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Services for Individuals

Frequently Asked Questions
for Construction Industries

This FAQ is specifically about applications for the UK NARIC Statement of Comparability for Construction Skills. For our more general FAQ, click here.

What are the deadlines?

From 1 January 2018, all applications for CSCS cards will require Primary Source Verification to prove the qualifications are genuine. This includes Statements of Comparability for Construction Skills, both with and without skills mapping.

Until 31 December 2017, CSCS will accept standard UK NARIC Statements of Comparability dated up to 29 September 2017 without extra verification.

Until 31 December 2017, for applications for Skilled Worker, Advanced Craft, Supervisory or Manager cards, CSCS will accept an unmapped Statement of Comparability for Construction Skills with a PSV report. From 1 January 2018, to apply for these cards you will need a Statement of Comparability for Construction Skills with Skills Mapping and PSV.

These deadlines and requirements also apply to renewals, upgrades, or replacements of CSCS cards that require additional documentation of non-UK qualifications, or if you want to transfer to another CSCS card category.

What is UK NARIC and do you issue CSCS cards?

UK NARIC is the designated United Kingdom national agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills. We offer a Statement of Comparability for Construction Skills which gives a comparison between an overseas qualification and UK qualifications. CSCS requires this as part of their application process for CSCS cards if your qualifications are not from the UK.

We do not represent CSCS and we do not issue CSCS cards. For information on CSCS please see their website.

What is the CSCS card scheme for construction workers?

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) issues smart cards as proof that workers on construction sites have specific training and qualifications. Many contractors and construction clients insist that workers on their sites hold the appropriate CSCS card for the work they do. Ask your employer or recruitment agency whether you need a CSCS card.

Details on how to apply for a CSCS card can be found on their website.

Do I need this specialised Statement of Comparability for Construction Skills?

Not everyone who works in the construction sector needs a CSCS card. If you plan to be a sole trader, to work on small-scale projects, or to work off-site as a specialist craftsperson, you probably don’t need a CSCS card.

If you want to work on major construction projects such as London Crossrail, or you want to work for big construction companies, you may need a CSCS card. These cards have microchips that can be read by a smartphone or card reader. They certify that individuals working on construction sites have the required training and qualifications for the work they are doing. 

You can find out if you need a CSCS card for a job from an employment advertisement, your recruitment agency or your employer. They can also tell you which CSCS card to apply for.

What kind of CSCS Card do I need?

There are three types of CSCS card:

  1. Professionally Qualified Person,
  2. Academically Qualified Person, and
  3. Craft and Trades Person, including Supervisors and Managers.

You can use the CSCS Cardfinder to work out which type of card you will need for your work.
The information in this FAQ and on the UK NARIC website is for types 2 and 3.

Professionally Qualified Person CSCS cards

If you are applying for a Professionally Qualified Person CSCS card, you will need to show you are a member of the UK professional body that governs your industry. You may find the Centre for Professional Qualifications useful.

I already have a UK NARIC Statement of Comparability – do I need to get a new one?

If your UK NARIC Statement of Comparability was issued before 29 September 2017, you can use it to apply for a CSCS card until 31 December 2017. After that date, you will need to get a new, verified Statement of Comparability for Construction Skills, possibly with Skills Mapping.

These deadlines and requirements also apply to renewals, upgrades, or replacements of CSCS cards that require additional documentation of non-UK qualifications, or if you wish to transfer to another CSCS card category.

What documents do I need to apply for a CSCS card?

When you apply to CSCS for a card, include the following documents to help them make a decision:

  1. Photocopies of your original qualifications
  2. Translations of your qualifications
  3. Your CV
  4. Your Statement of Comparability for Construction Skills from UK NARIC (with or without mapping)
  5. Your Primary Source Verification Report from UK NARIC.

It is important that you show CSCS all of your qualifications, including licences, registrations and other, non-national qualifications, which UK NARIC cannot compare to UK qualifications eg driving licence. CSCS will use all of this evidence to assess your skills and experience, and your suitability for a CSCS card.

I’m applying for a statement with Skills Mapping – why is this in two stages?

A CSCS card provides proof that a construction worker has the appropriate training and qualifications to do a specific job on site safely and correctly. Because the content of training courses is not fixed, CSCS needs to know exactly what your skills are to decide if you can have a specific CSCS card.

To achieve this, CSCS has introduced a requirement that overseas construction workers wishing to work in the UK will have the technical content of their overseas qualification mapped against the relevant UK National Occupational Standard for that occupation. This detailed mapping must be verified by the Construction Industry Training Board.

Not all qualifications are suitable for this, so Stage 1 is a low-cost initial check. We will tell you if your qualifications are suitable for the detailed skills mapping of Stage 2.

The 2-stage process means that if your qualifications are not suitable, you are saved the expense and time of going through the full mapping process.

What happens after Stage 1?

If our assessments suggest you are able to apply for a statement with skills mapping, we will tell you, and we will send you information on applying for Stage 2 to produce a full skills map.

If our assessments show your application will not be successful, we will tell you, and explain why.

Why does the training institution or organisation need to fill in the mapping forms?

The institution or organisation where you did your training should have detailed records of what you learned. They can use these to complete the mapping forms to show how your training and skills meet UK standards.

Why do I need this extra checking and verification?

CSCS has recently received a large number of applications for CSCS cards using false documents. CSCS cards are intended to prove of a worker’s qualifications and expertise. They enable managers to allocate work and responsibilities on-site to maintain safety and quality of work. False documents mean unqualified workers on a site, which can be dangerous.

Are overseas applications the only ones verified?

No. CSCS has its own verification system in place with UK colleges and training providers to check for fraud. Authenticated proof of training is essential for everyone who applies for a CSCS card. These checks bring the requirements for overseas applicants into line with those for UK applicants.

Do you verify all of my qualifications?

Primary Source Verification checks one qualification, usually your highest or most recent one. However, you can tell us if you want us to verify a different qualification – eg if you have a Master’s degree in Advanced Building Technologies and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, you may want us to verify your Civil Engineering qualification if that is the CSCS card you are applying for. Equally, if you know one of your certificates covers most of the elements for a role, you can ask for the PSV to check that qualification.

Your Statement of Comparability for Construction Skills will give UK comparisons for all the qualifications you enter in the system, but only one will be PSV checked.

What if the institution that awarded my qualifications has closed or merged?

If your university, college or training provider has been merged with others, the new institution should have records of former students, which we can check.

If your institution has closed, we can check with a national or regional qualifications authority, a licensing board, or a standards-setting body. The information we need must be specific to the course you studied and prove that you passed the modules included in your application.

Why does this service take longer than a standard UK NARIC Statement of Comparability?

Because UK NARIC has to make a PSV check directly with the training providers that issued your qualifications, it will take up to 30 working days to produce your statement once we have received all the documents we require from you. If there are problems that may delay your statement, we will tell you as quickly as possible.

Can I use Translation Waiver or Fast Track services?

Because of the PSV check, it is not possible to fast-track these applications.

If you are applying for the unmapped statement, you can use the Translation Waiver Service for a fee.

For applications for the statement with Skills Mapping, you will need to have your documents translated into English.

If these and our main FAQ page don’t answer your question, please log in to your account and message us. We will reply to all messages within 5 working days, but we try to be faster. If you are not registered online, you can email info@naric.org.uk.

If your question is urgent you can phone us on +44 (0)871 330 7033
Calls cost 11p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.
Our office hours are Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00, UK time
Please have your unique UK NARIC enquiry ID available if you want to discuss your application.

If you want to send us anything by post, our address is

UK NARIC
Suffolk House, 68-70 Suffolk Road
Cheltenham, GL50 2ED
UK

UK NARIC’s offices are not open to the public, so you can’t visit us to discuss your application in person.

Our fax number is +44 (0)871 330 7005

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