Picking the right CPCS course, a how to guide!
The first thing you need to consider if you are looking to choose one of the CPCS courses
is which category do you need? Might seem like a simple question, but first remember that what you call your machine on site might not be its universal name!
To avoid any confusion the CPCS have assigned all machines category numbers. This makes sure that when a plant operative books a course , they are definitely getting assessment and training on the the right machine. So, number one task before booking your course… find out the category number that the piece of plant you need assessing on, is known by.For example if you need assessing on a telehandler, then your code will be A17. If it is a forward tipping dumper then it will will A09 and if you need assessing as a crane supervisor then it will be an A62.
It is also useful to know that many CPCS courses
have subcategories, known as endorsements. This is to help distinguish between certain heights, types or weight loads. For example category A17 Telehandler is split into four endorsements: A; Industrial telescopic, B: Up to 9 meters, C: All sizes excluding 360 slew and D: all sizes including 360 slew. It is of course, imperative that you know which endorsement that you need as each one needs a different type of machine and so is a different assessment.
There are also two cards available for CPCS courses
. The first is known as the red card. The red card is for delegates who wish to become trained operatives. You will need to get a red card for every category and endorsement in which you wish to become a trained operative. Red cards last for two years, with the expectation that operatives will use this time to complete the next stage (Blue card / NVQ level). Red cards cannot be renewed after two years, so to continue to work with this plant, operatives will need to progress to the blue card stage. Red cards are suitable for two type of delegates.
The first is the novice, that is those that have less than two years experience with the machine category that they are applying for. In this case training providers will provider practical and theory training (like in a normal driving test) to enable the delegate to prepare for the assessment. Therefore novice courses are often longer and more expensive that other red card courses.
The second of the CPCS courses
, available is the experienced worker course. This is designed for delegates that have some experience with their machine category, but need additional theory preparation to pass the CPCS assessment. These courses are usually around two days, one day for the preparation and one for the theory and practical assessment. It is worth noting that many experienced workers chose to complete this course, because if the theory assessment is failed, then they cannot go on to the practical assessment and have to do the full assessment again.
This is the option is to complete the CPCS blue card. As previously mentioned this card is representative of an NVQ. Delegates successfully completing this will be classed as trained operators within their chosen plant category. Of all the CPCS courses
, the blue card course requires the most previous experience. Most training providers will not take delegates that have less than two years constant experience in their chosen category.