Secondly, there 66 different CPCS courses
on offer. Each course relates to a specific type of plant machinery. Some of the most popular include the A17 Telescopic Handler, A58 360 Excavator below 10 tonnes, A59 360 Excavator above 10 tonnes and the A40 Slinger Signaller. In addition, many categories have multiple endorsements which can relate to the size of the machine, load and whether it is tracked or wheeled. It can really help speed up the process, if you know exactly which course and endorsement you are looking for.
Also, combining some categories can be advantageous. For example delegates who complete the A59 CPCS courses
, are also qualified to drive the A58 category. Delegates who do both the A40 and A61 categories are also awarded the A62 category if they have the correct CSCS TST.
Another key point in the CPCS scheme, is that there are two levels of course on offer - red and blue cards. The ultimate goal of the course is to get all plant operators qualified to an NVQ level, which is the blue card. The red card is an initial qualification which lasts for two years, giving the delegate time to complete their NVQ in that category, whilst allowing them to work on site. Candidates with little or no experience must go through the red card scheme, before progressing onto the blue. Candidates with over two years experience can choose whether to go straight for the blue card or take the red card (usually a shorted experienced worker course). Whichever route a more experienced delegate chooses, they will need to successfully complete the CPCS theory and practical test. Pitfalls to avoid in this area include: that red cards are only valid for two years and the assessment for the blue cards must be taken in this time. In addition, the CPCS will not reissue a red card in a category, where one has already been held. On achievement of the blue card, candidates can avoid having to take the tests again, by keeping up to date with their CSCS TST and log book hours.
The CPCS courses
are assessed via a theory and practical test. Delegates need to pass the verbal theory test before they are allowed to proceed to the practical test. The theory and practical tests are both conducted in English, and while it is possible to employ a translator for non- English speakers, this does increase the cost of the course.