Blue CPCS Card17 May 2022 2022-06-24 15:57
Blue CPCS Card
Routes to the Blue 'Competent Operator' CPCS Card
How can I get a Blue CPCS Card?
To access the Blue CPCS card, plant/lifting operators need to already be in possession of the Red (Trained Operator) CPCS card, and have a further 6 months on-site experience in the specified category.
They then need to achieve a (construction) plant or lifting operations NVQ. These qualifications have been developed within the industry to measure an operator’s competence against national standards in the workplace.
What is the NVQ process all about?
The NVQ process isn’t a training course (if you’re looking into the NVQ you will have already completed your training and passed your CPCS practical test at this point). This is about proving that you’re putting your skills into practice, in a real construction environment.
In a nutshell, you’re simply demonstrating to your assessor that you are operating safely and competently, showing them the evidence (documents, photos, videos) that proves it.
All of our Plant and Controlling Lifting Operations NVQs are assessed through a ‘professional discussion’ assessment with your assessor.
This ‘discussion-style’ assessment method involves no written work or classroom-based elements.
We offer a unique one-day assessment for these qualifications.
The whole assessment is conducted and captured electronically through audio and video recordings which drastically reduces the duration compares with the traditional ‘paper and pen’ NVQ assessments.
In order for the assessment to take place in a single day you will be expected to thoroughly prepare beforehand and have all evidence ready to be presented on the day.
Do I need to pass the CITB Health and Safety test?
Yes. In order to apply for a Blue CPCS card you will also need to have completed the CITB Health Safety & Environment (HS&E) test within 2 years.
This is a short, multiple-choice test designed to ensure learners have a thorough understanding of general health and safety practice on construction sites.
You can book this test online by clicking here.
An NVQ is a UK regulated qualification and therefore does not ever expire. The Blue CPCS card however is valid for five years, after which time you will need to pass the latest CITB Managers and Professionals Health, Safety and Environment Test in order to renew the card.
How does NPORS compare with CPCS?
The National Plant Operators Registration Scheme (NPORS) is an alternative to the CPCS scheme. It offers the same accredited training and registration as CPCS, and has become one of the most recognised accredited training schemes in the UK.
One reason that many operators choose the NPORS route over the CPCS route is that NPORS is generally cheaper than CPCS (although NPORS training still ensures compliance with industry standards in the same way that CPCS does).
With NPORS you can complete the training on your own site, with your own machinery, or at the training provider’s site. CPCS training however can only be completed at certified centres.
Although the NPORS route is generally the cheaper option, it’s not as widely accepted at CPCS. As a general rule, If you’re considering working on large contractor’s sites then CPCS may be the option for you (although many of the larger contractors are now accepting the NPORS card). Your CPCS card is much more likely to be accepted by employers, and your training will be more detailed.
If however you just want to work with smaller machinery, or want a low-cost course to get you started, then NPORS might be the one.
Are the NPORS and CSCS cards interchangeable?
Unfortunately not. If you hold a Red ‘Trained Operator’ CPCS card and complete a Level 2 NVQ in the specific category of plant, you can upgrade your Red CPCS card to the Blue ‘Competent Operator’ CPCS card, but you won’t be able to ‘upgrade’ to the Blue NPORS card without first holding the Red NPORS card (and passing the appropriate NPORS training course). This works both ways, so Red NPORS holders can’t access the Blue CPCS card either, without having completed the CPCS training and holding the Red CPCS card.
My Red CPCS/NPORS card expires soon, can I extend?
Red CPCS card holders have 2 years from the date of issue to complete an NVQ in the specified category of plant. Once the NVQ has been achieved, they can upgrade their card to the Blue ‘Competent Operator’ CPCS card.
In the event that a Red CPCS card holder needs to extend their card, the CPCS scheme offers a 12-month grace period from the date a red card expires. This will allow Red CPCS card holders an additional 12 months to complete their NVQ and upgrade to the Blue CPCS card. If the NVQ is not achieved within this time no further extensions will be granted and you will have to re-sit the CPCS theory and practical test.
In order to do this, Red CPCS card holders must be registered onto an NVQ in the specified category of plant and apply for a 12 month extension with CPCS (click here for more information).
How soon can I register onto an NVQ?
At CADUK, we can provide proof of registration on a plant/lifting operations NVQ the very same day. Once you have been approved to enrol by one of our assessors you can register at any time.
Which NVQs will enable me to apply for the Blue CPCS card?
CADUK offer the following NVQs at Level 2-5 that provide access to the Blue CPCS card: