Popular CPCS courses
With 66 categories available we cannot possible discuss them all here, so lets take the most popular courses and see what they entail.
Firstly it essential to remember that you must have a CSCS health and safety touch screen test that is less than 2 years old to be enrolled on any CPCS course
. This is the same test that allows you access to site, but remember for site access the card is valid for five years, but do a CPCS course it must be no older than two years! If you have not got one of these tests or your CSCS test is over two years old, don’t worry. The test is short and can be done in loads of locations all over the UK. Some of the bigger sites even have mobile CSCS TST centers so you don’t even need to leave work. Call them directly to book a test and once you have passed you can continue with your CPCS booking.
It is also really important when booking CPCS training courses
to know what level of experience you have. This is for two reasons. The first is that the level of experience will define the course option that you take. The second is that if you misjudge your level of experience and confidence you could end of taking a course, that you don’t pass and have to do the wjole thing again! There is a common misconception among CPCS trainees that as it is the cheapest option, just completing the tests with no training, is the best option. Be warned! It certainly does not work out cheaper, if you fail the test and have to book and pay for them again! Remember you would not turn up to a DVLA driving test or theory test having had no practice or done no revision and expect to pass! The same is true of a CPCS course
So the three levels of CPCS course options are red card novice worker, red card experienced worker and blue card. The ultimate aim of the CPCS course is for all CPCS operatives to have the blue card and be recongnised as competent operators. However to gain a blue card you must complete the NVQ, which involves no training only being assessed on your performance, and pass the CPCS theory and practical test with no preparation.
Obviously then, this course is the first option for only the most advanced and experienced plant operators. Most providers request evidence of a minimum of two years constant experience with the machines. If this blue card option is no right for you, you could go for the red card, experienced worker option.
Red cards only stay valid for two years and operatives are expected to work towards their blue cards in this time if they wish to continue working with that piece of plant. The red card experienced worker course, runs over two days. The second day is when the candidates complete the theory and practical tests. Remember that you must successfully complete the theory test to be allowed to progress to the practical parst of the assessment. The first day is when candidates receive preparation; to aid them is passing their theory test. In a experienced worker red course, candidates are assumed to have a good level of experience and confidence working with their plant, so only theory preparation and not practical preparation is included.
The final option is the novice red card course. This is longer course and lasts from a minimum of three to four days upwards. This course is designed for those that lack both practical and theory experience. Therefore candidates are taken through all aspects of operating the machinery that they will need to pass the test. The tests are also included in this course. Remember though, that if you are successful in achieving your red card, you will be known as a trained operator and you must progress onto the blue card to continue to work with this plant after two years and be regarded as a competent operator.
Next let's look at some of the individual courses offered by the CPCS. These can broadly be split between operating machines and loading courses. Firstly, the A09 course or forward tipping dumper CPCS training
is available with a choice of two endorsements – either A; Wheeled or B: Tracked. You only need a core CSCS TST to do this course and it is an on center category so you will need to travel to a registered CPCS venue to take your course.
While the telehandler training
or A17 course differs from the A09 course as it has four endorsements: A: Industrial Telescopic, B: Up to 9 meters, C: All sizes ex 360 slew and D: All sizes including 360 slew. It is also an onsite category only needing a core CSCS test. Knowing which of the four endorsement you need is a brilliant way of making the booking process quick, simple and easy, so always check before calling a training provider.
Some of the lifting operations courses differ from the A17 and A09 as they require a more advance CSCS TST test. The A61 appointed persons lifting operations CPCS course
needs a MAP or manager and professional TST, while the A62 appointed person lifting operators CPCS course
needs a supervisor TST test. The A61 course is an off center category, which means a trainer will come to your own site to deliver the course, while the a62 is an on center course. There are no endorsements for the A61 or A62 courses, but candidates holding the A40 slinger training
course that complete the A61 are also awarded the A62.
If you are considering the A40 banksman training
course, please bear in mind that it covers crane slinging and not vehicle slinging. There is currently no CPCS category for directing vehicles. The last of the most popular CPCS courses includes the A58 excavator below 10 tonnes and A59 excavator above 10 tonnes. Both can be done as wheeled or tracked endorsement and both are on center categories Remember too that if you complete the A59 category you will also be qualified for the A58!