CPCS choices - What training is available to you?
Firstly, you need to bear in mind that before you can book any CPCS course, you need to have a CSCS card. The CSCS card is also known as the health and safety touch screen test and is also used by operatives to gain access to site. However for the purposes of gaining site entry the CSCS card is valid for five years, while for the purpose of proving you have basic health and safety skills before you take your CPCS test, the card is only valid for two years. This means that you must take the CSCS TST again if you have a card that is more than two years old.
Next lets look at the structure of CPCS training
. The aim of a CPCS course is to pass the CPCS test, which is made up of two sections. The first is the theory test. This tests the knowledge and understanding you have about how plant can be used, acceptable maneuvers and weights. Each theory test is customised to the category of CPCS course you are taking, so you will be asked different questions for a banksman course than on a telehandler course.
The next part of CPCS training is the practical test. This is where you on the job skills are tested to check that you can safely and efficiently operate the plant. Remember that to have the opportunity to do the practical test, you must first pass the theory.
Now, lets look at the levels of CPCS training
available. The scheme is broadly split into two parts, the trained operator and the competent operator. It is the goal of the scheme to have all operators at the competent level within two years. Which course you should attend, depends on how experienced you are with that particular piece of plant.
Trained operator or red card courses are for those with less experience. They can be customised to your needs, but usually last from four days to two days. One day is taken up with the CPCS course testing and the rest of the time is preparation, to give you the best possible chance of passing.
Those with no experience at all will usually go for a novice cpcs course
, which provides practical and theory training, while those that have up to two years operating experience can go for a two day course, where the first day just goes through all the theory preparation and omits the practical stuff. It is best to always err on the side of caution with cpcs training course
, the more preparation, the better chance you have of getting through both tests.
If you have over two years experience on a particular piece of machinery, then you can do a blue card or competent operator course. This course includes completing an NVQ, which is purely based on assessment. There is no training or preparation, because it is assumed that you already have the experience necessary. Then candidates have to also complete the CPCS theory and practical tests.
A great tip, when booking a CPCS training course, is to have the information including your plant code and endorsement to hand. For example the code for telehandler training
is A17 and there are four endorsements to choose from A-D. While for the banksman training
there is only one endorsement and the category number is A40. Be aware though, that CPCS slinger training relates only to slinging crane load and not vehicles. At this time the CPCS do not have a vehicle slinging course available. Other key cpcs courses
include A59, excavator above 10 tonnes, A58, excavator below 10 tonnes and A09, forward tipping dumper.