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Expired Red Cards

The Red Trained Operator Card by CPCS is valid for 2 years. This card is non-renewable, and you need to upgrade the Red card to a Blue Competent Operator Card by completing the relevant NVQ.

The CPCS scheme offers a 12-month grace period from the date a red card expires, which means that you can upgrade the card up to a year from the original expiry date provided that it is your first card. You will get only one red card.

If your red card has been expired for more than two years, we can still help you to re-enter the scheme. You can read below and find which situation you lie in. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any guidance.

My card has expired but has not crossed the grace period of 12 months

Cardholders of the first CPCS Red cards are able to gain a one-year extension to their Red card. Only one extension is possible.

Within the extension period, individuals must complete the relevant NVQ in order to apply for the 5-year CPCS Blue Competent Operator Card.

If the NVQ is not achieved within the extension period, individuals must re-sit their CPCS Theory & Practical Tests and must still complete their NVQ in order to achieve their CPCS Blue card.

My card has expired and crossed the grace period but I have plenty of experience

The only way to re-enter CPCS scheme after you have crossed the grace period is:

  • Hold an expired trained operator card by more than 12 months
  • Complete the CITB HS&E Test within the last two years
  • Pass a CPCS theory test in your chosen category (and within two years of a successful HS&E test)
  • Pass a CPCS practical test in your chosen category (within six months of a successful CPCS theory test and within two years of completing a HS&E test)
  • Achieve an NVQ in the same classification

My card has expired and crossed the grace period and I do not have experience since I haven’t been active

The only way to re-enter the CPCS scheme in this scenario is as follows:

  • Complete the CITB HSE Test
  • Complete the CPCS theory test and practical in your relevant category
  • Complete the NVQ registration in the relevant category

If you have been out of the field for a while, the best way to enter would be to start the training and testing from the beginning. You can navigate to the ‘Courses’ section above to view the CPCS categories we offer.

How SB Skills can help you?

If you undertake training with us, we would register you for the NVQ. You will then obtain the Red Trained Operator Card which is valid for 2 years. After gaining enough experience, you can complete the NVQ. Please note that the maximum period of registration with us is 1 year.

If you need further guidance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We are a fully-accredited CPCS Test Centre, offering training and examination services in the construction sector.

Have any questions? Give us a call today on 01695 558420 or send an email to

Alternatively, complete the contact form on our website and a member of our team will be in touch.