two distinct categories, which we shall explore in greater detail later in this guide.
The CSCS White Card, although not legally required to access construction sites in the UK, has become increasingly sought after by construction companies over the years. This is because they want to maintain high standards of health and safety by employing only CSCS-certified workers. As a result, the demand for these cards has significantly increased.
In order to obtain most of these cards, you are usually required to complete a relevant NVQ, pass a health and safety test, and apply for the card. However, even if you don’t currently hold an NVQ, you can still work towards obtaining a CSCS White Card.
Are you academically or professionally competent? The CSCS White Card can greatly enhance your job prospects, potentially doubling your opportunities. It serves as tangible proof of your commitment to safety and competence in the construction industry. So, investing your time and effort into acquiring this card can undoubtedly pay off in the long run.
Based on your academic qualifications or professional affiliation, the CSCS White Card is divided into two types.
Contrary to popular thought, you don’t necessarily need an NVQ to pursue a CSCS Card, and the CSCS White Card is an example of that. If you hold a college degree in construction-related courses, you can obtain a CSCS White Card. This goes the extra mile by allowing you to register yourself as a CSCS card holder, even if you have completed a relevant HND, HNC, or even obtained the CIOB or NEBOSH certificates. While your practical expertise may lag behind those with an NVQ background, having an academic advantage can still set you apart in the field. This card attests that you are capable of managing operations without direct supervision.
The AQP card remains valid for 5 years, and you must renew it before it expires. You have a 6-month window before the card’s expiry and 6 months after it expires to complete the renewal process. Otherwise, you will have to apply for the card from scratch. The next section will cover the process of applying for a CSCS White Card.
To be eligible for the CSCS White Card (AQP), you must have the following documents:
– Scanned copy of the qualification certificate (HND, HNC, CIOB, or NEBOSH diplomas or certificates)
– Passed CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test or possess a CIC Health and Safety Certification
Do you meet the criteria? If so, you’re good to go.
This category is specifically designed for individuals who are members of approved CSCS professional bodies. The list of approved bodies includes the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), etc.
The PQP card is also valid for 5 years, but you don’t have the option to renew it yet. In order to continue enjoying the same privileges, you will need to reapply for the CSCS White Card (Professionally Qualified Person).
To apply for a CSCS White Card (PQP), you must possess the following documents:
– Proof that you are a member of one of the approved professional bodies. This can be a membership certificate, a membership card, a payment receipt for membership of the current calendar year, or a screenshot showing your current membership from the official website of the awarding body.
– Passed a CITB Health, Safety and Environment test or carry a CIC Health and Safety Certification.
Are you professionally qualified? Every day you wait and intentionally delay is costing you your dream job. You’re just one step away from becoming a recognised CSCS White card holder. Don’t know how to apply for the card? Here’s how you can apply for the CSCS card after passing the test.
Getting a CSCS White Card involves three essential stages that you need to follow in a specific order. Let’s dive into the details of how to select the right card and apply for it through the online CSCS portal.
1. Select The Required White CSCS Card
First and foremost, you need to determine if you meet the eligibility criteria for the CSCS White Card. I’ve provided a list of required documents for each type of CSCS White Card in this post. Take a moment to read through it and understand what you’ll need to begin your journey.
Have you decided whether you want to pursue the AQP or PQP card? If so, then the next stage awaits you!
2. Book a CSCS White Card test
Now that you have chosen the CSCS White Card that suits your background and previous job experience, it’s time to sit for the CSCS White Card Test. In this stage, it’s crucial to select the appropriate health and safety test. Many people mistakenly book a test that isn’t relevant to their desired role, which can cause delays and additional expenses. To avoid this, use the CSCS Card Finder online application. By entering your qualifications or current role, you’ll instantly know which CITB test you need to take.
For individuals with academic or professional qualifications, the CITB Managers and Professionals Health, Safety and Environment tests are necessary. This test assesses your understanding of the health and safety principles expected from you in your specific role.
Alternatively, if you prefer, you can choose an alternative certification, such as the CIC Health & Safety Certification, to demonstrate your knowledge of the required health and safety measures.
3. Submit An Application
Once you have successfully completed the test or obtained an alternative certification, it’s time to apply for the White Card. You can either call 0344 994 4777 and provide the required details to an agent or apply online through the CSCS portal. Make sure you have all the necessary documents ready before you begin the process. In addition to the documents mentioned earlier, you’ll need a functioning email address and a credit/debit card to pay the £36 application fee.
Applying online is not only easy but also fast. Once your application is approved, you can expect to receive your card within 3-5 working days. If there are any delays, it might take up to 10 days.
If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide on how to apply for the card, we have a blog post that simplifies the entire process. It will help you navigate through the online portal and complete your application with ease. Check this blog post on filing an online application the right way
Have you ever pondered whether carrying a CSCS card is merely a show of extravagance or if it genuinely brings tangible value to the table? If the idea of obtaining a CSCS White Card has crossed your mind, allow me to enlighten you on how it can benefit you in ways you may not have previously imagined.
1. More Job Opportunities
Beginning with the realm of job opportunities it opens up to you. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) predicts demand for over 225,000 workers in the construction sector by 2027, highlighting the immense potential within this industry. However, given this demand-supply gap, many individuals are already striving to secure employment within this sector.
Now, how can you differentiate yourself and convey that you’re not just another face in the crowd? This is where the CSCS White Card comes into play. Not only does it communicate that you possess the necessary academic qualifications, but it also demonstrates your comprehensive knowledge of health and safety principles, setting you apart from the rest.
2. Enhanced Safety Standards
Enhanced safety standards are of paramount importance. Regrettably, the construction sector in Great Britain experienced a staggering 3,502 insolvencies in 2019 alone, marking the highest recorded figure. To mitigate these losses, construction companies seek employees who are well-versed in safety principles, ensuring the well-being of themselves and those around them. By adhering to these principles, the burden on the already struggling economic side of the industry is lessened.
3. Get Paid A Handsome Salary
Some construction sites in the UK now require their workers to hold a valid CSCS card, making it a prerequisite for growth and advancement. Relying solely on your academic qualifications can severely hinder your chances in such scenarios. Acquiring a CSCS card opens up access to these sites and broadens your horizons, providing you with a wider range of prospects. Without it, you may find yourself limited to roles that fall within your eligibility criteria, restricting your potential.
By investing a little effort into obtaining a CSCS White Card, you can save yourself from the hassle of juggling low-paying positions. Instead, you can secure a position that offers you the remuneration you truly deserve.
So, you see, a CSCS card is not just a frivolous accessory; it holds genuine value and can greatly impact your career trajectory.
The cost for applying through this scheme, including the CSCS White Card, is £36.
Now, here’s where you have a choice to make. You can provide a passed certificate for the CITB test for Managers and Professionals, which will cost you £22.50. Alternatively, you can opt for the CIC test, but be prepared to shell out £50 for that.
However, if you’re inclined to take an economical approach, you can acquire a CSCS White Card for as little as £58.5. Bear in mind, though, this doesn’t include any qualifications required for your desired role. You’ll have to separately pay a relevant training body to obtain those qualifications.
It’s essential to consider the CSCS Card Price alongside the benefits and opportunities. So, weigh your options carefully before making a decision.
If you hold a CSCS White Card (Professionally Qualified Person), renewal isn’t an option. You’ll have to go through the whole application process again, just like you did the first time around. Instead, if you are an AQP holder, there is a renewal process to follow.
To kick things off, head over to the CSCS website and fill out the renewal application form. Make sure to attach proof that you currently possess a similar CSCS card, provide all the necessary details, and submit your application. If you’re up for it, you can even utilise the convenience of the online CSCS portal to smoothly process your card renewal application.
Now, if you’re seeking a more comprehensive understanding of the entire card renewal procedure, including the specific documents you’ll need, look no further than the CSCS Card Renewal guide. This will surely steer you in the right direction and help you navigate your way through the renewal process.
The CSCS White Card is specifically designed for individuals who may not have obtained an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) but possess academic or professional qualifications.
NVQs are qualifications that assess one’s competence in a specific role and typically require individuals to provide evidence of performing tasks within that role. They are more focused on practical applications, although there is a relatively small proportion of theoretical components found in HNDs (Higher National Diplomas) and HNCs (Higher National Certificates).
Here’s where we draw the line – the CSCS White Card caters to those with an academic background who may not have completed an NVQ. However, if someone aims to obtain a CSCS Black Card, they must pursue a relevant NVQ qualification.
So, the CSCS White Card serves as an avenue for academically or professionally qualified individuals who haven’t necessarily undergone the NVQ route, while the CSCS Black Card is aligned with the attainment of a suitable NVQ qualification.
Can I apply for the CSCS White Card online?
Absolutely! You can easily apply for the CSCS White Card through the online CSCS Portal. It’s a speedy process, and once your application receives initial approval, you can expect to receive your card within 3-5 working days.
What is the CSCS White Card test?
The CSCS White Card test refers to the health and safety assessment that learners are required to take. Specifically, for CSCS White card, it’s known as the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test for Managers and Professionals (MAP). It ensures that individuals possess the necessary knowledge to maintain a safe and secure environment.
What do the different colours of CSCS cards indicate?
The colours of CSCS cards are used to differentiate between various roles on construction sites. For instance, if you’re aspiring to be a labourer in the UK, the CSCS White Card may not be the right option for you. Instead, you’ll need to pursue a CSCS Green Card. There are also red, black, and gold cards, each serving a distinct purpose. But remember, the ultimate objective remains the same – to validate that the person is qualified for the role in terms of academic and practical experience, while also being well-versed in health and safety principles.
How much does the CSCS White Card cost?
The CSCS White Card comes at a cost of £58.5, inclusive of the application fee and the CSCS test. However, you’ll need to separately arrange payment for any relevant qualifications required for your desired role. Be cautious of any training body that charges more than this amount, as they may be offering additional perks that come at an extra cost.
Embarking on this journey may seem daunting if you haven’t taken the first step yet. But fret not, for I encourage you to take one step at a time. I’ve made sure to break down the entire process into easy-to-follow steps so that you won’t feel overwhelmed.
Obtaining a CSCS White Card has the potential to open doors to your dream job. It’s the perfect way to showcase that you’re not just all talk but actually walk the walk. By holding this card, you demonstrate not only your academic competence but also your commitment to adhering to health and safety principles. This plays a pivotal role in expanding your job prospects and making you stand out in the industry.
Remember, take it step by step, and before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals and securing that dream job.
Wondering what are other types of CSCS cards? Check out our guide where we covered who these cards suit the most and what you need to know before you apply for them.