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Site Managers across the UK are set to lose their Black CSCS under the removal of grandfather rights from the scheme. This leaves many wondering whether they can continue to work in the industry.

Grandfather rights allowed workers to attain their CSCS Cards based on a strong employer recommendation rather than using a CSCS recognised qualification. CSCS terminated the Industry Accreditation route in 2010, but the cards could still be renewed if the applicant was an existing cardholder.

CSCS now wants all cardholders to be qualified with a construction-related NVQ, therefore from January 2020, all cards will expire by December 2024 at the latest. This has also led to CSCS removing cards such as the Construction Site Visitor card.

Graham Wren, Chief Executive at CSCS said: “Following the closure of the Construction Related Occupation card and the Construction Site Visitor Card, cards gained by Industry Accreditation are the only cards in the CSCS scheme which do not require the cardholder to achieve a recognised qualification. Industry Accreditation does not support industry’s desire for a fully qualified workforce and as such it will be withdrawn.”

Do you need the Black CSCS Card?

The CSCS Card Scheme is seen as the passport to construction sites as it is often essential for access. Although CSCS Cards are not legally mandatory, they do comply with CDM regulations.

CDM regulations, as you’ll know from the Manager’s Health and Safety Tests, specify that employers must ensure that all employees have the appropriate training required to work safely in their environment.

Only carry out construction work if they have the relevant skills, knowledge, training and experience – or they are provided with the training and supervision that enables them to do it safely and without risk to health

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015

As well as the CDM regulations, you will know that for any job role in construction, you will require the CSCS card as the principal contractor will usually specify this as a requirement. This allows them to lower injuries and deaths caused on site as they will know that all employees are competent in their role.

As a manager of a construction site, the principal contractor will want to ensure that you are competent to look after a large number of staff working in a construction environment. This reduces their own liability as they will know that there is a responsible site manager in place with industry experience. The CSCS card does exactly this.

How do I Renew my CSCS Card Now?

Without the NVQ, you may be wondering about the next steps for keeping your Black CSCS Card. CSCS has a list of recognised qualifications that can be used to apply for the Black CSCS Card which can be found on the Card Finder. Simply put, you will need one of the following:

  • Achievement of a relevant Construction Management/Technical related NVQ/SVQ level 5, 6 or 7
  • An SVQ Level 4 in Construction Management/Technical related qualification or
  • Holding a pre-existing NVQ level 4 in construction management.

You will also need to have passed the CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test for Managers and Professionals within the last 2 years.

The most simple way to renew your Black CSCS Card with SB Skills would be to achieve the Level 6 NVQ in Construction Site Management.

What is the Level 6 NVQ in Construction Site Management?

The Level 6 NVQ in Construction Site Management is a competency-based qualification that proves to CSCS and other card schemes that you have the necessary skills and experience to manage a construction site effectively and safely.

This is one of the most prestigious qualifications in construction and allows the holder to apply for the Black CSCS Card. The qualification can take anywhere from 3 months to 12 months, depending on the time it takes you to return the evidence requested by the assessor.

Upon meeting all 19 mandatory units and the optional units from the pathway that you choose, you will be awarded the NVQ and be ready to renew.

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