How much is a CSCS Card? : The 5 Most Important Things You Need to Know About the Cost of a CSCS Card in 2024

how much is a cscs card

Hollie Warren

Managing Director at Portland Training

“How much is a CSCS card?”

Are you wondering how much a CSCS card really costs? It can often be confusing and difficult to understand the true cost of a CSCS card, so we’re going to provide a full breakdown so you know exactly what you need to do.

In summary, a CSCS card technically only costs £36. However, you will also need to complete a relevant qualification to hold the card and complete the required CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test, which costs £22.50. 

The easiest way to really answer the question “how much is a CSCS card?” Is through using this formula:

Qualification cost + CSCS card application fee + CITB health and safety test – CITB grant claims and funding.

Essentially, a NVQ (or equivalent qualification) is the most expensive aspect of the costs of a CSCS card. However we’ll provide a full breakdown of all associated costs. In this article, we’ll go through this formula, breaking it down into 5 sections so you can easily understand how much you’ll need to pay.


1: CSCS Card Cost

Once you have completed a relevant NVQ to the card you’re looking to apply for, you’ll be eligible to apply for your CSCS card. You’ll have to go to the CSCS website and pay them directly for your application. The fee for any type of CSCS card is £36 and should only be paid to the CSCS. If you’re looking to replace or renew an expired, lost or damaged CSCS card, you will still only pay this fee. Jump to The Cost of Renewing Your CSCS Card.

 However, in order to apply for your card, you must first complete the CITB Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) Test.

How much is a cscs card

2: CITB Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) Test Cost

The health, safety and environment (HS&E) test, commonly referred to as the touch screen test, costs £22.50 and should only be paid to the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board). You must complete this test in order to apply for your CSCS card.

You can read our comprehensive guide “How Much is a CITB Test?” to learn more.

You can book your test online through the CITB website. Book a test. Alternatively, you can book by phone by calling the CITB on 0344 994 4488. Lines are open from 8am to 8pm (Monday to Friday) and from 8am to 12pm on Saturdays. Please note that the line is closed on Sundays and bank holidays.

There are 3 different types of HS&E tests: Operatives, Specialists, Managers and Professionals. To find out what test you’ll need to complete to apply for your card, you can use the CSCS Card Finder. This will let you know what CITB health, safety and environment test you’ll need to complete to apply for your CSCS card.

3: Construction NVQ

In order to apply for a CSCS card, you will need to complete a construction NVQ. This is the most important aspect of the cost of a CSCS card and is often overlooked.

The CSCS card is essentially a certification that proves that you have completed a construction NVQ and the relevant HS&E test.

Please note that whilst qualifications such as SSSTS and SMSTS are incredibly valuable, they are not enough alone to obtain a CSCS card, you must still complete a relevant construction NVQ. To find out more about what level NVQ you’ll need to complete to get your CSCS card, read our quick post on construction NVQs.

If you need a construction NVQ to apply for a CSCS card, we are able to offer 100+ trade specific NVQs. As a CITB approved training provider, Portland Training are able to provide you with any construction NVQ you need from level 1-7. Our experienced assessors will come to your place of work, or remotely, and gather all the required evidence to obtain your qualification as soon as possible. Browse our NVQs and make an enquiry today. Not sure what qualification you need? Contact a member of our team by clicking to chat at the bottom of the page, we’re available from 9-5 Monday to Friday to discuss any of your construction NVQ needs including pricing, timescales and funding.

Temporary CSCS cards (Red CSCS Card)

Once you enrol on to the required NVQ, you’ll be able to apply for a trainee CSCS card to ensure that you have certification that you are working towards your NVQ. This can be helpful if you need a card to get on site, or to prove your job role. This will expire faster than a standard CSCS card and is only intended to be temporary until you complete your construction NVQ and get your new card. Learn more about applying for a temporary card on the CSCS website.

4: CITB Grants and Funding: How to Reduce the Total Cost of Your CSCS Card

In order to reduce the total cost of a CSCS card, you may be able to access training grants and funding, we’ll go throuhg two ways you can save money on your required construction NVQ in this section.

CITB Grants

If you’re looking to get a construction NVQ, you’ll need to know about the CITB grant scheme. You’ll be able to claim back money through the CITB training grant, providing that the company you work for are CITB registered and pay into the levy. Contact your employer to learn more about this if you are unsure.

See our list below on how much you can claim back for each NVQ:

  • Level 2: £950
  • Level 3/4: £1250-£1500
  • Level 6: £1500
  • Level 7: £1500

Using the CITB training grants can significantly reduce the cost of your NVQ, and ultimately the cost of your CSCS card.


Portland Training are able to access government funding on your behalf for fully funded level 3 NVQs under the Free Courses for Jobs scheme. If you’re looking to obtain a gold CSCS card ( Supervisor or Advanced Craft), then we’re able to offer the full fully funded level 3 you need to apply for it. By obtaining a fully funded NVQ, you’ll only have to pay £58.50 (£36 to the CSCS and £22.50 to the CITB) to progress your career and obtain your gold CSCS card.

If you’re interested in getting a level 3 NVQ, look at our Free Courses for Jobs offering to learn more about eligibility and timescales.

5: The Cost of Renewing or Replacing a Lost or Damaged CSCS Card

If you already held a CSCS card with the required qualification but it has expired, is lost or damaged, you can reapply for it through the CSCS for just £36. However, you must have completed the relevant HS&E test within the last 2 years. CSCS cards are valid for 5 years from the date of issue, so when they expire you’ll need to renew it.

Not sure if you need to renew your CSCS card? Got any questions about your specific CSCS card? Read our comprehensive guide: How Long Does a CSCS Card Last?

Summary: How Much is a CSCS Card?

If you’re looking to get hold of your CSCS card after reading this, hopefully you’ll be able to understand the true costs associated. To wrap up, we’ll go back through the formula discussed at the beginning.

Qualification cost+ CSCS card application fee+ CITB health and safety test- CITB grant claims and funding.

The cost of the qualification is a key aspect to consider when factoring in the cost of a CSCS card. If you’d like to know how much we can save for you on the price of your qualification, please get in touch with a member of our team.

  1. First, you’ll need to complete a relevant construction NVQ. Contact us today to discuss pricing and what you’re looking for.
  2. Once you’ve completed your NVQ, you’ll need to complete the relevant CITB Health, Safety and Environment test (touch screen test). Or you can do this straight away if you need a temporary card. (£22.50)
  3. Next, you can apply through the CSCS for your card. (£36)
  4. Remember, you can claim back through the CITB training grant to reduce costs!
  5. If you’re looking for a gold CSCS card, you may be eligible to get your level 3 NVQ free of charge.

If you have any questions on anything discussed in this article or want to enquire about construction NVQs, click to chat at the bottom of the screen or fill out the form below and a member of our team will be in touch as soon as possible.

Please note that Portland Training are in no way commercially associated with the Construction Safety Certification Scheme (CSCS) or the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and are not able to provide CSCS cards. All applications and payments relating to CSCS cards must be done so through the CSCS. All CITB tests must be authorised and paid to the CITB. The sole purpose of this article is to provide information ascertaining to CSCS cards.