CSCS card changes for kitchen, bedroom and furniture installers

09 Aug 2016, by Rob Mascari in Education, Industry, Installers

Information for fitted furniture installers as changes to CSCS cards get closer


Supported by CITBThere is a lot of confusion currently surrounding the imminent CSCS card changes that will effect kitchen fitters, bedroom fitters, bathroom fitters or associated trades working on UK building sites. The changes are due to take effect from 2017.

The CSCS scheme currently in place is being altered to ensure that each and every individual in possession of a CSCS card has the relevant qualification to undertake the role they are on site to do. In the case of those fitting furniture, the qualification requirement is the NVQ Level 2 in Fitted Interiors.

Currently, the vast majority of fitters are not officially qualified and are therefore using either the green Construction Site Operative card, or the white Construction Related Occupation card. Both of these cards have been subjected to recent changes, with more to come imminently.

If you want to carry on working on site it is vital you understand what CSCS card changes are imminent and when, and how you can ensure you don’t get caught out.  We have tried to simplify things so you have all the facts well in advance of the changes.


What are your CSCS card options?



Construction Site Operative CSCS Card

If you are currently using the green CSCS Construction Site Operative (CSO) card, you have until the expiry date of that card to achieve a qualification. The card is no longer issued, and will not be reissued, having been replaced by a CSCS Labourer card that is purely for general labour. Once this card runs out, you will not be allowed on site to fit furniture without being qualified.

green cso card

Construction Site Operative CSCS Card



Construction Related Occuption CSCS Card

The CSCS Construction Related Occupation (CRO) card is perhaps in need of more immediate planning. The CRO card was brought in to effect in 2005 as a way of gaining site access for those construction related occupations that did not have a recognised qualification. Since the CSO card (above) was replaced, over 12,000 applications a month have been received for the CRO card as it is the easiest way to get on site without formal qualification. Qualifications have been introduced for almost all trades; those without are currently having qualifications developed.

If you received a CRO card before 1st October 2015 then the card will be valid until the date shown on the card.  The card will not be reissued after that date so you will have to be registered for a qualification to carry on installing on site.

If you have received a CRO card after the 1st October 2015 then it will expire on the 30th September 2017. The card will not be reissued so you will have to be registered for a qualification to carry on installing on site.

New CRO cards will no longer be issued after the 31st March 2017. You will need to ensure you are registered for the qualification to carry on working on site in advance of it expiring.


Construction Related Occupation CSCS Card



Skilled Worker CSCS Card

The CSCS Skilled Workers card is available to installers who hold an officially recognised qualification. CSCS are working to ensuring every skilled worker on site holds this card over the next few years.  If you already have this card there is nothing more you need to do as there are no planned changes to this card.

skilled worker cscs card

Skilled Worker CSCS Card



Experienced Worker CSCS Card

If you are registered as undertaking the NVQ, and have experience of having worked on site recently, you can apply for the Experienced Worker CSCS card.  This is a temporary card that lasts twelve months and is not renewable.  You will be expected to complete the qualification in this period and replace this card with the Skilled Worker CSCS card.

Experienced Worker CSCS Card

Experienced Worker CSCS Card



How will this impact your work?

Basically, there is no way around the fact that eventually, if you do not hold the formal qualification, you will need to gain the NVQ Level 2 in Fitted Interiors if you want to carry on installing kitchens, bedrooms, bathroom furniture or associated fitted furniture on site. There will no doubt be the likelihood of a large skills shortage of installers in possession of the blue Skilled Workers Card as the changes take effect.


How do you get qualified?

We undertake on site assessments independently for NSAC (National Specialist Accredited Centre) which is part of CITB (please see the link: ).  The process involves visiting you on site to gain a portfolio of evidence to map against the National Occupational Standards. Assuming you are competent in your role as either a kitchen fitter, bedroom fitter, bathroom furniture fitter or associated furniture installer, the process is fairly simple and not too intrusive to your working time.


Can’t find a qualification related to your line of work?

We are often contacted by fitted furniture installers who don’t fall exactly under the endorsement of either a kitchen fitter, bedroom fitter or bathroom furniture installer.  Please feel free to contact us if you feel your line of work is closely related to fitted furniture as we are looking at options to work with the awarding bodies to expand the Occupational Standards to meet the needs of closely related trades.

  • Hi. I’m kitchen fitter for the last 13 years. Been working on site with green card. I’m working in Liverpool and would like to know how much the on site assessment would cost.

  • Hi my name is Iurie,I’m kitchen fiter and I would like to know if to help me to make NOW LEVE2 qualifications

  • Hello, We are a commercial kitchen installer.
    Our fitters are installing stainless steel fabrications ie wall cupboards, shelves, racks and benches etc.
    Most of our installers green cards are running out and we do not have a NVQ related to our industry how do we proceed?

  • Victoria Browne Reply

    I work for an office furniture installation company and we are looking for a an NVQ that is recognised and relevant for our line of work, we do not install any ‘fitted’ furniture we basically just build flat pack furniture. We are requested constantly on sites for CSCS cards however due to our occupation we have yet to find a relevant qualification, we do not carry out any joinery work at all. Do you have any relevant NVQ’s if so how long are the courses, costs and what is involved. If you can drop me an email please.

    • mark green Reply

      I am having the same issues please could you forward me any info available

  • Hi Rob,
    We are a kitchen & wardrobe supplier our staff and contractors all have the relevant documentation and cards to work within the appropriate areas on site. I am a Director and obviously need to visit site, not to assist in construction but to oversee various stages of completion, I am using a white CRO card at present and understand that it will only grant me access until September 2017. Can you please advise what card I can apply for as a visitor/observer.

    • Hi Steven. Unfortunately I can’t say for sure what CSCS will be doing for people in your situation. Don’t take this is as fact, but the last I knew they were not proposing a card for visitors. Sorry I can’t be much more help. Rob

  • paul jollands Reply

    Hi Rob
    I’ve now been fitting kitchens ,bathrooms and wet rooms for over 30 yrs. my last employer put me through the cscs green card to get me on site , im now going back to self employment for both private and site work . I believe i now need the blue card . does the assessment cover all work both private and site work because i dont think i will be able to get on site with the green labourer card i currently have

    • Hi Paul.

      Once you have undertaken the assessment and achieved the NVQ qualification, you will be issued the blue (skilled worker) card. This is only currently a requirement on CSCS operated sites, not domestic.

      Cheers, Rob

  • We carry out the supply and install of shower enclosures, over bath screens and wetroom walk in panels. Would the NVQ Level 2 qualification in Fitted Interiors cover this particular function.

    We carry out the supply and install of kitchen appliances to the house builder market. This is done by our own engineers who are GAS SAFE qualifies gas engineers. Is this qualification sufficient to obtain a blue card.

  • Kieran Reply

    I’m Looking to get a nvq to get a skilled worker card
    I have been working as a subcontractor to kitchen companies on site for the last 10 years.
    I’m able to get a experienced worker card for 1 year but in that time need to gain a nvq to get a skilled worker card.

    Looking for having this done from July as I know will be very busy time on site a easy to arrange for you to do a site visit.

    My contact number is 07583924003

    Hope to speak soon

    Kieran mist

  • Rob,

    Great insight into CSCS cards and good to see you replying to users comments. We run a UK construction jobs site for construction card holds and help people gain their CSCS cards and allow them to create a construction profile to help them connect directly to employers. More info

    Loving the kitchens you design, pure quality!


  • Richard James Reply

    Hi. I install storagewall and office furniture. I don’t have an NVQ and really have no reason to get one
    Is there any other way around this. Thanks

    • Hi Richard,

      You do need to have the NVQ if you want to get a blue card, there is no way around it unfortunately.

      CITB are ensuring that everyone working on a UK site holds a qualification to do their job.

  • Russell Brown Reply

    Hi Rob

    I’ve been installing kitchens for 25 years in the domestic sector. I am now moving in to the new build side.what do I need to do and can you help at all


    • Hi Russell,

      Absolutely – you’ll need to have an on-site assessment (OSAT) done to gain the NVQ in Fitted Interiors. This will then allow you to apply for the blue skilled workers CSCS card and allow you on site.

  • Robert Hamilton Reply

    How long does it take to do NVQ level 2 course and how much does it cost. Also I’m planning on sitting my smsts would this change what type of card I would have.

    • Hello Robert. You do not need to do a course as such as you can have an on-site assessment. This involves us visiting you and seeing your work. The process normally takes between two and six months, with cost variable on location, but normally between £1200 – £1400. The SMSTS will not affect anything, you will still need the NVQ for a blue CSCS card.

      Please give me a call on 07879 634598 to discuss things further.