How Long Does a CSCS Card Last?

It’s standard practice for construction workers in the UK to have a valid CSCS card when working on a building site. Issued by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), a valid CSCS card proves you have the right level of skill for the work you’re doing so it’s important to ensure your CSCS card always remains in date.

An outdated CSCS card is invalid, although you do have a six month grace period after the expiry date in which to obtain a new card.

However, because the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) test, known as the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test, also needs to be completed for you to be issued with your updated card, this grace period should be seen as an emergency measure rather than an extension to your card’s expiry date.

The benefit of CSCS card expiry

Without a valid CSCS card, you could see yourself kicked off the site or unable to start a new role so it’s really important to keep your card up to date.

There is a major benefit to your card’s expiration date. An initiative of the government-backed Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), widespread use of CSCS cards exists to reduce the number of accidents on site so when you renew, you can also update your skills and qualify for a card in a higher category if you can prove your skillset has increased since your last card was issued.

Although the renewal process is the same for all CSCS cards, each type of card lasts for a different length of time so let’s take a look at how long each CSCS card lasts and ensure you renew your CSCS card in time.

How to find your CSCS card expiry date

Remember if you’re unsure of your CSCS card’s expiry date, depending on when your card was issued, you can either check the front of the card or scan the smart chip on the card using the CSCS Go Smart app.

How long does a CSCS card last?

CSCS green card expiry

Green CSCS cards last for 3 years. Issued to workers with the qualifications to work as a labourer, you will need basic construction skills to qualify for a green CSCS card.

CSCS red card expiry

Red CSCS cards cannot be renewed. Awarded for use during training, when your red card expires, your training should be finished. You need to be working as an apprentice or trainee to receive a red CSCS card so you can apply for the relevant type of new CSCS card once your training is complete.

CSCS blue card expiry

Blue CSCS cards expire after 5 years. If you hold relevant construction qualifications for at least an NVQ/ SVQ Level 2 or a recognised apprenticeship, you should be able to obtain a blue CSCS card which is awarded to skilled construction workers.

CSCS gold card expiry

Your Gold CSCS card will expire after 5 years. To apply for a gold CSCS card you will need be working at the level of a supervisor or have advanced craft skills.

CSCS black card expiry

Black CSCS cards last for 5 years. To be issued with a black CSCS card you need to be a senior manager with a qualification in site management to L4 or L5.

How do I get a new CSCS card?

Once you’ve checked your card’s expiry date, you can get everything together for renewal and take the relevant CITB Health, Safety and Environment test, however you will only be able to complete the renewal process if your card expires in 6 months or less.

If your card has already expired but the expiry date was less than 6 months ago you can still  renew your card.

It’s a good idea to take the test early because you need to pass the CITB test to get your new CITB card. If you take the test early and fail, you have time to rebook the test and sit it again. You’ll also have time to get together evidence of relevant qualifications as proof or your skill level if you want to move up to a new card colour plus your ID.

If you do take your test early, don’t take it more than two years before you need to renew your card or your test results won’t be valid. The test lasts for 45 minutes and consists of 50 questions about health and safety procedures in construction.

When you have your test results, proof of qualifications and signed photo ID (such as a passport or driving licence) together, call the CSCS Contact Centre on 0344 994 4777. Most new CSCS cards arrive within 10 days but it could take longer.

How much does a new CSCS card cost?

You will need to pay £19.50 for your CITB test and £30 for your new CSCS card. However, if the expiry date has passed, but you are within 6 months of the expiry date, you will have to pay a higher fee of £21 for the CITB test and £36 for your new CSCS card.

Costs are the same for all CSCS cards.