How to obtain a CPCS Card
To obtain a CPCS Card you must first of all have passed the CSCS Health Safety & Environment Touch Screen Test. As long as you have passed this test within the last two years you can then be booked in to take the CPCS Theory & Practical Test, which, when passed will get you a Red CPCS Trained Operator Card valid for two years.
If you have one to two years’ experience of operating the category of plant that you want a Red CPCS Card for we would recommend you attend one for our two day Experienced Operator Training & Testing Courses.
The CPCS Theory Test is an hour long test and takes the format of a professional discussion (which is voice recorded) between the CPCS tester and you the candidate. The test takes place on a one to one basis with the tester writing down & making notes of the answers given.
The first part of the Theory Test relates to general Health & Safety issues that are relevant to plant operators, with the rest of the questions being related directly to the category of plant that you are being tested on.
Once you have passed the Theory Test you are then allowed to take the Practical Test, it should be noted however that if you fail the CPCS Theory Test you will not be allowed to undertake the Practical Test. If the Theory & Practical Test are booked on the same day you would still have to pay for the Practical Test.
The Practical Test is a series of machine specific tests designed to prove the operator's competence in handling the machine in different situations, the CPCS tester will observe you taking and completing these tests and mark you accordingly. The tests take between 1.50 hours and 3.25 hours to complete depending on what category of plant you are being tested on.
On the first day of the Experienced Operator Training & Testing Course you will be taken through the CPCS Theory Test questions and guidance will be given on how to correctly phrase and answer the Theory questions. Before attending the course you will be sent the CPCS Theory questions in order that you identify to your trainer any particular questions you would like assistance with. The rest of the day is dedicated to the Practical element of the CPCS Test by making sure you are familiar with the machine you will be taking your CPCS Test on and briefing you on the practical test requirements.
Most candidates who experience difficulty passing the CPCS Test have difficulty with the Theory questions and this element therefore takes up the majority of the training day.
Day two of the course is the testing day, giving you the opportunity to take the CPCS Theory & Practical Tests.
Candidates who attend the two day Experienced Operator Training & Testing Course enjoy pass rates of over 95%.
On passing the CPCS Theory & Practical Test you will achieve a Red CPCS Trained Operator Card valid for two years.
Upgrading from a Red CPCS Card to a Blue CPCS Card
The only way to upgrade your Red CPCS Card to a Blue CPCS Competent Operator Card is by completing the relevant S/NVQ. We are able to deliver you the S/NVQ you need to upgrade your card and will be able to advise you of any Government funding that may be available to help you with the cost of the S/NVQ. If you work for an employer we can also talk to them on your behalf to see if they are able to draw down grants from the CITB that could also help reduce still further the cost of the S/NVQ.
It may also be possible that if you hold an existing L2 S/NVQ in Plant Operations that you may not have to complete an S/NVQ and we will be able to advise you of this.
Putting an extra Plant Category on a Blue CPCS Card
Depending on what item of plant you already have on your existing Blue CPCS Card will define which route you need to go down to get the extra item of plant on your card. In certain circumstances you may need to take just the CPCS Theory & Practical Test or you may have to may have to complete another S/NVQ and a Theory & Practical Test.
Blue CPCS Card Renewal
To renew your CPCS Competent Operator Card, you must meet the following requirements. You have to pass the relevant Health, Safety and Environment Touch Screen Test and pass the CPCS Renewal Test for each category or group of categories held. You must also demonstrate on-going practical operating experience through a choice of routes such as:- Logbook, On-Site Assessment, CPCS Practical Test, or S/NVQ. You must hold a valid Competent Operator Card. Where S/NVQ units relevant to a category being renewed have been achieved within the previous two years of the renewal date, the Logbook or On-Site Assessment does not need to be undertaken in order to renew that category.
I need an S/NVQ
If you need an S/NVQ to update your Red CPCS Card or gain a CPCS Card we can help. We are able to deliver you the S/NVQ you need to upgrade your card and will be able to advise you of any Government funding that may be available to help you with the cost of the S/NVQ. If you work for an employer we can also talk to them on your behalf to see if they are able to draw down grants from the CITB that could also help reduce still further the cost of the S/NVQ.
Red CPCS Card Extension
We can help you extend your Red CPCS Trained Operator Card by up to one year.