An important reminder before it’s too late … all CSCS Industry Accreditation (IA) cards issued from 1st Jan 2020 will expire on 31st December 2024 and cannot be renewed. This is in line with the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) decision to ensure a fully trained and competent workforce.

Industry Accreditation meant that workers were able to obtain a CSCS card on the strength of experience and employer recommendation rather than the achievement of a formally recognised qualification. This has been a fairly common form of accreditation with some 60,000 plus workers in construction holding a CSCS card as a result of experience rather than having qualification. This is changing … moving forwards ALL holders of any CSCS card will need the minimum stipulated NVQ / SVQ qualification appropriate to the card applied for.

So, if you or any of your employees holds a CSCS Industry Accreditation Card you will need to take action before the end of 2024 – exactly what action that is will be dependent on actual occupation and any qualifications already held.

CSCS – The Affected Cards

The four main cards affected are as follows:

The Managers Card (Black): This card is available for manager and technical occupations. To obtain this card you will need any one of the following:

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

The Skilled Workers Card (Blue): To apply for this card you will need to have either:

  • Achieved a construction related NVQ or SVQ level 2
  • Completed an apprenticeship, such as an Employer sponsored apprenticeship, a City and Guilds of London Institute Craft Certificate or a CSCS Approved Trailblazer

NOTE: If you do not have these qualifications, but you are experienced in your job and have registered for a qualification applicable to your occupation, you may apply for an Experienced Worker Card. The CSCS have confirmed to INCA that, as long as the applicant has registered for an NVQ assessment, an Experienced Worker Card will remain valid for a period of 12 months but cannot be renewed after this time period.

The Experienced Worker card is for workers with on the job experience (normally at least one year in the last three) who are registered to a complete an approved construction related NVQ/SVQ level 2, SVQ at SCQF level 5 or higher.

The card is valid for one year and cannot be renewed. Cardholders are expected to complete their qualification by the time the card expires and apply for a skilled CSCS card.

Applicants must also have passed the appropriate level CITB Health, safety and environment (HSE) test within the last two years. This must be taken at the relevant level for the occupation being applied for.

The Supervisor Card (Gold): This card is available for supervisor and technical occupations subject to the achievement of:

  • Construction Related Supervisory/Technical NVQ or SVQ Level 3 or 4
  • Occupational Work Supervision NVQ or SVQ Level 3 (including proof of endorsed occupation)

The Advanced Craft Card (Gold): This card is available if you have either:

  • Achieved a Construction Related NVQ or SVQ level 3
  • Completed an approved indentured apprenticeship (e.g. with NJCBI, BATJIC etc.)
  • Completed an employer sponsored apprenticeship which included the achievement of a City and Guilds of London Institute Advanced Craft Certificate.

CSCS Guidance

Details of the changes to CSCS carding and the withdrawal of the Industry Accreditation cards was announced a while ago with guidance published back in January 2023 – More Information >

Speaking of the changes Sean Kearns, Chief Executive at CSCS said:

“IA cardholders will not need to attend college as much of the assessment can be deliver remotely. Many IA cardholders will find it a straightforward process to replace their cards, such as moving across to the Academically or Professionally Qualified Persons cards. In addition, those who no longer attend site or are in non-construction related occupations will not require a card.”

More information can be obtained at the CSCS Website >

Help For Those For Whom English Is Not Their First Language.

INCA hope to provide more information on this in due course as the issue was raised as a concern by some of our membership but the initial advice from the CSCS is to speak to your chosen NVQ / SVQ Assessment provider many of who (not all though) will have provisions in place to add additional language support to the assessment procedure for those who need it. We hope to be able to provide more information on this and add links to particular providers in the near future.

Act Now – Don’t Leave It Too Late

Those without the appropriate NVQ / SVQ qualifications will be required to register for the appropriate qualification for their occupation before their cards expire in 2024. This DOES NOT mean you will be required to attend college as the SVQ/NVQ (S/NVQ) can be achieved via various routes and CITB grants may be available for employers to support with the cost of the qualification.

If you currently hold an IA card but do not visit site regularly, or if you have moved into an office-based role you may no longer require a card – find out if this is that case >

We would strongly urge you all to study the changes and to take action now – don’t leave it too late as the deadline is only the 31st December 2024 and assessors are likely to be in great demand as we get nearer to this date … it’s affecting the whole construction industry and not just EWI!