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This CSCS thing - Printable Version

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This CSCS thing - salmonpuff - 14th March 2010

Just booked the test...what a headache it was too! The site didn't tell me what card I needed or what test I needed to take. Took a guess on the type of test thing and went for option 1 - operatives. Is that right? will they be able to change it???

Gah, I've been so slow at getting this thing booked. But alas, applying for a job that actually specifies it needs one is a bit of a boot up the backside so to speak. Contract is running out at the end of the month so best get the ball rolling and all of that!

Anyway, its been a while guys, how are we all?

This CSCS thing - Bones - 14th March 2010

Hi Salmonpuff,
I've just done my CSCS card. The website isn't really geared up to archaeologists, and i also found it confusing...Yes it is the Operatives test you want. If you book the wrong one they do charge you to change it, i think its and extra ?5 to ?7 pounds.
I used the test CD to help me revise, you can make your own tests picking different topics from the given list to work on your weak points, or take a general test taking questions from each topic list.
Make sure you take ID, or you can't do the test. The questions are not challenging, more common sense based, however they are geared for the construction world, so it's more a case of being familiar with terminology etc. Also just because you pass the CSCS test doesn't get you the card, on top of the ?17.50 or whatever it is you have to pay, the card is an additional ?25, you will need a passport photo as well. The photo they take at the test centre is for their identification of you, not the card.

I found the test very vague in terms of archaeology- in the future is there a possibility of a card scheme for archaeologists? focusing questions more on deep trench work, and work at heights, with machinary etc?

Goodluck with the test!

This CSCS thing - Ladygeek - 15th March 2010

First of all, hello all - this is my first post Smile

Second of all: Aaaaargh! I'm sitting the CSCS test on Saturday and I didn't know about the extra ?25 til you mentioned it.. Damn and blast, I thought i'd already paid everything i needed to. That'll be over 50 bucks in total so I really hope I get that job i'm going for! :0

This CSCS thing - trowelmonkey - 15th March 2010

Hi there Salmonpuff and Ladygeek,

first off, don't panic!!!!!

If you go onto the official CSCS card homepage it's pretty easy to find the archaeologists.

Look at the left hand column. The first heading says, "Occupations available."

Click on that. Choose "Construction Related Occupations," because that describes us pretty well, no?

Scroll down the alphabetical list until you reach: Archaeologist Technician 5363

From there it'll give you all the particulars.

If a construction site foreman asks what kind of a card you've got, tell him, "A White Card," ie, Construction Related Occupations

If you've booked your test through the site you should've booked the test and card fee together as a package. Check your paperwork and if you're still not sure give them a ring and ask!

0844 576 8777

As for the test, it's almost impossible to fail it. Have a look at the BAJR guide to CSCS cards and pay attention to the fire extinguishers, because that's the only bit poorly covered in the guide book.

If you've booked training courses and stuff, you're wasting your money. Hie thee to thy nearest WHSmith or Waterstons and make for where they stock the Highway Code, because that's usually near the construction tests section. There's a slim volume called something like "CSCS, all the questions, all the answers."

This is exactly what it is. Your test at the centre will be a selection of these questions verbatim.

If the question causes you to pause for thought at all the answer will be, "tell the foreman." I'm adding this bit especially for those who already are responsible for drawing up the risk assessment or are the First Aiders. Remember, the white card is the minimum card required by anyone actually working on site, so that's why we do it. Unless you're a PM or a PO who functions at PM level you do not need another card.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll do fine.

PS, don't forget the ID at the test centre. Bones, have they suddenly changed the card? When I went they took a digi mug shot which was printed straight on to the card.

As for a real archaeology card, it won't happen until we're a professional body, although I agree it would be nice. See last natter:

This CSCS thing - Ladygeek - 15th March 2010

Yeah, I have actually gone on the training day before as the unit I was working for was paying for it, but unfortunately the job ended before they had organised for us to sit the test.. So I wasnt originally going to bother with books/cd roms etc. But at the last minute I remembered there are a few kinda tricksy questions that could catch you out - so I went for the "Health & Safety Test: All the questions and answers" book, which you can order straight from the site and comes to is ?10 something with postage - and well worth it just to know that you've definately got it covered. It'll now travel around my fellow archaeologists who have yet to sit the test so everyone's winnerWink

But Trowelmonkey, I booked my test through the site and there was no choice at any point to book the card fee as well - and no mention of any amount other than the ?17.50. But then I just wanted to book the test quickly and only glanced at the application form for the card 'what to do if you pass' section.

This CSCS thing - the invisible man - 15th March 2010

May I also suggest that you check in the blurb exactly what form of ID is acceptable to them? From memory they want a photo ID like a passport and/or driving licence, but you need both bits of the latter. When I did it one guy (not an archaeologist) turned up without an acceptable ID and was turned away, with no refund.

This CSCS thing - Ladygeek - 15th March 2010

From the book, for sitting the test:

"You will need: Your confirmation email or letter; ID bearing your photo (e.g. driving license or passport); ID bearing your signature (this could be the same as your photo ID); Any other items listed on your confirmation letter"

This CSCS thing - trowelmonkey - 15th March 2010

I've dug out my invoice and no it's all coming back to me. I booked everything through Skills Direct on the advice of CSCS:

Here's the application form for just the card on its own:

I should also add if anyone living north of the border reads this, it's worth setting up an ILA account as this gives you ?200 PA to spend on accredited courses. The snag is that you have to have the account first as they can't reimburse what you've already done.

Ladygeek, I'm sure you'll be fine if you've worked your way through the book and look at the BAJR guide too. The trick is to remember that the most basic H&S test is aimed at school-leaver, labourer level. For some questions, YOU might very well have more authority to make a decision, but the test isn't aimed at you. The test is aimed at a 16 year-old who needs to "ask the foreman" what to do next or to "tell the foreman" when something is broken. I really wouldn't stress about it. Good LucK :face-approve:

Also, the book is currently on sale at Amazon for ?5.50, should anyone be feeling proactive.

This CSCS thing - Ladygeek - 15th March 2010

He he thanks, but thankfully no stress here Smile - When I went through the book when I got it I got everything right first time, apart from one electrical question (I havnt had any experience working with anything electrical on site really) - but it was worth having the book as that question would undoubtedly have come up in the test otherwise! And that's very good advice about the ILA - I'm applying for one now, but it's all going to go to cover my first aid at work course... for anyone who is interested, you are eligible for an ILA if you are over 16 and earning less than ?22,000 a year. So pretty much all archaeologists then. Wink (oh and again, you have to be resident in Scotland).

This CSCS thing - Windbag - 16th March 2010

ILA's a handy thing for those living in Scotland. There's a limited number of "vocational"-type courses run by specific institutions that will accept it. If I remember correctly the amount of money you get is dependent on your employment status as well.