Experienced worker route

The Experienced Worker SKILLcard provides recognition of competence for experienced workers who have been working within building services for at least five years but don't currently hold an industry recognised qualification.

The Experienced Worker SKILLcard

The blue experienced worker SKILLcard is provided for experienced workers who have missed the chance to obtain a SKILLcard by Industry Accreditation (sometimes referred to as 'grandfather rights') and who have no formal industry qualifications but work in a skilled capacity, allowing them to gain access to construction sites while achieving their NVQ or SVQ.

This card is valid for three years and is non-renewable.


To be eligible to apply for an experienced worker SKILLcard you must

1. have at least 5 years’ experience in one of the following qualifications:

  • Building Services Engineering Service & Maintenance Technician/Engineer

  • Commissioning Engineer or Technician

  • Domestic Heating Installer/Fitter/Service Engineer

  • Gas Fitter Domestic or Industrial & Commercial

  • H&V Fitter/Welder/Installer/Pipefitter

  • Plumber Domestic or Industrial & Commercial

  • Refrigeration/Air conditioning Technician/Engineer

2. have completed an approved Health and Safety test within the last two years

3. be in a role equivalent to operating at level 2 or 3

4. be registered with an assessment centre


The five year eligibility rule is to make a clear distinction between experienced workers who are already competent and require formal recognition of their competence and others who are still working towards being competent and need to complete the full NVQ/SVQ.


Experienced workers who wish to access the Level 3 portfolio route, must have already achieved the relevant specified Level 2 unit.


Available routes

Experienced Worker Performance Units from City and Guild 6188 Diplomas in Heating and Ventilating


6188 Level 2 Performance Units:

Qualification  Unit No  Unit Title 
Industrial and Commercial Installation 230  Install industrial and commercial heating and ventilating systems 

Service and Maintenance 

Service and maintain industrial and commercial heating and ventilation systems 


6188 Level 3 Performance Units:

Qualification  Unit No  Unit Title 

Industrial and Commercial Installation

Unit 308
plus one other from:

Unit 312, Unit 314 or Unit 310

 308 Install H&V industrial and commercial systems
 312 Perform industrial and commercial oxy-acetylene pipe joining
 314 Perform industrial and commercial manual metal arc pipe jointing
 310 Maintain industrial and commercial H&V systems
Service and Maintenance
Maintain and diagnose faults on H&V industrial and commercial systems


The assessment centre will undertake an initial review of the worker’s skills, knowledge and experience to establish if the candidate has a reasonable expectation of achieving the relevant unit/s. An assessment profile and action plan will be produced, setting out what evidence needs to be produced, how it should be presented and authenticated, and how it will be assessed.

You can apply for a Experienced Worker SKILLcard via our online system.

Once the specified unit/s have been achieved and the certificate/s received, Experienced Workers can apply to have their Experienced Workers card upgraded to the relevant Skilled Worker card. The Skilled Worker card upgrade application form can be downloaded here.


Get your Experienced Worker SKILLcard with BESA Training

BESA Training facilitates approved training and certification throughout the building services industry from apprenticeships and short courses to experienced worker programmes.

Experienced Worker Programmes are available from BESA Training in the following units:

An Experienced Worker SKILLcard will be included for all eligible candidates who undertake their Experienced Worker Programme with BESA Training.

For further information visit: www.thebesa.com/training


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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: Read our Business Continuity statement and updates here.






In Scotland, centres are recommencing 22nd July (majority of Pearson Professional Centres).

 In Wales. centres are recommencing 20th July (all Pearson Professional Centres).

As of 18 May 2020, CITB has re-opened the HS&E testing operations in England through the Pearson Performance Centres only. However, due to social distancing measures, availability may be limited. Leicester Pearson VUE Centre is currently affected by localised lock-down.


You can keep up to date with the latest CITB messaging here


Because of limited access to CITB courses, we continue to ask those responsible for site access to use their discretion towards expired SKILLcards. Read more

Watch our short video about expired SKILLcards here.

Our telephone lines are open and applications can still be made via the online service here.

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