Those with little or no experience or ‘novices’ can complete the foundation red card CPCS training
. This consists of the theory and practical test, now together as the technical test and some additional preparation time before the test. Novice preparation tends to span between 3-10 days, as the duration for CPCS training
courses can differ dependent on the candidates experience and the type of machinery they are working with. Once successfully completed this qualifies delegates as a CPCS trained operator, which is the minimum requirement many construction companies ask for. The red card allows operators to work on site for up to two years and during this time they must complete their blue card (NVQ), as it is not possible to renew a red card.
More experienced workers have the option to complete either experienced worker red card CPCS training
or an NVQ. The experienced worker red card, only contains one day of preparation, so is less expensive that the novice courses. However, they do tend to focus on the theory part of the technical test and often do not contain any practical preparation, so are only suitable for experienced and confident workers.
The fasted route to getting the NVQ or blue card is to complete a one day EWPAR. This is a single day NVQ assessment, completed at the candidate’s site. Candidates must also complete both parts of the technical test to achieve a blue card. The blue card lasts for five years and can be renewed during this time by submitting the relevant form to the CPCS along with an up to date log book and keeping your CPCS TST in date. But candidates beware, letting this slip means doing the technical test all over again!
So if you are an experience worker, should you do the red card or blue card CPCS training
? It really depends on your confidence level, you employers or future employers requirements and your level of funding (It can be more cost effective in the first instance for self funding candidates to complete an experienced red card and work up to the blue card at a later date).
It is also worth bearing in mind the following points, which will help you avoid potential problems when booking a CPCS training
1. Make sure you have a CSCS TST that was passed less than two years ago, before you enrol on your CPCS course.
2. Make sure that your have the correct CSCS TST for the category that you wish to do – they come in core, managerial and professional and supervisor levels.
3. Know which category and endorsement you are looking for! This will make the booking process much easier.
4. Don’t fall into the trap of doing too little training / preparation, while it seems a better deal at the time to do the minimum amount, passing the CPCS technical test is dependent on experience. This means it is a false economy to cut down on training as if you fail, you just have to pay for another test all over again.