CPCS Training and the Private Individual
For private individuals, obtaining a CPCS card can be very expensive and is a multi-stage process. For some plant categories candidates may need to invest thousands of pounds before they can get the relevant CPCS card. Obtaining a CPCS card is a bit like passing the driving test, and there are no guaranteed passes. Anybody failing an element will need to re-sit that element at additional cost.
Step 1: - Have you got a current CITB ConstructionSkills Health and Safety Test Pass?
In the first instance, anyone wanting to progress down the CPCS route must have completed and passed a touch screen test within the last 2 years (this is also known as the ConstructionSkills Health and Safety Test). Without a valid pass on this test it is not worthwhile enquiring about CPCS Training or CPCS plant theory or practical tests. A valid touch screen test result taken within the last 2 years is a mandatory pre-requisite for CPCS, and without this you are not ready for the next stages. The touch screen test can be applied for and taken at a number centres throughout the UK and more information can be found on the CITB CSkills site. Follow this link for more information on preparation for and booking the Health and Safety Touch Screen test or alternatively you can get more information by telephone on 0344 9944488.
Step 2:- Assessing your Level of Experience and Identifying your CPCS Category
Most applicants for CPCS cards will already know the category that they are interested in, and as a general rule, if you do not know the CPCS Plant category that you want to pursue, it is probably likely that you are not ready for CPCS. There are more than 80 different categories. For some specific plant items there is only one category type, but for other plant machinery such as dump trucks and telescopic handlers there are many sub-categories and it is important that you know what category you need to gain a CPCS card for.
If you do know your plant category, you then need to assess you existing level of competence; i.e., are you an experienced worker or a novice? There is no hard and fast rule on this, but as a general guideline if you have been working in the construction industry for a period of at least three years and have two years experience operating with a specific item of plant you might want to consider an experienced worker approach for the specific category if you are adding another category and have had previous experience with CPCS. However, if you have no previous experience of CPCS with any category of plant you should probably enter a CPCS Training program as a novice. Ultimately, it is your assessment of your existing skill level that counts here. As part of the assessment process you will need to pass a practical test, and entering the process as an experienced worker when you are not will simply be an expensive mistake.
Step 3: Deciding on the CPCS Training Route or the Assessment Route
Once you have made your decision on your current level of experience, you can either complete a CPCS Training course for the specific item of plant at either Novice Level or Experienced Worker level, or alternatively you can go straight into the theory and practical testing phase without training.
CPCS Training courses typically train the candidate to a level of competence so that they can safely operate the machine and to a level where these should be able to pass the CPCS Theory and Practical Tests. There are foundation courses for novice candidates and experienced worker courses for those who already have experience.
If you have a health and safety touch screen test pass that has been obtained within the last 2 years and feel that you are ready to make an enquiry on CPCS Training, you will also need to supply the following information at the time of booking:
- Full Name
- Date of Birth
- CITB Number
- National Insurance Number
- Date of passing the Health and Safety Touch Screen Test (this must have been passed within the last 2 years)
- Plant Category and Sub-Category where appropriate.