Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS)

Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) Red Trained Operator Card

The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) is a government backed initiative that provides skills cards for plant workers in the construction and manufacturing industries. Launched 2003, over 300 thousand cpcs cards have been issued across 60 categories of plants and related occupations. The CPCS Management Committee is always looking at how to make the scheme more effective and efficient. They review it regularly in light of industry feedback, as well as external factors such as recent occupational health issues or technology advances.

How do I book my CPCS Course?

You can view our courses by clicking the button below, alternatively you can contact us for further information and to book your place. We'll make sure you're guided through the whole process from booking to successful completion!

View all CPCS Plant courses

Do I need a CPCS Card?

The UK construction industry is a competitive one and if you plan on working within it, then it is crucial that your skills are up-to-date. Build UK has strict rules and guidelines about who can be an operative on construction sites. Due to this, most employers require employees to hold a CPCS card before being allowed onto site.

However, it is important to note that not all employers will require CPCS certification especially in non-construction industries. If this scenario applies then our own individual certifications will be sufficient for proving your skills and abilities.

CPCS Red Trained Operator Card

On successful completion of the CPCS Theory and Practical Technical Tests which must be taken with an accredited test centre, you will receive your Red Trained Operator Card.

The CITB requires that you have achieved the relevant Credentialing and Suitability tests within two years before taking their technical exams.

Once you've passed the CPCS Technical Tests, your hard work will be rewarded with a two-year non renewable CPCS Trained Operator card. In order to upgrade to the Blue Competent Operator Card, you must prove that you are competent in the category by undertaking the relevant NVQ within the 2 year period.

How to Extend a Red Trained Operator Card

Depending on when your Red Card expired, you have 2 paths you can go down for extending your card.

  1. For a 12 month SVQ or NVQ extension, you must:
    • Hold an up-to date CPCS Red Trained Operator card which is within 12 months from the expiry
    • Be registered for an SVQ or NVQ relevant to the category
  2. Once these elements have been achieved, a new card will be issued for 12 months (from date of application receipt) to enable the SVQ/NVQ holder to apply and upgrade their Blue Competent Operator status.

  3. For an Additional 2 Year card, you must:
    • Be in receipt of an expired card by more than 12 months
    • Be in receipt of a valid CITB health, safety and environment test
    • Successfully complete the CPCS theory test (within two years of the CITB health, safety and environment test)
    • Successfully complete Achieve the CPCS practical test (within six months of the CPCS theory test and within two years of the CITB health, safety and environment test)
    • Be registered for the SVQ or NVQ

    Once all the above has been successfully achieved, the CPCS test centre will request the CPCS additional 2 year Red Trained Operator card for you.

How to upgrade a Red CPCS Card to a Blue CPCS Competent Operator Card

The CPCS Red Trained Operator card is only valid for 2 years, during which time you are required to undertake a relevant NVQ in order to upgrade to the Blue CPCS Competent Operator Card. Completing the relevant NVQ is the only way to stay a part of the CPCS Scheme.

NVQs are the benchmark for workplace competence. They demonstrate your ability to carry out a job safely and in an effective manner. The individuals will be required to document and present evidence of their occupational competencies under each unit for the chosen qualification.

The assessor will provide guidance and help during visits to make it as easy, smooth, and successful as possible. It's important that learners are actively working in their occupation so they can complete on time.

How long is the Blue CPCS card valid for?

The card's expiration date will be determined by when you submit your application. The Blue Competent Operator Card has a five-year life span. Each category added onto a blue Competent Operator Card will have the expiry date of the card itself.