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Red CSCS Card: The Complete Guide

If you’re in the construction industry and looking to complete an NVQ, you may be required to have a Red CSCS card, depending on the requirements of your role or the company you work for.

If you need a Red CSCS card, you will need to apply for it via the CSCS.

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) is the leading skills certification scheme for the UK construction industry. Read more for answers to frequently asked questions about the Red CSCS card.

What is a Red CSCS Card?

Two constructions workers with Red CSCS card examining a design blueprint.It is a temporary provisional card issued by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS).

The individuals holding a Red CSCS card are required to be attending further construction-related training, for example, a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ).

After the duration of holding a CSCS red trainee card, you will not be able to renew it. Therefore, you will need to complete the NVQ you are undertaking before the card expires (if it’s compulsory for you to hold a red card in your role).

There are currently five different types of CSCS Red cards, all are temporary. If you’re looking to complete an NVQ with 3B Training, you may be interested in one of the below red cards:

Experienced Worker CSCS Card

The Experienced Worker CSCS card is suitable for those completing a Construction Trade NVQ if they are required to hold a temporary card. These NVQs include:

Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager CSCS Card

The Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager CSCS card is suitable for anyone completing NVQs in Construction Supervisory & Management where it is a requirement to have a temporary card. These NVQs include:

Can you get on-site with this CSCS Temporary Card?

Yes, the Red CSCS card can grant you access to construction sites. However, there may be restrictions. This is because you haven’t yet completed the further construction-related training, meaning you haven’t gained the next level CSCS card.

However, the CSCS Red card shows employers that the cardholder is working towards qualifications relevant to the job role.

How do I get a Red CSCS Card?

To get a CSCS red card, you must have passed a CITB Health, Safety and Environment test (that has been completed in the last two years) and be attending further recognised construction related qualification (e.g. an NVQ).

Once you have done this you can apply for a Red CSCS card via the CSCS website.

What is the Application Process?

If you wish to apply for a Red CSCS card to have whilst you are completing your NVQ, you will need to do this through the CSCS application process.

What you’ll need:

  • An electronic copy of your qualification certificate or proof you’re registered onto a qualification.
  • The ID number that’s on the top of your pass certificate for the CITB Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) test.
  • Debit or credit card to pay the £36 for the card.

Visit to apply. Once logged in, add any previous CSCS cards you’ve obtained onto your account.

If you’re unsure which CSCS card to apply for take a look at our blog: Which CSCS Card Should I Apply For

To complete your online application, you will need to:

  1. Click ‘Apply for a card’ on the ‘My Profile’ page
  2. Tick whether you have passed the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test (must have been passed in the last two years).
  3. Select the card you require (the card finder tool can help you find which card to apply for)
  4. Input your occupation and qualification, the certificate number and the achievement/enrolment date.
  5. Select the type of CITB Health, Safety and Environment test you have achieved before adding your CITB test ID, personal information and delivery address.
  6. Check the details are correct and read the terms and conditions
  7. Submit your application

You’ll then receive the physical card in the post. Alternatively, you can download the My CSCS app to get the digital version of your card.

More information on this can be found via this CSCS guide: How to apply for a CSCS card online

How long does a this Card last?

The expiry on a Red CSCS card will vary depending on which one you apply for. For example, the Experienced Worker CSCS card is valid for one year and cannot be renewed. Whereas, the Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager CSCS card is valid for three years and also cannot be renewed.

Once you have completed your NVQ, you will gain the relevant CSCS card for that particular qualification. Therefore, will no longer need your red temporary CSCS card.

You can find the expiration date by checking your physical card or checking your CSCS online account.

What does a Red CSCS Card mean?

The CSCS Red card signifies that the cardholder is in the process of gaining the essential qualifications and training required for their role on a construction site.

Whilst you’re working on your further construction-related training with your Red CSCS card, you will be:

  • Demonstrating a commitment and an aspiration to progress within the construction industry.
  • Working onsite with supervision.
  • Working with experienced professionals to gain practical skills and further knowledge.
  • Gaining on-site experience that will support future opportunities and appeal to employers.

By demonstrating correct health and safety practices and continued personal development, cardholders can work their way up to a higher-level CSCS card.

Deciding which NVQ is right for you isn’t always easy. That’s why it’s handy to have all your questions about NVQs answered before enrolling.

We offer a variety of NVQs at 3B Training, including Construction Trade and Plant, Construction Supervisory and Management, and Health and Safety.

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