CPCS Training - An essential element of Plant Safety on Construction Sites
If you have been working with plant machinery for some time, it is likely that you will know that the CPCS card scheme is the best known accreditation scheme for plant operators in the UK.
Although there are other qualification routes such as gaining an NPORS qualification (National Plant Operators Registration Scheme) the CPCS training
is the only card scheme, requested by contractors belonging to the UKCG (UK Contractors Group) as it addresses the Construction Design Management Regulations code of practice. With the UKCG body representing the largest and most significant UK contractors and with these members requesting membership of this scheme, it is easy to see why CPCS training
is seen as essential. You can be safe in the knowledge that all UK sites will accept a CPCS card as evidence of your competency with plant machinery.
As we have established that to work on a UKCG site is is necessary to earn a CPCS card, lets now find out a bit more about what they are and how you can get one.
Firstly the CPCS schemes is divided into 66 numbered categories all beginning with the prefix A, these relate directly to the type of plant you are working with for example A59 is an Excavator 360 degrees above ten tons. Some of the categories are further divided into sub categories, these denote a specific type of plant - so an A59A would be a tracked excavator, while an A59 B would be a wheeled one. If you are unsure of which category you are looking for the details are available throught the following link; http://www.cskills.org/education/cpcs/index.aspx. Before contacting a training provider for CPCS training
, it is well worth investigating this briefly as it means the whole process will be much more efficient.
There are two routes into CPCS training
, the first is by completing a red card. The red card lasts for two years and qualifies you as a trained operator. To gain a red card you will need to complete the relevant CSCS (construction skills certificate scheme) touch screen, health and safety test (see below), complete preparation training and the CPCS practical and theory tests. You are then able to progress onto the blue card (NVQ) to become a competent operator.
The second is by completing the NVQ first and then the CPCS technical and practical test so progressing straight to a blue competent operator card.
Once you have your blue card which lasts for 5 years - it is best to renew this within the 12 month grace period by logging 300 hours experience in your log book, but if this is not the case the theory and practical CPCS test can always be repeated. But be warned if you have gone over the 12 month grace period the tests will need to be repeated anyway!
Remember to sit any CPCS training
tests you must have core CSCS touch screen test first, demonstrating your competency of basic health and safety awareness on site. The only exceptions to this rule is for CPCS categories A61 Appointed Persons - Lifting Operations where a managerial and professional CSCS TST (MAP) is needed and the A62 Crane/ Lifting Operations Supervisor where the supervisor CSCS TST is needed before enrolling on the CPCS course.