What is CPCS ?

The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) is a card scheme to prove workers’ operating skills and health and safety awareness. The CPCS provides a single skills card for the plant sector of the construction industry. Furthermore, it is the largest and most highly recognised card scheme in the construction industry.

First of all, the diagram above outlines the steps necessary for an operator to complete the scheme. Go to our CPCS training courses page to see how we can help you. Also, for more information download the CPCS Scheme Booklet for Operators.

The test is based on a mixture of professional competence, experience on site and health and safety awareness. Also, each test consists of a professional one-to-one interview with the tester, followed by a practical test.  In addition, your competency in operating machinery will be assessed and the interview will be recorded.

NVQ Blue Card

So, after obtaining your red card the next stage is to turn it into a Blue card. You can do this by gaining an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification). This is a trade related qualification of experience and competence. Furthermore, an NVQ is set against nationally recognised occupational standards.

Do I need one?

The NVQ allows operators to progress from the CPCS Red Trained Operator card to the CPCS Blue Competence card. The Major Contractors Group and House Building Group require a qualified workforce of contractors and subcontractors. Therefore, to fulfil this requirement each operator will need to have achieved a relevant job qualification to obtain access to the majority of the construction sites.

What types of NVQ are available?

E.W.P.A.R – Experienced Worker Practical Assessment Route
This NVQ is most relevant for operators with at least 2 years experience (this is not mandatory). This route consists of induction, evidence gathering, professional discussion and practical assessment. Furthermore, it can be completed in a short space of time.

O.S.A.T – On Site Assessment and Training
This route consists of induction, evidence gathering and workplace site assessments. Also, this NVQ can be completed in a number of months.

What do I do now?

Contact CISTC and make an appointment for your induction and profile session.