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What Is CPCS And Who Needs It?

CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) is a card scheme created to reflect and showcase the competence of plant operating personnel.

Launched in the year 2003, CPCS is a standard to show how competent a plant worker is. CPCS was started due to requests put forward by several employers in the UK. It is controlled and run by the authority NOCN (National Open College Network) but was previously owned by CITB (Construction Industry Training Board). The main objective of creating CPCS Is to standardize different practices for plant operatives throughout the country and to help employers to ensure competency.

CPCS is the most popular and widely recognized card which ensures that all the standards and rules are followed by the plant operators. BuildUK (formed from UKCG and National Specialist Contractors Council) insists on contractors ensuring that employees have cards that display a CSCS logo.

There are three type of cards issued by the CPCS:

Red Trained Operator Card – This card shows that the holder of the card has been tested to meet all CPCS standards but has yet to prove their competency and experience.

Blue Competent Operator Card – This card reflects the competence of the plant operator. It is achieved by completing a Level 2 NVQ in Plant Operations.

Tester Card – This card allows a CPCS instructor to test candidates for their ability in an approved CPCS test centre.

Who needs CPCS cards?

Anyone working in the construction industry in the UK should have this card or equivalent. BuildUK requires that all the plant operators working for companies who are a part of BuildUK and UKCG to hold a card with a CSCS logo which is usually, the CPCS card.

You must be atleast 16 years or older to take a CPCS test and hold an in-date Health, Safety and Environment test certificate.

Indeed, at the moment, all the employers in the UK do not insist on a CPCS certification, specifically in the industries other than construction. If you require a certification to show-off your skills, you can check various trainings and courses which our company offers.

How do you get a CPCS card?

There are three stages to obtain CPCS cards. We can help during all the stages to make the process easier and smoother for you.

Stage 1 – After the completion of CPCS Theory & Practical Testing and CPCS Training, you are eligible to obtain a Red Trained Operator Card

Stage 2 – After the completion of a part of National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) in your relevant occupation, you obtain the Blue Competent Card which lasts for 5 years

Stage 3 – You can renew your blue card every 5 years after taking a theory renewal test and proof of practical experience in your professional occupation