CSCS (AQP) Academically Qualified Person’s Card

CSCS Ltd, the body responsible for administering the much criticised Skills Card Scheme, have announced there is to be a new level of card for people holding qualifications other than an NVQ.

The AQP (Academically Qualified Person) Card is a white/yellow card and will be valid for 5 years. The idea is that it gives holders of traditional qualifications the opportunity to train for a relevant NVQ whilst recognising the achievement of a range of industry recognised qualifications including Degrees,  HNC’s, and NEBOSH certificates.

A full list of acceptable qualifications can be found here.

Although most people affected will likely already be registered for some other card (such as the Red Trainee Card)  the move goes someway to addressing criticism of the scheme which has, hitherto, ignored these higher level qualifications in favour of NVQ’s.

CSCS have also announced that rules for obtaining the current Green card are to be updated so operatives must achieve at least an NVQ level 1 to qualify. From 1st July 2014 the card will become known as the Labourer’s Card and will be linked to the new NVQ in Health and Safety for Construction Labourers.

42 thoughts on “CSCS (AQP) Academically Qualified Person’s Card”

    • The only way you could get a black card would be via the Profiled Route.
      To qualify via this route you must already be employed as a manager or supervisor by a main contractor.
      The alternative is to apply for the appropriate Red Card until you can do the NVQ.

  1. Does this also apply to internationals who have a certificate (say NEBOSH-ICC). If so, how is this card of importance to us the supervisors? is it only for academic purposes?

    • The relevant NEBOSH qualifications include:

      International Certificate in Construction Health and Safety
      National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety
      National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

      The card is for those who do not yet have the necessary NVQ for their job role. It was introduced in response to criticism from people who have achieved academic qualifications but still do not qualify for a full card because they haven’t done the NVQ.

  2. I am holder of the Yellow card and was wondering what the benefit of upgrading the white AQP card would be? I hold both a degree and HNC recognised by CSCS.

      • Is their any additional criteria required other than supply yellow card details and education certificate?

        thanks again, much quicker response that the official website.

        • You’ll have to complete the Health, Safety and Environment Test for Managers unless you already did this for your yellow card. Response from CSCS is slow but you usually get a reply within 2 weeks.
          They will accept a digital copy of any certificates via email if you don’t want to supply the originals btw.

  3. I have a degree in construction ( btech) and 5+ years experience as a site manager. Pursuing my masters in project management currently. can i apply for a black card ?

    • You’ll need to do an NVQ in site management, your degree and experience is not relevant. The logic behind this policy is that an NVQ is a ‘competence’ based qualification and a degree is academic.
      Not the answer you wanted I know but this is the crazy world we now have to live in.

      • I completed my ACS ccn1 domestic gas certificates which are completely hands on over 2 days of full safety assessments but still had to sit a plumbing cscs test as no gas tech test exists. How does a 5 minute online test prove competence or even an NVQ assessed on site in a rather vague way. Oh not to forget the 30 years experience as a brick layer.

        • The various card schemes have been adopted so main contractors have some evidence to show they are employing competent people. It’s a an easy method for them to manage and has nothing to do with your experience or ability to do the job.

  4. I have two construction related masters – building surveying and building conservation -t an irata level 3 rope access supervisor’s cert and 12 years self emplyed industry experience. Still not recongised by cscs, to them I don’t qualify for black card as no nvq! Clearly not competent ;(

    • No.

      The AQP card was introduced to recognise some academic qualifications that were previously disregarded by the scheme. The black manager’s card is a different regime altogether.

  5. Hello there, I am going to give the MAP test and I was wondering if I can work as a labourer holding an AQP

    • The requirements for holding an AQP card are far and above those for the labourer’s card so the answer is yes, in theory.

        • For the card you only need to give the name of someone who can vouch for you. If you’re unemployed the job centre will vouch for you. If you’re self employed a past customer.

          • Well, can this ”someone” be anyone then? Like a friend or roommate? Oh and what if my previous employer is in, say Germany or Sweden?

  6. I have over 30 years working in Construction, as a Site Engineer & General Foreman as well as running my own business providing services to the construction industry. I have a BTEC Certificate in Building Studies, yet I only qualify for a ‘Trainee’ card in a technical capacity. How can I upgrade to cover my current role as a Setting Out Engineer?

  7. I have worked in the construction industry as a civil/structural engineering technician (draughtsman) for over 3 decades, the majority of that time as a freelance contractor. In recent years I have been working in Oil & gas related positions, but due to the downturn in that sector I’m currently looking at positions in rail/nuclear/ports & marine. I recently inquired about a position with a civil engineering contractor but was not even considered for the position because I don’t have a CSCS card.

    I have looked into obtaining a CSCS card and due to my HNC in Civil Engineering Studies it appears my best route would be to take the Managers and Professionals, Health, Safety and Environment Test, then apply for a CSCS AQP Card.

    The point I need clarification on is who can sign-off the application for me? I am currently between contracts so don’t have an employer as such. Is the sign-off similar to a passport application where a person ‘of standing’ needs to vouch that you are who you say you are? I have many contacts in positions, such as Lead Engineer, Commercial Manager, Principle Designer, could any of these sign-off my application even if I haven’t worked with/for them in recent years?

    • The person who signs the declaration should be your current or past employer or someone with a Manager’s CSCS card or higher. It doesn’t matter so much about the time span, just that someone can verify you held the position you say you did.

      For the AQP route you’ll also need to scan your HNC certificate and email it to CSCS. It takes a couple of weeks before you hear anything back but you’ll only need to do it once.

      You can go ahead and book your manager’s test while you are waiting and I’d strongly advise you to buy the official revision aid. Most of it is common sense but there are a couple of trick questions designed to catch you out.

      It’s also worth noting there are a range of card schemes. CSCS covers most occupations in the construction industry but there may be schemes more applicable to the oil & gas or nuclear industries?

  8. I am academically qualified (HND & degree) with 22 years experience in industry but not a member of professional institutions. I currently hold a Site Visitor card. I renewed the H&S test yesterday (for operatives). Today I discover this AQP card – when did it first come into existence as I dont think it was around in 2010 when I got the Site Visitor card. Can I apply for AQP or do I have to do the Professional test in order to attain one.

    • The AQP card was introduced a couple of years ago to recognise academic qualifications that were previously being disregarded. It’s intended as a stop-gap until you attain full professional status and is only valid for 5 years.

      You can hold both cards but, yes, you’d have to do the Site Manager/Supervisor H&S test. You may want to consider whether it’s worth your while though
      since the AQP card merely confirms you have an academic qualification – which you can prove already? Unless you are intending to attain professional status it may be a waste of time and money?

  9. I hold a black managers card and have 39yrs in the industry I would like to know if someone with a white Academically Qualified card who has taken the CITB managers H&S test can take over the site when I leave?

    • There are no set rules as to who can run a site in respect of the CSCS Card scheme. In theory, you don’t need any card to be in charge of site, it is a matter for the employer, client or main contractor to decide this.

      From a legal stance, in respect of the CDM regulations, so long as you have satisfied yourself the person taking over is sufficiently experienced and competent to do so you have nothing to worry about.

      The confusion comes about because a lot of main contractors are relying purely on the card scheme as a measure of competence because it is expedient to do so.

  10. My AQP card runs out in 2020, will I be able to renew the card then or do I have to do an NVQ.

    • The AQP card lasts for 5 years and can’t be renewed. You will have to apply for the most appropriate card to your current role.

  11. Can I change my red trainee card to aqp I have n.o.c.n qualifications and have been working on site bricklaying for the past couple of years but employers are not overkeen on the red card

    • No, and they aren’t so keen on AQP cards either. Just try and avoid these so called ’employers’ if you can.

  12. I am From Sri Lanka.. I am going to study civil Engineering BEng in UK this year.. I already have HND in Civil Engineering in Sri Lanka.. can i take my cscs card in UK?

  13. I did BS (Civil Engineering) from Pakistan and I want to work in UK so can anyone tell me which card is suitable for me whether it is Trainee card, Academically Qualified Person card etc.

  14. I have a Certificate of Higher Education in Civil Engineering and passed the CITB MAP test, does this allow me t apply for a white/yellow cscs card?

  15. I am a “happy owner” of a AQP cscs card but I really dont know for what kind of job I may apply. I have quification in Building Services and my card is issued for “Building and Construction related degree. My degree is recognised by NARIC as Engineer in Building Services in Construction – equivalent with Bachelor (Honorus) degree standard.
    Many thanks for any advice.

Comments are closed.