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How to get a black CSCS card

The Black CSCS Manager Card is a career goal for many in the construction industry. For many, the Black card is seen as the top-level card within the CSCS card scheme. You’d be correct to assume that this is a top-level card, but you’re probably not quite sure how to get your hands on one. That is why we created this comprehensive guide to achieving the Black CSCS Managers Card.

What is the Black CSCS Manager Card?

The Black CSCS card is a management level CSCS card that shows your competency in many areas of health and safety, management of staff, understanding of workplace regulations and almost anything else you can think that would be relevant to management in construction.

Not only does the card prove competence, but it also displays experience in a management role which is often very important to employers when considering anyone for a role in a management position.

Although the Black CSCS card isn’t a legal obligation to have on a construction site, most construction sites, especially major sites, require you to have a CSCS card as it is their obligation to ensure that all the staff on-site are trained and competent in their role to ensure site safety. The CSCS card is a good way to prove that the workforce are trained and competent as they are backed by an awarding body.

Construction sites also must prove that they are compliant with the Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM) meaning employees are skilled in their roles. By holding a black CSCS managers card you will be proving that you are a CDM compliant employee.

Who needs a Black Manager Card?

The Black CSCS card is vital for anyone considering entering a management position and even those who already hold a management position within the construction industry.  By gaining the black CSCS card for managers, earning potential can be boosted due to an increased qualification level.

If you are applying for a management role, your future employer will usually hope to see a CSCS Black Card as this will demonstrate competency and experience in the field that they are employing you in. Generally, employers will want to employ a trained member of staff as this will reduce the amount of training needed and the time spent instructing staff on proper management and health and safety.

What qualifications do you need?

All CSCS cards require proof of qualifications. There are various pathways to achieve your black management CSCS card. To achieve the black managers card, you will need to prove that you have a relevant management/technical related NVQ.

You will need a Level 5,6 or 7 SVQ or NVQ which will demonstrate the level of knowledge and competency within a live construction site environment.

SB Skills recommends the NVQ Level 6 in Construction Site Management as it offers a completely management related NVQ qualification. This qualification also shows employers a far higher level of knowledge and competency than lower levels.

The benefit of having an NVQ is that it will last forever and never needs to be renewed. This means that you will not have to pay the price of an NVQ every 5 years to renew.

You will also need to undertake a CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test for Managers and Professionals (MAP Test). This is commonly referred to as the touchscreen test, however, this is a higher-level test which includes

The MAP test is only £21 and undertaken at a Pearson Vue test centre which are found across the country.

The MAP test involves higher-level questions than the operatives test that most are familiar with undertaking. The MAP test involves questions regarding CDM regulations and site safety in a managerial role. The questions are very specialised, and we highly recommend revising for this test before undertaking it. Official revision material can be bought through CITB.

Using a degree for the Black CSCS Card

Unfortunately, if you have a University degree in a construction related field, you will not be eligible for the Black CSCS Managers Card. However, you will be eligible for an Academically Qualified Person CSCS Card (AQP CSCS Card). This is also an extremely high-level CSCS card that provides a way to prove your competency through a degree-based qualification. This allows you to work on a construction site using the qualifications that you will have gained throughout University.

What will a black CSCS Managers card allow you to do?

A Black CSCS Managers card will allow you to work on a construction site while managing a large number of employees or even a quantity of “Gangs” on site. As all staff have to be qualified and trained to a level where they are competent in their role, you will be fully knowledgeable in management related health and safety, staff needs, managing a workforce and many more management related responsibilities and therefore compliant with regulations.

As a Black CSCS Card holder, you will find it easier to secure jobs in the management areas within construction as the employer will see that you are compliant and competent.

Benefits of a Black CSCS Card

Having a Black CSCS Card can improve your construction career greatly.

Firstly, you could see your salary increase due to your increased level of qualifications. Your employer may begin to recognise how much of an asset you are to the company and potentially increase your responsibility with an increased rate of pay.

You will also be showing your employer that you are willing to put in the effort to progress within the construction industry. Your employer will appreciate the steps you are taking to improve your construction abilities and knowledge and will likely reward you.

You may also find that you are far more employable as you have an industry recognised card backed by an awarding body.  With the CSCS Black Managers card, you will find that employers will hold value your expertise as you have shown that you are fully competent in your role.

Further Progression

You might think that at the top there is not much further to go. But, in construction, there are always routes to progress further in your career.

Undertaking a Level 7 NVQ in Senior Construction Site Management could be your next step as this will put you in a better position to become a Chartered Member of CIOB (MCIOB). This is equivalent to holding a bachelor’s degree. Further to this, you will also gain the MCIOB title which displays to others, your dedication to the construction industry.

Another pathway may be to get involved with the training and development of employees. Stepping into the role of a Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Manager (SHEQ) you could see your career opportunities increase as you will be responsible for the training and health and safety of the entire workforce for your company. This can open up many more opportunities for promotion as you begin to leave the construction site-based roles and shift towards conducting site visits across the country.

Whatever you decide to do, the Black CSCS managers card will open up many more opportunities within the construction industry. SB Skills are here to help you progress in your future career in every way we can by providing a full solution to your qualification and training needs. For more information on other CSCS Cards click here.

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