I'm a labourer, which CSCS card do I need?

Good question! In the summer of 2014, changes were made to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. The changes introduced a new range of cards to the scheme, and the green card became the Labourer CSCS card.

Why do I need a CSCS green card?

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme ensures that every site is as safe as possible, by recommending card carrying to show who a worker is, why they are on site and what level of experience they have. The cards help to differentiate visitors from labourers, professionals to apprentices, and help site managers ensure that nobody is carrying out work if they are not qualified, experienced or safe to do so. This not only protects other members on the site but of course protects the individual from becoming involved in work that is unsafe because of lack of knowledge and experience.

You may not be offered any labouring work unless you can show a valid green card, so it's important that this is something that is sorted out as a priority. Major construction companies and contractors almost always require proof of your safety training in the form of a CSCS card – it's one of the most recognised certification schemes in the industry with over 1.9 million card holders in the UK.

What do I need to get my green card?

In order to make a successful application for a Labourer CSCS card, you will need to have completed a level one Health and Safety award such as an IOSH Working Safely training course and be able to send proof of this to CSCS. Once you have ensured you have the completed the correct level of training and are ready to make your application to CSCS, you will also need to pass the CITB Health Safety and Environment test to obtain your card. This is a short multiple choice test to check your knowledge and costs £17.50. You'll need to visit your nearest test centre to use their special computer programme for the test.

When you've passed your CITB test, there is a minimal fee for the card of just £30, which includes VAT. This is of course less than the wages for a day's work so well worth the investment when you think about how much more employable you will be as a CSCS green card holder.

Are there any other cards in the scheme?

There are a range of CSCS cards to show different professions. If you are an apprentice you will be eligible to apply for an apprentice card until you pass your qualification and tests to enable you to apply for a green card. This means that you will still be able to show that you are aware of site safety but your tasks should be limited to meet your experience.

If you have a labourer's green card and have completed extra training since you applied for your card, you should look at whether another card is more suitable for you so that your Site Manager or Supervisor will be aware that they can allocate you more tasks or responsibility to help you progress.

To see all of the cards in the scheme visit the CSCS website.