New qualification for people working on UK construction sites

The British Safety Council has launched a new qualification which, from 1 July 2014, can be used to obtain a CSCS Green Card.

The Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment is aimed at people seeking work or already working in non-skilled roles in the construction industry. Designed to be delivered by employers, private training providers, schools and colleges, the qualification provides essential knowledge and understanding of health and safety hazards and precautions. Successful completion of the qualification enables learners to apply for the Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) Green Card, which provides access to UK construction sites as a non-skilled worker.

From 1 July 2014, anyone wishing to obtain the CSCS Green Card will have to either pass a Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment qualification or hold a valid Site Safety Plus Health and Safety Awareness Course certificate. They will also be required to pass the Construction Industry Training Board’s Operatives Health, Safety and Environmental Test within two years prior to applying for the card. Most UK contractors and construction clients insist that workers on their sites hold the appropriate CSCS card for the work they undertake, making the CSCS Green Card essential for anyone seeking work as a non-skilled operative. 

Alex Botha, chief executive of the British Safety Council, said: “Construction is a high risk industry, accounting for over a quarter of all fatal injuries to employees in Great Britain, despite employing just 5% of all employees.

“The new Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment allows employers, training providers and colleges to provide non-skilled construction workers with an essential foundation in health and safety at work, which will help make construction sites safer and healthier for everyone.”

He added: “Delivering the qualification is very straightforward. Once an organisation has applied for centre and qualification approval, they purchase the assessments and manage their candidates online. Centres deliver the learning using the high quality teaching and student materials provided by the British Safety Council, and candidates’ knowledge and understanding is assessed though a multiple-choice examination that can be either taken online or on paper. Online examination results are available immediately and the results of paper-based examinations are issued within two working days. Certificates follow by post within two working days.

“Prices for the assessments start at just £6.95 per candidate, depending on the number of assessments purchased and the examination method chosen.”     

For further information go to: or contact the British Safety Council on +44 (0)20 8741 1231 or email [email protected]

Further information on the new CSCS Green Card can be found at: