All about Skillcards

Why should I register for a SKILLcard?

Many construction and site managers request that their workers hold a SKILLcard before coming on site. Engineering Services SKILLcard aims to provide you with the following benefits:      

  • access to many construction sites
  • industry-wide recognition of your skills, competence and qualifications  
  • improving your knowledge and awareness of workplace health and safety
  • enhancing your employment prospects
  • identifying your training needs, and the chance to develop and add to existing skills
  • confirmation of your professionalism - and differentiation from the industry 'cowboys'


What SKILLcards are available?

View the different types of SKILLcards.


Who can apply for a SKILLcard?

Anybody working in the heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration industry, including ductwork and other specialisms associated with the building engineering services industry - such as service and facilities, domestic heating and plumbing, and refrigeration and air conditioning. The scope of SKILLcard also covers those with supervisory and managerial responsibilities in the building engineering services industry.

You do not have to be employed in order to register. You could be self-employed, an agency worker or unemployed.

Membership of the scheme is confirmed through the issue of an Engineering Services SKILLcard. Engineering Services SKILLcard is a partner of the pan-industry Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS). The terms of the partnership ensures that Engineering Services SKILLcard complies with the requirements of CSCS. There is no need, therefore, for separate registration with CSCS.

A trainee signed up to an approved apprenticeship route within our sector OR enrolled onto a qualification or training programme requiring a minimum of 30 days’ work placement including T Levels, Traineeships, Foundation and Progression Qualifications (Wales) and Sandwich Degrees within our sector.

How much does a SKILLcard cost?

The Trainee card is FREE.

All other SKILLcard’s cost £40.00 exc VAT.


Health and Safety Test

Why do I need to take a Health and Safety test?

The BESA Academy Health and Safety Environment test or the CITB HS&E test is the main way to satisfy the Health and Safety requirements of SKILLcard. The test is designed to give everybody working on site a minimum level of Health and Safety awareness, although there are a few exceptions.

The BESA H&SE test cannot be used for Managerial/Supervisory/PQP SKILLcards.

You can’t apply for a SKILLcard without a valid Health and Safety certification.


Which test do I need to take?

The test you need to take depends on the type of card you’re applying for. Find out which Health and Safety Test you need to take.


Are there any exemptions?

You can find more about exemptions on our Health and Safety Test.


How much does the test cost?

The BESA Academy Health and Safety Environment test costs £23.40 inc VAT and is taken online.

The CITB test costs £22.50 inc VAT and is taken at one of the approved centres throughout the country


How do I book a test?

Book an online BESA Academy Health and Safety test.

You can book a test at a CITB test centre or through the booking hotline 0344 994 4488


Can I buy a revision guide?

BESA Academy offer an online Health and Safety course prior to taking the test or you can opt to take the test only.

CITB have revision material including apps and simulated tests, for more details visit the CITB Website.

Qualifications and training

What qualifications do I need to apply for a SKILLcard?

That depends on your occupation. Visit the SKILLcard website to find out what qualifications you need to apply.


I’m a member of a professional body. Do I still need an SVQ/NVQ/QCF qualification?

If your professional body is recognised by SKILLcard, you can apply for a SKILLcard through the Professionally Qualified Person (PQP) route.

Applying for a SKILLcard

How do I know which SKILLcard to apply for?

You can use our card finder to help work out which card is right for you.


How do I apply?

For new, renewal, replacements (lost cards) and updates/upgrades, find out more about applying online. 


What if my occupation has been withdrawn and deemed non-construction related but site managers are still asking for a card?

SKILLcards are intended for construction related occupations only. If your occupation is not listed on Find the Right card or covered by a Partner Card Scheme, then your occupation may not be considered to be construction related. 

Due to the wide range of skills required on construction projects, there are times when a worker arrives on site to perform a non-construction related activity, for example catering staff, cleaners, delivery drivers etc. These individuals are not construction workers and SKILLcard does not issue cards for these kinds of occupations. It is the responsibility of site managers to induct and escort non-construction related personnel to ensure they remain safe at all times when on site. 

If you do not work in a construction related occupation on a construction site then you do not need a SKILLcard card. 

The decision not to issue CSCS cards for non-construction related occupations is fully supported by the CLC announcement that not everyone needs a card to gain access to site, and that cards should only be issued to those working in a construction related occupation.

Should your entry to site be refused by a contractor because you do not hold a SKILLcard card, please direct them to this webpage.

Read more about CRO closure.


My card is due to expire soon. How do I renew it?

Renewing your SKILLcard is quick and easy. 

We will send you a reminder by email when your card is around 12 weeks from expiry, containing all the information you need.

Find out more about renewing your SKILLcard online.


Why should I renew my SKILLcard?

Your SKILLcard is your licence to work. You can use it to prove to employers that you have the skills, qualifications and experience to do your job well, and  safely. So it’s more important than ever to keep it up to date.


My card is lost or stolen. How do I replace it?

Find out more about replacing your SKILLcard online.


I’ve recently been awarded a new qualification. How do I add that to my SKILLcard?

If you would like to update your card with a newly completed qualification or course, you will need to send us a copy of your certificate by email or post. We will update your SKILLcard electronically at no cost. The new information will then be added to the information held by the card's chip when it is next read.

If you wish to replace your SKILLcard and have the updated qualification or course appear in writing on the back of your card, you will need to complete an upgrade/update application form, then return it to us with the appropriate fee.


How do I know which type of photograph to include with my application?


Photographs must be:

  • be clear, in focus and in colour
  • Be a close-up of your full head and upper shoulders
  • contain no other objects or people in the background
  • be in one of the following file types: jpg / png / jpeg / bmp / gif
  • be no more than 4MB in size

You must:

  • be facing forward and looking straight at the camera
  • have your eyes open, visible and free from reflection or glare from glasses
  • not have hair in front of your eyes
  • hot have a head covering (unless it is for religious or medical reasons)
  • not have anything covering your face

Your application may be delayed if your photo does not meet these guidelines.


How long will it take to receive my SKILLcard?

Providing you meet the criteria, we aim to have your card with you within 5-10 working days.


How do I report a suspected fraudulent card?

    1. Retain the card if possible
    2. Make photocopies of front and back
    3. Record cardholder’s name and address
    4. Ask cardholder where the card was obtained from
    5. Call the local police and report the matter
    6. Refuse access to site (subject to company rules)
    7. Email copies of all evidence to marked “SUSPECTED FRAUDULENT CARD” with details of the crime number given by local police.

SKILLcard will fully support any prosecution with technical and factual evidence.


What do I do if I change occupation?

You may need to change the type of SKILLcard you hold. Use our card finder to check, or if you have any questions just get in touch with our helpdesk:

CSCS Smart Check App

What is CSCS Smart Check?

CSCS Smart Check is an app that can be used to check SKILLcards on site. It is not an app for individuals to store details of their cards, like My CSCS, MyECS or Smart PAL.

The free app gives users a simple solution to check all CSCS Partner Scheme cards in one place. Rather than separate apps, web portals and call centres, CSCS Smart Check means all sites and projects can undertake checks to assess if people are qualified and competent for their role when entering a project.


Will I need a new SKILLcard to be able to use the CSCS Smart Check app?

No. Please continue to use your existing SKILLcard, provided it is in-date and valid. It will be compatible with the app even if it doesn’t have any Smart Technology (NFC, Chip or QR code). Those that are not smart will have the option of using a manual entry check.


Does CSCS Smart Check replace Go Smart or other card checking technology?

Initially CSCS Smart Check will be a standalone application incompatible with existing card checking systems such as Go Smart and other site entry systems such as turnstiles and desktop card readers.

There will be no immediate impact on existing card checking operations and employers can continue to use their existing card checking systems if required. Further updates are expected to integrate existing access control systems over time. While there will be a period of transition, and multiple systems running concurrently, all sites are expected and encouraged to migrate to the new app over time.


What should I do if the app isn't working?

Should you encounter technical problems with CSCS Smart Check, please follow the instructions within the app’s support page. This can be found within the app itself or via the CSCS website. 


How can I contact SKILLcard?

Please contact

01768 860 406