CPCS Card - Construction Plant Competence Scheme

What is a CPCS card?

The Construction Plant Competence Scheme provides CPCS cards for the plant sector of the construction industry to prove the skills of plant operatives. Which CPCS card you need essentially boils down to whether you have a relevant NVQ or not. You can see here what kinds of NVQs would be considered relevant for getting a blue Competent Operator CPCS card.

If you do not have a relevant NVQ level 2, you should apply for the CPCS Red Card, during which time you can work towards completing an NVQ level 2.

All CPCS cards require a CITB Health, Safety, and Environment test to have been passed within the last two years.

Trained Operator Card - CPCS Red Card

The Red CPCS card is an entry level card for complete beginners. If you have passed the CITB Health, Safety, and Environment test in the past two years, then you can begin your CPCS training. You then choose either complete novice training or refresher training, and take CPCS technical tests, both theory and practical, for each plant category.

An example of the technical test you might take is the CITB CPCS Telehandler course, which is a 5 day course used to train you in everyday telehandler use.

Once you have done that, you will be awarded your two-year red card. During this two-year window, you must register and achieve an NVQ in a relevant course. See relevant Plant NVQs here

You can upgrade to a Blue Competent Operator CPCS Card once you can prove that you have:

  • Health and Safety Awareness through the CITB Health, Safety, and Environment Test
  • Pass a theory test
  • Pass a practical test
  • Evidence of competence through your NVQ or employer confirmation of competence.

Competent Operator Card - CPCS Blue Card

This card is for people who have a relevant NVQ. If you have a relevant NVQ and are taking the CPCS Blue Card training for the first time, you should take the complete novice training, both theory and practical.

If you are simply renewing your card, you should take the renewal modules, and have at least 300 hours per category in your logbook, complete an on-site assessment, and complete a practical test.

Once you have done this, you will be awarded a CPCS Blue Card which is valid for five years.

FAQs on CPCS Cards - Construction Plant Competence Scheme

The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) provides skills cards for the plant sector of the Construction and allied industries and was first launched in 2003. It is based on professional competence, experience on site and health and safety awareness - three essential qualities for operating plant machinery safely and effectively.

What is CPCS?

The CPCS card is the Construction Plant Competence Scheme, and it is more in-depth than the CSCS card scheme. It is for those who work with plant machinery in construction, and, just like the CSCS card, it is there to prove your competency.

Do I need CSCS if I have CPCS?

It depends on the kind of work you want to do. If you are a plant machinery operator then it might not be necessary for you to get a CSCS card - unless you also wish to be more active in the construction side of things. If you only have a CPCS card and are only working with plant machinery, you do not need a CSCS card.

How do I get a CPCS qualification?

It is a similar process as a CSCS card. If you have relevant training, and have passed the CITB Health, Safety, and Environment test in the past two years, you can then go ahead and apply for a CPCS theory test. Once you have passed that, you can then take the practical test.

Which CPCS card is right for me?

There are two CPCS cards to choose from: the entry level, Trained Operator, Red CPCS card, and the Competent Operator, Blue CPCS card. You can read more about that here

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