Obtaining a CPCS Card Can Aid Your Career
A CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) card is a skills card used by individuals who work with plant machinery in construction. Lots of plant employers are persistent in making sure that operators working on their sites possess a CPCS card to prove their skills in specific areas.
Red CPCS Trained Operator Card
The Red CPCS Trained Operator Card is given to individuals when they successfully complete the CPCS Theory and Practical Technical Tests which are held at CPCS approved test centres.
The relevant CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test should be taken within 2 years before taking any CPCS theory and practical training and subsequent technical test. After the training and tests above have been taken, the individual will be given a Red CPCS Trained Operator Card which is non-renewable and has a two-year period in which to upgrade to a Blue Competent Operator card.
The Red Trained Operator Card proves that the individual can demonstrate health and safety awareness, operating ability, understanding and knowledge of the CPCS area(s) they are specialising in.
Example CPCS Courses that lead to a red card include:
• A40: Slinger Signaller Courses
• A17: Telescopic Handler Courses
• A15: Forklift Courses
Blue CPCS Competent Operator Card
Individuals are obliged to take the specific NVQ to then upgrade to the Blue Competent Operator Card
for their specialist area as the Red CPCS Trained Operator Card is only valid for two years. This training is classed as a Level 2 NVQ and is primarily achieved within the place of work (higher level NVQs required for Crane Supervisor and Appointed Person qualifications). Holding this card demonstrates an individual’s ability to execute a job to a high standard whilst recognising the skills and knowledge required to carry out the job in an effective way.
The Blue Competent Operator Card proves that the individual that the individual can demonstrate the previous red trained operator card achievements and that the individual can operate competence which the type of plant machinery the individual applied for. The Blue Competent Operator Card is valid for 5 years, but each category on the card will have its own expiry date. It can be renewed after this time by completing online tests in each category, although the NVQ Level 2 itself is valid for life.
Example NVQ Level 2 courses to obtain a Blue CPCS card include:
• Plant Operations: A14 – Rough Terrain Forklift
• Plant Operations: A31 – Ride on Roller
• Plant Operations: A60 – Mobile Crane
Benefits of Obtaining a CPCS Card
By obtaining a CPCS card it proves to plant operators that the individual has the knowledge and recognised skills to execute certain tasks in different plant areas. CPCS cards can improve or provide employment options for individuals with specific skills and knowledge or experienced operators.
Owning a CPCS card can increase individuals earning capacity, with the average hourly rate for construction plant operatives at £16.72 an hour. If an individual can prove competence in more than one category of plant or show practical working experience in other areas of plant, they can earn up to £30 an hour.
A CPCS card is ultimately physical evidence to prove to employers that an individual has a certain level of skills and can provide for construction plants. If they do not hold one, it may mean that an individual’s career may not be able to progress in the construction industry.