HSE Test and Exemptions (CSCS) » Construction Networking
by on June 7, 2019

HSE Test and Exemptions

To apply for a CSCS card you must have the appropriate construction related qualifications and training and, in most cases, you must pass the CITB Health safety and environment Test within the previous two years.  Exemptions to this requirement are listed below.

The type of test you need to pass will depend on the job you do and the type of card you are applying for. Use the cardfinder to find out more or watch the video below.


Video by CITB

More About the test

Aim of the test

To examine knowledge across a wide range of topics to improve safety and productivity on site. It is usually taken as a PC-based touch screen test. Apart from the exemptions described below, everyone applying for a CSCS card must pass the appropriate health, safety and environment test.


You can book the CITB Health, safety and environment Test here. The test costs £21.

If the person taking the test needs additional support eg accessibility or literacy please call the booking line on 0344 994 4488.

Revision Materials

A range of materials is available to help you revise and practice for the CITB Health, safety and environment Test. They are available from most high street and online booksellers or you can find out more here or by calling 0344 994 4488.  You can also download revision apps from here.

For further information on preparing for the test, including the sections within the revision book that you need to revise click here.


Exemptions to taking a CITB Health, Safety & Environment test apply if:

  • If you have achieved the applicable construction related NVQ or SVQ within the last 2 years.

This is only available to new applications and cannot be used for card renewals.

  • If you hold a SOLAS card. CSCS has a mutual recognition agreement with SOLAS (previously known as FAS (Eire) Safepass which acts as an exemption to the Operative or Specialist CITB Health and Safety Test requirement providing that it has been completed within 2 years of the application being made.

Please note that SOLAS is not acceptable as an exemption to the Supervisor or Manager and Professional (MAP) level CITB Health, Safety and Environment tests.

Applicants for Apprentice cards do not need to take the CITB H,S &E test if they have completed the health and safety requirements relevant to their Apprenticeship Managing Agency prior to applying for the card, if you have:

  • A letter or email from the Managing Agency of your apprenticeship (which must be clearly identified that they are a Managing Agency) confirming that you have met the Managing Agency’s Health and Safety requirements
  • A certificate for a one day Health and Safety Awareness course
  • A Health and Safety unit included in your induction or initial qualification

If you  have none of the above then you will need to take the CITB Health, Safety & Environment test before applying for a CSCS card.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If an exemption has been used for the issue of a CSCS card the gold HS&E Test holofoil will not appear on the front of the CSCS card.  To obtain the gold HS&E Tested holofoil on the front of the card the relevant level CITB Health, safety and environment test must have been passed within the last 2 years when applying for the card.

Topics: cpcs, construction, cscs, card
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