CSCS Card – Health Safety and Environment Tests

Having a valid CSCS card and passing the CITB test are both mandatory requirements for working in the construction industry because they grant employees access to UK construction sites as non-skilled workers.

To apply for a CSCS card you are required to pass the appropriate level of CITB Health, safety and environment (HS&E) test within the last two years.

The test aims to examine knowledge across a wide range of topics to improve safety and productivity on site and is an important way for construction workers to show employers they can be safe on the job.

Colchester Institute is an official Pearson CITB Test centre and all CSCS Card – Health Safety and Environment Tests take place at our Dovercourt centre.

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Tests for Operatives

Tests for a basic level of health, safety and environmental awareness. This test is required when applying for the Labourer card, the Trainee card, the Apprentice card, most Blue Skilled Worker cards and most Gold Advanced Craft cards.

Green CSCS Card

The CSCS green Labourer’s card is perfect for anyone currently working or who wants to work in construction, as well as those already in the industry looking to refresh their qualifications. The Green Labourer’s Card is a requirement of working on a UK building site.

Candidates must already hold a Health & Safety in Construction qualification before taking the CSCS Green Labourer’s Card – Health Safety and Environment Test.

Colchester Institute offers the Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment at all of our centres and candidates requiring this will be recommended to enrol.

Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment

They cannot obtain their CSCS card until proof of certification is on file with CITB. We appreciate that learners will come from diverse education and employment backgrounds.

Most candidates will progress directly to employment in the construction industry. They could also progress to NVQ qualifications in specialist areas such as carpentry/joinery, bricklaying, plumbing as well as many other roles in the construction sector.

Red CSCS Cards

Apprentice – Available to people in the process of completing or who have completed a CSCS-recognised apprenticeship. The Apprentice card is issued free of charge and demonstrates proof you are registered on a valid apprenticeship scheme and have passed the CITB HS&E test (or an approved alternative).

It’s valid for four-and-a-half years and cannot be renewed. You are expected to complete the apprenticeship by the time the card expires.

Blue CSCS Cards

The Blue Skilled Worker card is valid for five years and for those who have achieved a construction related NVQ/SVQ level 2 or SVQ at SCQF level 5 or completed an apprenticeship, such as an Employer sponsored apprenticeship, a City and Guilds Craft Certificate (CGLI) or a CSCS Approved Apprenticeship Standard.

Gold CSCS Cards

Gold Skilled Worker – The Gold Skilled Worker card is authorised for five years and eligible for renewal. It shows you are highly skilled within your field in the construction industry.

For some trades, if you have the experience, but don’t have the qualifications, you can obtain a Blue, Gold or Black CSCS card through Experienced Worker NVQ equivalencies.

You can apply for this card if you have either:

  • Achieved a Construction Related NVQ/SVQ level 3 or SVQ at SCQF level 6
  • Fulfilled an approved apprenticeship (e.g. With NJCBI)
  • Completed an employer-sponsored apprenticeship, including attaining a City and Guilds of London Institute Advanced Craft Certificate
Tests for Managers and Professionals

CSCS Managers and Professionals (MAP) Tests and CSCS Cards (Black cards) 

The black CSCS card demonstrates your competence as a manager within the construction industry. 

The test aims to examine knowledge across a wide range of topics to improve safety and productivity on site and is an important way for construction workers to show employers they can be safe on the job. 

The Manager card is available for managers and those in technical occupations subject to: 

  • Achievement of a relevant Construction Management/Technical related NVQ/SVQ level 4, 5, 6 or 7 
  • An SVQ at SCQF Level 10 or 11 in Construction Management/Technical related qualification 

This card is valid for five years and all applicants must pass the CITB Managers and Professionals Health, Safety and Environment test. 

Tests for everything in the operative test, plus additional material relevant to managers and professionals. This test is required when applying for the Black Managers card and the Academically or Professionally Qualified person cards. 

If you have passed the CIC Health and Safety Test 

CSCS have approved the acceptance of the CIC Health and Safety Test as equivalent to the CITB Manager and Professional (MAP) Level Health, safety and environment test for the purpose of applying for an Academically Qualified Persons card or a Professionally Qualified Persons CSCS card. The CIC Health and Safety Test must have been passed within two years of the application being made for either card. 

The CIC Health and Safety test is only acceptable to apply for the Academically Qualified Persons card or Professionally Qualified Persons CSCS card and is not accepted for any other CSCS card. 


Funding for OSAT 

We are aware the cost of training to obtain a qualification can be an issue for many people seeking to enter the industry, or already employed and wishing to upskill.  

The CITB Levy and Grant System 

Grants are available to employers who pay the construction industry training levy, and these grants are used to support training the workforce. If you are an employee, ask your employer if they are registered with CITB and, if so, whether they can claim a grant for your training. 

Please note: Small employers and the self-employed that don’t need to pay the levy may also be able to apply for a grant. You must meet the requirements as set out by the CITB and register your company with the CITB before making an application. 

Contact your local CITB office  or grants and funding information can be found on CITB’s website 

Local funding 

There are also the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) that may have access to funding in your area. LEPs are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses set up to promote economic growth and job creation within the local area. Further details on LEPS can be found 


If you are unemployed, please make an appointment with your work coach at your local job centre. They will be able to confirm what funding is available to assist your journey into work. 

How long will it take?

The test can be undertaken in one day but 48 hours notice is required to book the test.

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For your free National Careers Service and Advice Guidance session at a centre near you please contact us using the contact telephone number or by completing the enquiry form below:

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CSCS Card - Health Safety and Environment Tests
Study ModePart-Time
Campus / Adult Skills CentreDovercourt
Start DateAvailable at any time throughout the year. Please contact us for further details
PricePrice on Application. This course is not eligible for funding or fee waivers


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