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Temporary CSCS Card – Why Would You Need a Red CSCS Card?

Talha Riaz

Nov 02, 2023

Read time 7 mins

Table of contents

What is a Temporary CSCS Card?
Types of Temporary CSCS Cards
Cost of Getting a Temporary CSCS Card in 2023
Validity and Expiration of Temporary CSCS Cards
Temporary CSCS Card Renewal
What to Do Next if Your Temporary Card Expires?
Wrapping Up

Temporary CSCS Cards enable you to work on construction sites as you work towards the qualifications necessary for your desired CSCS card.

Read this blog post to understand temporary CSCS cards, the available types, and what to do in case of card expiration.

What is a Temporary CSCS Card?

A Red CSCS Card is a temporary card issued if you seek employment in the construction industry. The card is for temporary purposes while you work towards the qualifications necessary for your desired CSCS card.

Types of Temporary CSCS Cards

The image below illustrates the five types of temporary CSCS cards, each with its specific set of requirements. For a more thorough understanding of these CSCS Red Cards, please refer to our blog, CSCS Red Card – Application, Types, and Cost (2023).

types of temporary cscs cards

How to Get a Temporary Card?

  • Select a card

Before you start the application process for a temporary card, you must review the various types of temporary cards and determine your eligibility.

The CSCS Card Finder tool can simplify this process. By inputting your qualifications, the tool will guide you in identifying the card for which you meet the eligibility criteria.

  • Provide proof of your registration for the relevant qualification

You must provide proof of being registered for an apprenticeship. Proof can be provided in any of the following forms:

  • A letter from your apprenticeship training provider
  • An email or letter from the managing agency of your apprenticeship
  • Your Apprenticeship Agreement
  • Pass the CITB Health, Safety, and Environment (HS&E) Test

The next step is to book and successfully pass your CITB test. To understand the CITB test, its costs, and the booking process, we recommend reading our blog on the various types of CITB tests.

If you’re still unsure about the steps for booking your CITB test, even after reading our blog, there’s no need to worry. Hurak offers a convenient service to book your CITB test on your behalf. To utilise this service, click here.

Prepare for your CITB test try out a mock exam or download one of our test prep books.

Download our 53-page course handbook for free!
  • Apply for the card

You have two options for submitting your card application. The first is to apply online through the CSCS website by setting up an account, and the second is to contact CSCS at 0344 994 4777, where a CSCS representative will walk you through the application process over the phone. If you’re looking for a detailed, step-by-step guide to applying online, check out our blog, How to Get a CSCS Card after Passing the Test.

We suggest applying online, as it is generally the fastest way to obtain your CSCS card. By applying online, you can typically receive your card via mail within 3-5 working days.

Moreover, our service is available to assist with your CSCS card application. Click the image below to obtain further information or benefit from this service.

cscs card application

Cost of Getting a Temporary CSCS Card in 2023

The application fee for all CSCS cards, including the temporary one, is £36. Additionally, there’s an extra cost of £22.50 for booking the CITB test.

For an in-depth comprehension of the various costs associated with acquiring a CSCS card, we recommend reading our blog on CSCS card price.

Validity and Expiration of Temporary CSCS Cards

Red CSCS Cards are intended to be used as a temporary measure, so they each have different expiration dates based on how quickly you complete your training and get a permanent card.

To find out the validity duration for each temporary card, please review the table below.

The Trainee Card is valid for 5 years. The Red Card for work placement is valid for 3 years. Supervisor, Manager, and Experienced Technical Card remains valid for 3 years. Moreover, the Apprentice Card is valid for 4 years and 6 months. If you have an Experienced Worker Card, it will remain valid for 1 year. The Provisional Card has a validity span of 6 months only.

Temporary CSCS Card Renewal

Unlike other CSCS cards, the temporary card cannot be renewed. So, it is important to complete your qualification for your desired occupation before the card expires.

What to Do Next if Your Card Expires?

When your temporary card reaches its expiration, it’s advisable to initiate the process for an upgrade. Below, you’ll find a list of available options to consider:

Permanent CSCS Cards

Suitable For

Green Card

This card is for site labourers 

Blue Card

Skilled workers or experienced workers can get this card

Gold Card

This card is for supervisors or those with a specialist level skill set. 

Black/ White Card

These cards are for management level roles on a construction site. 


What colour CSCS card is the best?

The card that does the job for you is the best — if you want to become a labourer, the CSCS Green Card should be your first choice. If you’re a manager on a construction site, the CSCS Black Card is what you need.

What is a CSCS card for?

A CSCS card serves as proof to employers that you possess the necessary skills for a job associated with your CSCS card and a strong understanding of site safety practices.

Wrapping Up

Temporary CSCS Cards grant you access to construction sites while you pursue the qualifications required for your preferred CSCS card. To obtain a temporary CSCS card, you must successfully pass the relevant CITB test, which has a fee of £22.50, and then apply for your card online, with an application fee of £36. The card typically arrives within 3-5 working days.

If you want to know the eligibility requirements for CSCS Red Cards, consider reading this article.