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CPCS card

What is a CPCS Card and why are they important?

In 2003 regulatory bodies in the UK introduced a Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) to promote tighter health and safety standards for plant workers and employers operating in the UK. Just like CSCS cards, CPCS cards are also commissioned by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and are a vital qualification to possess if are looking to establish and maintain a serious career in the construction industry.

A CPCS card guarantees that the holder is capable of safely operating heavy machinery and equipment and is up to date with technological advances and operational health and safety factors – this card is a strong indicator that you are a rational, adept and technically sound individual that can perform complex tasks in construction. When embarking on your job search always remember, that if you are carrying a CPCS card, you will always have a competitive edge over individuals that do not have one.

The main objective of the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) is to ensure that plant operators and construction companies adhere to the industry standards of health and safety practice. When an individual holds a CPCS card they are proving that they possess the adequate skills, knowledge and expertise to carry out the tasks of a plant operator at a construction site.

This is yet another effort by CITB to improve and enhance the security and safety landscape within the construction industry. Moreover, plant worker and that do not carry a CPCS card are now at risk of higher-level authority fines if they fail to comply with industry standards, rules and regulations. 

Therefore, it is a mandatory requirement for employers to hire individuals that possess a valid CPCS card because employers will also be at risk of a fine if their workers cannot prove their capability of safeguarding and operating plant machinery in factories.

Am I eligible for a CPCS Card?

Trained Operator Card, Competent Operator Card and Tester Card are the three major cards that fall under the CPCS scheme.  To be able to obtain one of these cards you will need to go through a comprehensive examination process which includes theory and practical testing, as well as a personal evaluation of your current experience, qualifications and skill level.

  • The Trained Operator Card (which is also known as the Red CPCS Card) is the initial step (or first level) that is issued to candidates for a non-renewable, two-year duration. After the two years, it is intended that candidates apply for the Competent Operator Card.
  • The Competent Operator Card (also known as the Blue CPCS Card) is the second stage of CPCS cards and is proof that you are capable of operating plant machinery without any supervision. To be eligible for this card you must have obtained a Trained Operator Card (Red CPCS), hold a valid CITB certificate and pass the CPCS theory and practical tests. This card is valid for five years and is renewable.
  • The Tester card is the last stage of the CPCS scheme and is regarded as one of the most advanced cards issued for plant operations and expertise. There are two stages to this card: the Provisional Card and the Full Card, which are valid for 2 years and 5 years, respectively.

How to get a CPCS card?

You can apply for a CPCS card with us directly on here, or give us a call on 0207 199 9800 and our team will guide you the steps you need to take:

Frequently asked questions:

  • Is it a legal requirement to have a CPCS card?
    • No, however most employers do not hire people without one.
  • How much does it cost to get a CPCS card?
    • The price of both the CPCS theory and practical test will be based on the type of CPCS card you go for, on average the prices is £21.
  • How many CPCS card categories are there?
    • There are three CPCS card categories: Red CPCS Card, Blue CPCS Card and Tester Card

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