News & Views

Lost NVQ Certificates – What You Need To Know

Usually at this time of the month we start to get calls from people who’ve lost NVQ Certificates.

“Why so?”  you may ask, but the reason is pretty simple.  CSCS Cards expire at the end of each month, so people start thinking about getting a new one in about the middle of the month.

Lost NVQ Certificates - only comes to light when you most need them

“Where’s my !*%%*!! certificate?!”

That’s the time they find out the CSCS people need to see proof of their qualifications.  It’s always at least five years since they last needed the certificate and it appears some people aren’t that good at storing them safely.

(That’s without taking into account people who have moved house, left home, got divorced and a myriad other reasons.)

Result?  They can’t find them and the clock is ticking. So they call us.

There’s an added dynamic now – the CSCS need to see the proof of the NVQ in all cases, whereas until a relatively short time ago, they had that record available to them.

At the same time, the CSCS, the CITB and Awarding Bodies have become more concerned about fairly widespread fraudulent and fake documentation – so it’s hardly surprising they are tightening up on procedures.

They check the serial number on the certificate against their database to see if it is valid.

So the first time trades realise they can’t find their certificates is when they call the CSCS or go onto their website and discover they need to produce the certificate to get a new card.

Applying For A CSCS Card

To apply for a CSCS Card now, you’re best going online and setting up an account using the CSCS Online Portal.  Once you have done that, you can start your CSCS Card Application.

You will need:

  1. passport style photo of your head and shoulders against a white background
  2. Your CSCS Registration Number – which will be on your present card, or available from your training provider
  3. A scanned copy of your qualification certificate, or proof that you are registered to complete a recognised construction related qualification relevant to your occupation.
  4. A scanned copy of your pass certificate for the appropriate level of CITB Health, safety and environment (HSE) test, which must be within the last 2 years.
  5. A credit or debit card to pay the £36 application fee.

And it’s the third of these that causes all the problems – lost NVQ certificates become an issue only when you need them!

We’ve always kept a copy of our candidates’ NVQ certificates, so when people call us who have come to SuperSkills for their NVQ Assessment, in most cases we have been able to help them.  We’ve just looked in our records and presto – there it is.

However, even we have to archive or destroy those copies after a lapse of time.

The only option at that stage – or if the person got their Construction NVQ somewhere else – is for them to apply to the original Awarding Body for a Duplicate.  There will be a “search fee”.

But here’s a tip – if you know you got your qualification from City & Guilds and it was before 2005 – they are most unlikely to recover it.

You can call NOCN_CSkills Awards on 03009991177 option 1 then option 3.  Alternatively, go to their replacement certificate online form here
 
Call City and Guilds on 01924930800.  They also have a replacement certificate application form here.
 
If your qualification wasn’t for Construction trades, you may still want to look at NOCN as the awarding body, but you might want to include Pearson Qualifications (they also go under the name Edexcel).
Their phone number isn’t published on their website, but you can apply for a replacement certificate by following this link
And, just for completeness – and based on a call received over two years after this post was first written – there’s OCR – dealing with a very limited range of Non-Construction qualification NVQ’s, but a whole raft of academic qualifications.  They have contact details and an online form to get a replacement certificate on their Home Page
 
If you gained the qualification more than 10 years ago, they may not be able to issue you with a replacement but it’s worth a phone call to find out . 

However, if you really cannot locate your lost NVQ certificates, you may end up having to pay for another assessment.

Which is a pain.

So – whether you need to renew your CSCS Card this month, this year, or in five years time – make sure it’s safe!

And when you go home tonight, scan your NVQ and Health & Safety Test certificates and store the images somewhere.

Any PDF file will do – if you don’t have a desktop scanner, you will find there are loads of free telephone Apps that will enable you to scan documents.

Avoiding lost NVQ certificates is, after all, the best way to take the hassle out of renewing your CSCS Card.

If you do need to get assessed for your NVQ – and let’s hope not because you’ve lost your NVQ certificates – call us on 01845 527 445 or see all our NVQ Assessment programmes here.

It's at this time of the month people discover they can't find their NVQ Certificates. Here's what you can do to avoid or overcome the problem of lost NVQ certificates. Read More...

Need Your CSCS Test? – Don’t Just Google It!

We’ve previously written here about the need to book your CSCS test direct with the examination centres online.

You can do this on the CITB website.

DO NOT JUST GOOGLE “CSCS TESTS” – you will no doubt find at the top a load of “online booking” sites. These all charge a “booking fee” which is totally unnecessary and will make your test cost about £25 more than it should.

I spent a few minutes “Mystery Shopping” one of these sites with equally mysterious details this afternoon to show you what I mean. £41.00 CSCS Test Booking ScreenShotfor a £21.00 test. It’s disgraceful.

It’s little wonder people get frustrated with the CSCS scheme when people do this.

ALSO – if you need the NVQ to be able to get a Blue CSCS Card – you will NOT have to take the test if you have passed it within the last two years.

If you need to know more about the CSCS Cards or Tests, click here.

If you ever need FREE advice about cards or NVQ’s, go to  SuperSkills.co.uk or call us on 01845 527445.

So – NEVER Google to get your test – ALWAYS book direct.

If you need details of the NVQ training and assessment services we offer, Click Here

DO NOT JUST "GOOGLE" CSCS TESTS - you will no doubt find at the top a load of "online booking" sites. These all charge a "booking fee" which is totally unnecessary and will make your test cost about £15 more than it should. Scroll down to see what you should do. Read More...

How To Get A CSCS Card – All Your Questions Answered

How To Get A CSCS Card – All Your Questions Answered

CSCS Cards – The Colours, The Costs and What You Need To Do To Get Your CSCS Card Sorted Out

What does CSCS stand for and why do I need a card?

Details Held On A CSCS Card

Details Held On A CSCS Card

CSCS stands for “Construction Skills Certification Scheme“, originally created in 1995 to provide an easy means of ensuring all people working on building sites had a basic understanding of Health & Safety issues.

The card contains personal details of the holder and a photograph.  In addition, the holder’s CSCS Registration Number and designation of the card is on the front – with the trade for which the holder is qualified shown on the rear.

The construction sector found the scheme beneficial in that production of a card would signify the worker concerned was competent in general health and safety issues relevant to building sites and many employers started to adopt an “all carded” approach so they could be reassured as to the basic standards their staff could be expected to know.

Over the years, the CSCS has developed, partly to deliver enhanced benefits to employers and site agents – such as the addition of a “smart” chip so cards may be easily verified – and also to drive the construction sector’s migration to a fully qualified workforce.

In 2012, the basic Health & Safety test was enhanced to include environment issues and it is now called the “Health, Safety & Environment” test.  This was in response to the development of the “Considerate Construction” scheme and has broad reaching effects, preventing disturbance to wildlife, unnecessary noise and the risk of pollution of waterways and drains from work taking place nearby.

However, whilst the original scheme was also intended to signify the trade competencies of the holder, the vast majority of cards issued were either Green “Site Operative” or White “Construction Related Occupations” cards – which obviously did not reflect any specific trade skills.

Much of this was due to resistance on the part of the workforce, many of whom objected to having to “be tested for the job they’d been doing for years”.  Additionally, Site Agents under pressure to get work completed were often tempted to turn a blind eye to workers whom they knew could get the work required done.

Clearly, further rigour needed to be applied to the scheme.  The first step taken in 2014 was to withdraw and replace the Green “Site Operative” card, which was re-designated “Site Labourer” and which required the holder to undertake a Level 1 Health & Safety in a Construction Environment qualification.

Unsurprisingly, this caused people to seek out a card they could get easily and without the expense of qualifications and there was a rush to “Construction Related Occupations” cards, originally intended for people who were responsible for cleaning finished properties or similar non-trade tasks associated with building.

The CSCS and employers reacted swiftly – the “Construction Related Occupations” card was withdrawn in 2017.  At the same time, the “Visitor” card was also designated for withdrawal and will be out of use by August 2020.

What has been less noticed, but very welcome, has been the reduction in both injuries and in particular deaths on construction sites.  One death is too many, but in the latter 2000’s hundreds of people were being killed on construction sites every year, with many more seriously injured.

It is fair to say that since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged earlier this year, the number of employers/sites requiring the “right” card for a particular trade has increased substantially.

Can I get a CSCS Card without an NVQ?

CSCS Cards - Required to get on sites

Many Sites Are “Fully Carded”

The position now is that more and more sites are “fully Carded” and you need a CSCS Card to work on them.  Additionally, you won’t be able to undertake “trade” work without the appropriate card – usually a Blue “Skilled Worker” card.  To get the Blue CSCS Card, you will need a “nationally recognised construction related occupation” for that trade at Level 2.  Sometimes this is misinterpreted to mean the National Vocational Qualification, but that’s not the case – many other qualifications may be recognised and it is always worth checking with CSCS before spending more money.  See also our post on “How To Get Your NVQ“.

How do I get a CSCS Card?

If you have taken the CSCS Health, Safety & Environment test (often called the CSCS Skills Test or CSCS Touch Screen Test) within the past two years and you have the relevant qualification, all you need to do is go online and make your application here.

Where do I take the CSCS Touch Screen Test?

Whatever you do – don’t just “Google” it!  You’ll probably end up paying a booking fee.  Click here and you can book in online for £21.00.  There are test centres all over the country.  You will need to take in-date photo identification with you.

It’s a good idea to revise for the test and there is a free App to help you.  Download the Android Version here or the iPhone Version here.

If you have taken the CSCS Test in the last two years – you can get a new card without taking it again.

What CSCS Card do I need?

The easiest way of finding out is by going to the CSCS Card Finder (link opens a new window).  Generally, you will need either a “Site Labourer” Green Card or a Blue “Skilled Worker” Card.  However, there are Supervisor, Manager and Professionally Qualified Person cards – always check and you can’t go wrong.

What qualifications do I need to get a CSCS Card?

Once again, the Card Finder is your friend in this regard – just put in your trade and it will generate a response of which card you need and the qualification you must hold to get it.

What if I don’t have a qualification?

Examples Of Temporary CSCS Cards

Examples Of Temporary CSCS Cards

Within the range of CSCS cards are both Temporary and Provisional Cards.

For example, you can get a card if you are an Experienced Worker but have never held formal qualifications – many people call this “Time Served”.  To get the Red “Experienced Worker” card, you must be registered for a qualification and will need to send a copy of your registration to the CSCS to be issued with your card.

Provisional CSCS cards are issued to people who are working temporarily – for example someone who is being considered for a full time job, or as a potential Apprentice and who is on work experience.

Temporary cards cannot be renewed – the CSCS have become wise to their potential misuse.  However, they provide a means for people to enter the trade or start work on a “Fully Carded” site – or for an employer to migrate the workforce to fully qualified status.

There is also a CSCS “Trainee” card and one for people undertaking Apprenticeships.  Both these are Red and gain access to work on carded sites.

Can I claim “Grandfather Rights”?

To avoid wholesale disruption of the industry, when the CSCS scheme was first introduced, Industry Accreditation, also known as Grandfather Rights, was created so that existing “time served” workers could obtain CSCS cards on the strength of their employers’ recommendation rather than having a recognised qualification.

Whilst people already holding a card are currently able to renew it on the same basis, the Industry Accreditation classification and associated card was closed to new applications in 2010.

There are still about 60,000 people holding these cards, but from January 2020, all cards issued will expire in December 2024 and the card will not be issued for renewal from June 2024.

So if you have “Grandfather Rights” you are OK until 2024, but if you have never applied for them, or have let your card lapse, you will not be able to use this classification to get a card.

How do I get my qualifications?

Remember the good news – the money you spend on qualifications to get your CSCS Card can be claimed back in your tax return for the year.

This applies even if you are employed, rather than self-employed.  SuperSkills receives many enquiries from people who want to get qualified in order to move on from their present position, or whose employer does not offer training to staff.

Please also bear in mid, that if you (or the company your work for) are registered for VAT, that element of our invoice is fully recoverable.

Many calls we receive start with one of two misconceptions…. “I need my City & Guilds” or “I want my Level 3” so let’s start with those.

“City & Guilds” isn’t a qualification, or a qualification standard.  It is an Awarding Organisation, regulated by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).  Historically, they were associated with trade skills and in particular, construction qualifications.  That’s why so many people will have (back in the day) been through apprenticeships or other courses under their brand name.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) developed their own awarding body Construction Skills, delivering similar qualifications and during the 2000’s joined the City & Guilds in the Construction Awards Alliance.  Subsequently they parted and CSkills Awards was created, an awarding body owned and operated by the CITB.  CSkills quickly became the leading awarding body for the construction sector.

Unsurprisingly, having the sector skills council, the awarding body and the card scheme operator under the same roof drew suggestions of a conflict of interest, so the CITB was forced to sell off CSkills Awards, leading to its purchase by the NOCN Group in 2017.

SuperSkills has been around long enough to have worked with the various awarding bodies throughout this time.  Whilst we’re looking forward to a period of stability, we are very happy to be delivering CSkills Awards in the knowledge they present the best opportunity for construction workers to get qualified quickly, simply and conveniently.

What are NVQ’s?

The letters “NVQ” stand for National Vocational Qualification.  In Scotland, Scottish Vocational Qualifications, or SVQ’s.  They are equivalent and interchangeable.

NVQ’s are regulated by the Qualification & Curriculum Authority (QCA).  To award the NVQ, the awarding body has to get approval for how the programme of learning and assessment is designed from the QCA.

NVQ’s start life with a Sector Skills Council, such as the CITB.  Employers work with the Sector Skills Council and set standards for every trade at a particular level.  A Site Carpenter at Level 2 will be required to have a set of skills and competencies, both personal and job related.  At Level 3, these will be for more complicated work and supervisory duties.

For example – Level 2 Site Carpenters are assessed “Installing first fixing components in the workplace”, whereas Level 3 assessment involves “Installing bespoke first fixing components in the workplace”.

The supervisory nature of the role is demonstrated – Level 2 “Conforming to productive working practices in the workplace” and at Level 3 “Confirming the occupational method of work in the workplace”.

As a basic rule of thumb, Level 2 qualifications sit with GCSE’s and Level 3 are more equivalent to “A” Levels.  Level 2 qualifications will get you a Blue “Skilled Worker” Card and Level 3 a Gold “Advanced Craft” or “Supervisor” CSCS Card.

“I want my Level 3”Our first question when a customer how to get a Gold CSCS Card is to ask why.  More often than not, we learn the potential candidate is (quite rightly) demonstrating his or her pride in trade skills gained over decades and wants them to be recognised.  They are “Advanced Craft” workers.

But more often than not, all they need is a Blue “Skilled Worker” CSCS card to get on or stay on site.  That’s why our advice – always given freely and impartially – is Level 2 will do.  Yes it’s great to have a Gold Level 3 card, but the Level 3 qualification is much bigger and more expensive than the Level 2.  Level 2 starts at £900 for a Practical Assessment and nearly every potential Level 3 candidate will be eligible for that “Fast Track” route to qualification.  Level 3 will usually be £2600.  So we will always find out your reasons for wanting the Level 3 qualification. Otherwise you’re doing the equivalent of putting expensive alloy wheels on your works van.  Nice to look at, but won’t pay you back.

Your qualification from CSkills Awards gained through SuperSkills will be delivered by Experienced Worker Practical Assessment or On Site Assessment & Training.  On site assessment is available for both Level 2 and Level 3 NVQ’s, but only Level 2 qualifications can be assessed through the Practical Assessment route.

I have a Diploma from XXX College or YYY Training Provider, but the CSCS won’t give me a card – why not?

This is a question we get asked too frequently.  It is particularly annoying to us, because the potential customer on the phone is deeply unimpressed.  They have often spent a lot of time and money getting a Level 2 or 3 Diploma and only now discover it is not the NVQ they originally needed – or indeed asked for.  We’ve written about this before.

Public Sector Further Education Colleges are particular offenders in this – and they should know better.  Even if the Administrators in their booking office don’t put somebody on the right course, the Assessors, who after all, have to be tradespeople, should recognise that Harry in his fifties, who’s been painting and decorating since he left school, doesn’t need to do a year or two of evening classes.

Similarly, you can’t go on a six or eight week course and get an NVQ at a training provider.  You must be assessed in the workplace.  Whilst many people get their skills doing this, they find afterwards the NVQ assessment element is not available in their area.

NVQ’s can be either Certificate or Diploma qualifications and the different names do not relate to value of the qualification, but rather the amount of Units/Credits that have to be achieved for it to be awarded.  So there is a Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Wood Occupations (Site Carpentry) and a Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Interior Systems – Dry Lining (Finishing).

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Need Advice? Click Here

Both are NVQ’s.  Both will get you the Blue Card.  They are just made up of different numbers of Units and Credits.  If you ever need advice, just call us on 01845 527 445.

How do I renew my CSCS Card?

You can renew your card from six months before it expires until six months after.  If you have left it longer than six months after the expiry date, you will need to proceed on the basis of a new application – submitting your qualification, etc.  If you have been getting your card through Industry Accreditation, you will not be able to renew it if it has lapsed, so don’t let that happen!

Prior to renewing your card, you will have to undertake the CSCS Health, Safety & Environment test – this means the industry workforce will stay up to date with the latest trends in avoidance of accidents.

How much does a CSCS Test Cost?

It should cost £21.00  Always book through the CITB directly and you will get the test cheaply.  Use this link Don’t just Google “CSCS Tests” !!  If someone wants to charge you more, they have to explain what additional services they are providing.  (Best bet – if your shopping basket is asking for more than £21.00, you’re probably on the wrong website!)

How much is a CSCS Card?

£36.00  You get the card by Applying Online Here  Before doing this, make sure you have a scanned copy of your qualification certificate and the Test ID number from your HSE pass certificate.  If you have lost your NVQ certificate – take a look here about what you can do.

And there it is – your guide to CSCS Cards and we hope it has answered your questions.  If you have any more, or ever need FREE ADVICE about getting your NVQ and CSCS Card, just call SuperSkills Construction Training on 01845 527 445.  We’re only too happy to help.

CSCS Cards - The Colours, The Costs and What You Need To Do To Get Your CSCS Card Sorted Out If you have any more questions, or ever need FREE ADVICE about getting your NVQ and CSCS Card, just call SuperSkills Construction Training on 01845 527 445.  We're only too happy to help. Read More...

Coronavirus Update – NVQ Assessments & CSCS Cards (31 March 2020)

Coronavirus Update – NVQ Assessments & CSCS Cards (Updated 31 March 2020)

There are few events that are truly “unprecedented”, even though they come as a surprise to people who should have made proper arrangements to deal with them – the recent floods are a good example.  However, the outbreak of Coronavirus that has so quickly become a global pandemic can be describe accurately using that term.

There is no part of the economy that will go unaffected by these events, so it is not surprising the construction sector is coming under strain.  And every business is going through a steep learning curve to operate in a manner that means customers will feel safe dealing with them.

For a business like SuperSkills, this means making sure we do everything we can to eliminate the possibility of infection to our customers and staff.

Coronavirus ParticleUntil last week, SuperSkills had not been affected by the Government’s restrictions on premises being open.  However, when the more restrictive “lockdown” regime was announced, SuperSkills followed the advice and came away from our premises until further notice.

We contacted all the people who were booked in for practical assessments – they will be the first people we assess when the present restrictions on movement are lifted.

The telephone is still being answered – and a surprising number of people are calling for advice – don’t just worry about what to do regarding your NVQ, CSCS Card or Health & Safety test status – if you cannot find the answers you need by following the various links on this page, then call us on 01845 527 445

We (as in me) are regularly attending the premises to get the mail – it’s usually the Qualification Certificates for candidates that have arrived from the Awarding Body – so it’s important they get them as soon as possible.

We’ve done this because now is not a time to make life difficult for people – we need to stand together to come through this crisis.  Customers are the life blood of this business – they always have been and always will be.

That’s why we are also pleased to see the CITB and CSCS respond to the Coronavirus emergency with sensible and pragmatic steps to deal with potential delays in the issuing of CSCS Cards as a result of difficulties in getting a Health, Safety & Environment Test.

The short version – Site Managers should show leniency in respect of people whose CSCS Cards expire after mid-March of this year.  But to get all your questions about CSCS Cards answered, see here.  However, there is also some UPDATED ADVICE FROM THE CSCS which is worth reading – follow the link.

There is a new version of the CSCS Health & Safety test available for local managers to administer when somebody has not been able to get an on-screen test done because there are no test centres open at the moment.

It’s contained in an application for iPhones (here) and PC’s (here) – with an Android version to follow.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page SuperSkills Construction Training for further updates – in the meantime, Stay Safe!

There are few events that are truly "unprecedented", even though they come as a surprise to people who should have made proper arrangements to deal with them - the recent floods are a good example.  However, the outbreak of Coronavirus that has so quickly become a global pandemic can be describe accurately using that term.There is no part of the economy that will go unaffected by these events, so it is not surprising the construction sector is coming under strain.For a business like SuperSkills, this means making sure we do everything we can to eliminate the possibility of infection to our customers and staff. Read More...

How Do I Get An NVQ?

How To Get An NVQ

(and how not to get ripped off……)

I spend most of my time looking at a computer these days.  That’s because my main job as the owner of SuperSkills is to get our message out to as many people as possible about how they can get their qualifications.

Nowadays, most people look on the internet to find services such as training courses.  It’s been something we’ve noticed over the years we have been delivering construction training courses and NVQ’s – since the industry started going again after the recession, the vast majority of people find us by using internet search.  I can’t remember when I last paid for a newspaper advert.  They don’t lead to customers for our business.

It follows that we need to be up at the top of the page when people look for construction training courses.  To get there, we have to (a) guess what they ask the Google search engine and (b) have a relevant answer to the query.  This is – as anyone else who does it will tell you as well – a real Dark Art.  You can buy the service, but I wouldn’t recommend doing it. My experience has been that there are a lot of people in the “Search Engine Optimisation” business who are selling little more than you can read about and do yourself.

Don’t get me wrong – they’re not all charlatans and snake oil salesmen – there are some fantastic practitioners available, with outstanding knowledge and a real desire to help.  Joost de Valk at Yoast is great.  Rand Fishkin provides superb advice in his weekly videos.

One of the best techniques is just the same as in the world of “Bricks and Mortar” as opposed to the internet.  A dress shop owner will look in her competitors windows as she goes past.  On the internet, you search on the terms you think are relevant and see who else comes up.  You have a look at their website and decide whether there is something you might do better to help your customers find you.

And that brings me to my point.  Every so often, we get customers on the phone asking “How do I get an NVQ?” and we discover they have recently been on a training course where they thought they were going to get one at the end.  Today, I was going through search results and came across a construction training provider who promised potential clients a Plastering NVQ in three weeks.  Or in four weeks if you took their four week course.

Noticing the discrepancy, I wondered if that company had found a new qualification that we hadn’t come across here at SuperSkills.  After a few minutes, I “mystery shopped” them.  I called and asked about the three week NVQ course.  Sure enough, they offer a three week course.  When I asked about the NVQ, things got a bit vague.

Apparently, you can (for additional fees) be given a file of evidence to create whilst working as a plasterer following the course.  The assessor will come out and see your work.  But when I mentioned where I’m based, I was told this would be difficult, because they have a fifty mile radius they operate in.  There could be additional travelling charges, but they tended not to travel that far.

What they were referring to is On Site Assessment & Training – which we can offer to anyone with (usually three years ) trade experience – see here.

The reality is that this – like any other course that says it will get you an NVQ – is a nonsense.  You will no doubt learn to plaster.  I am absolutely sure you will benefit from that.  However, it cannot, on its own, get you a National Vocational Qualification.  It is at best an example of mis-selling and I leave readers to decide what the worst scenario is.

To get any National Vocational Qualification, there must be evidence of your competency in the workplace.  You need to be working and for the Assessor to see you doing it – to develop your skills by giving you further training if needs be – and for you to meet the occupational standards.

The only exception to this in construction qualifications is when somebody can demonstrate their competency over many years – at least five – and to be able to produce verifiable workplace testimony from people they have worked with or for that proves they are competent.  This is called Experienced Worker Practical Assessment and it’s something SuperSkills has specialised in.  Read more about it here.

As for somebody coming to see you when you are working – the vast majority of people want the NVQ so they can get a CSCS Card to be allowed to work on a site.  No card, no job – no job, no work to be assessed doing – so there is a real “Catch 22” if you’ve spent your money to no purpose.

Now you might wonder why I have such a bee in my bonnet that I have spent an hour or so writing about something that – to be blunt – is nothing to do with me.  The reason is that I hate people being ripped off.  When somebody is starting out in a trade, they deserve to be dealt with in a manner that is above board.  But also, there are plenty of training providers who don’t go in for this sort of malpractice.  Funnily enough, they are the ones who get the phone calls from previous customers asking for more training.

The moral of the story is to understand that you simply cannot just take a short training course and get an NVQ.

If somebody tells you their course will get you one, ask how.  In detail.  With precision.  Find out just how much extra it will cost.  Which Awarding Body is involved.  How you will be assessed.  Are there any restrictions in terms of time or distance.  What is the title of the qualification.  Then go on that awarding body’s website and establish whether the training provider is accredited to deliver it.

If at any time you are in doubt, look elsewhere – or decide that you only need the skills training and can get the qualification another time.  That way, you won’t be disappointed.

Click Here Call NowAsking questions.  The simple way of not getting ripped off.

Don’t forget – we are always happy to give people FREE advice about how they can get their NVQ’s and CSCS Cards.  Just call 01845 527445 and we will be happy to help.

SuperSkills offers a range of Construction NVQ Assessments:

To get any National Vocational Qualification, there must be evidence of your competency in the workplace. You need to be working and for the Assessor to see you doing it – to develop your skills by giving you further training if needs be – and for you to meet the occupational standards. You can't get the NVQ if your training is completely delivered at a training centre. Read More...

Getting Your CSCS Health Safety and Environment Test Without A Booking Fee

Do You Need Your CSCS Health Safety and Environment Test?

We often say to people on the phone they should be careful when booking a CSCS Health Safety and Environment test.

That’s because some firms have set up just to “Book” the tests. They advertise the tests on Google and when people call them, all they do is go onto the CSCS Website to make the booking.

These companies charge a wholly unjustified “Booking Fee”.  The CSCS have become so concerned about this, they have issued a warning – see here.

To get answers to ALL your questions about the CSCS Health & Safety Test, Click Here

The truth is, there is NO BOOKING CHARGE for the CSCS Health Safety and Environment Test online.

The CSCS charge £21.00 for the test Click Here To Go To Their Website

Candidates apply for their cards over the telephone to CSCS and will be charged £36.

If you are a Bricklayer, Carpenter, Dry Liner, Painter, Plasterer or Wall & Floor Tiler, we can help you get your NVQ Level 2 and “Skilled Worker” Blue Card.  Just call 01845 527 445 for details!

Do You Need Your CSCS Health Safety and Environment Test? We often say to people on the phone they should be careful when booking a CSCS Health Safety and Environment test. That’s because some firms have set up just to “Book” the tests. They advertise the tests on Google and when people call them, all they […] Read More...

Why Should I Get A CSCS Card And NVQ?

We get asked for information about CSCS Cards regularly

Get Your Blue CSCS Card With SuperSkills

CSCS Cards – An Essential Tool In Your Box!

– and it is usually by people who have been in the trade for many years and have excellent skills, but suddenly find they cannot get on sites or work for Local Authorities because they don’t have the right CSCS Card.  In addition, there are also insurance companies that are requiring people to have trade qualifications when they renew their public liability insurance.

The CSCS Card ( the initials stand for “Construction Skills Certification Scheme”) bears your name and photograph and on the back it has the qualifications you have attained.

Most sites will want you to have the Blue “Skilled Worker” CSCS Card, although there are temporary, trainee and provisional cards that will enable people to get qualified whilst they are working.  In addition, other cards cover Supervisors (the Gold CSCS Card), managers – even site visitors.

What the CSCS Card scheme does is enable an employer or site manager to tell at a glance that the worker has passed a recognised trade qualification and also they have been assessed as understanding the basics of safety in construction.

When you bear in mind just how many people get injured or killed during construction work every year, or who suffer long term injuries and disabilities to their breathing, hearing or their backs, it is not surprising that tighter regulation has been put into place and the requirement for people to have a CSCS Card has emerged.

How do I get a CSCS Card?

Another “frequently asked question” which we always answer in two ways – firstly “Quite simply” and then by asking “What Trade do you need the CSCS Card for?”  That is how we determine which card you need.

If you are starting out in construction and are going to be an Apprentice, for example, you will get a RED “Trainee” CSCS Card.  As your skills progress and you complete the Apprenticeship framework and get your NVQ Level 2, you will be able to apply for the “Skilled Worker” Blue CSCS Card.  If you have Three Years Experience in construction, you can go through On Site Assessment & Training to get a Level 2 NVQ, whereas people with Five Years Experience can often go through the Experienced Worker Practical Assessment Route created by CITB-Construction Skills to avoid people who do not require a lot of training to get their qualifications and CSCS Card quickly.

Please Note – You need the NVQ element of the qualification, which must include assessment of your work in the workplace.  Just taking a Level 2 Diploma course in a training school is NOT an NVQ and will not get you the Blue Card.  It is not at all unusual for us to get called by people who have spent a lot of time and money getting a Diploma and then finding they cannot get the right CSCS Card.  Always check you have been registered for an NVQ.  Never assume that you can be assessed after completing the course – many places say they will do this, but have a mileage limitation on their service.

Taking The CSCS Card Test

We offer a one-stop shop service at SuperSkills, so you will take the CSCS Card test whilst you are with us.  It is simple and there are no “trick” questions.  There is an App which contains the questions and answers so you can practice.  I always say to people – imagine you are on a large building site, with plant and other equipment moving around and lots of people working.  Read ALL of the question, read ALL of the answers and then apply logic.  The test is about Health, Safety and the Environment.  It follows that you are looking for the Healthiest, the Safest or the most environmentally friendly answer.  If what the worker in the question is being asked to do is unsafe, or they haven’t been trained to do it, the answer is “Don’t do it”.

You have plenty of time.  Most people will take about half the forty five minutes allocated.

There is no set “Pass Mark” since the test changed in 2012.  The system is looking at your knowledge of the subject.  Get every answer right except three questions on signs – you will fail.  That’s because you don’t know enough about signs.  However, the three things that make most people fail (provided they have revised for the test) are Rushing, not Reading the questions and answers properly and (I regret to say) not Telling us they may have a problem with reading, so may need to use the Headphones.

What will it cost?

The basic cost of the test is £21.00.  You Should Always Book Your Test Direct Online Click Here  The reason for this is there are people who advertise the tests, but just book people in to them.  They can charge up to £45.00 for a test.

We hope that helps you understand how the testing system works.  Once you’ve got your test arranged, if you need to get your NVQ and skilled worker CSCS Card, you can call SuperSkills on 01845 527445.

You can see all our NVQ Assessment programmes here.

 

 

We get asked for information about CSCS Cards regularly – and it is usually by people who have been in the trade for many years and have excellent skills, but suddenly find they cannot get on sites or work for Local Authorities because they don’t have the right CSCS Card.  In addition, there are also […] Read More...

Changes To CSCS Operatives Card For Labourers

Are You Ready?

SuperSkills has received notification from the CITB saying:

Changes To CSCS Operatives Card For Labourers

From 1st July 2014 the green Construction Site Operative (CSO) card will no longer be issued.

There will be a new green CSCS card only available for people working in labouring occupations.

They go on to say:

“CSCS is a scheme for the construction industry that confirms site workers’ training and qualifications.

Many site workers who are carrying out skilled occupations have been applying for the green CSO card as the easiest route to gain access to construction sites.

This makes it difficult for contractors to use CSCS cards as a reliable method of checking that site workers have the appropriate skills to work on construction sites safely and effectively.”

This has implications for Employers and Trades alike and SuperSkills has already applied to CSkills Awards – CITB to make sure that people coming to us will be able to take their tests and get their cards after 1st July 2014.

If you work in a labouring occupation you can apply for the new green Labourer card.  You will need to:

Provide evidence that you have achieved one of the following:

Level 1 Award Health and Safety in a Construction Environment – This is what SuperSkills will be offering

or

CIEH Level 2 Award Health and Safety in the Workplace

or

One day Site Safety Plus Health and Safety Awareness Course

So – If you think this applies to you or one of the people you employ, have a look at the list shown above and make arrangements to get the new card sorted out.

Don’t forget – SuperSkills is always ready to provide FREE advice to help people make the right choice.

To ask what you need to do, just give us a call on 01845 527445

Are You Ready? SuperSkills has received notification from the CITB saying: From 1st July 2014 the green Construction Site Operative (CSO) card will no longer be issued. There will be a new green CSCS card only available for people working in labouring occupations. They go on to say: “CSCS is a scheme for the construction industry that […] Read More...