CPCS & NVQ FAQs
What is CPCS?
CPCS is the most recognised card scheme in the construction plant industry and aims to keep a record of workers and allied industries that have achieved a high level of operating ability and competence, and to provide a means of identification. It also aims to raise Health and Safety standards through a programme of CITB Health and safety testing to prove workers have met the minimum standards required.
What are the Course Elements?
- Classroom session (foundation training only)
- Practical learning and training (foundation training only)
- CPCS Theory test
- CPCS Practical test
What are the Entry/Card Routes?
CPCS Trained Operator Card (Red) : Valid for 2 years.
For novice operators wishing to enter the scheme and for experienced operators wishing to enter the scheme without completing an NVQ.
Competence Card (Blue) : Valid for 5 years.
For experienced operators wishing to progress through or enter the scheme.
Upgrading from red card to blue card
Operator needs to complete NVQ/QCF relevant to the category of plant they operate.
Working directly to blue card
The operator needs to complete NVQ/QCF on category of plant, then complete the CPCS Technical test both theory and practical.
Renewing Blue Card
The operator must complete the CPCS module renewal test in the on the category of plant they operate, then demonstrate ongoing experience either through the log book route, on site assessment or CPCS practical test. This depends on the operators experience at time of renewing the blue card. Our centre Co-Ordinator can advise on this, please call for further information.
All operators must have passed a CITB Health and Safety test within 2 years of the date of the application being received. We have facilities at our centre for the operator to take this test on the same day.
Revision study notes for the theory test are available on acceptance of an order. You can download the questions form our link page for CPCS.
QCF What is it?
The Qualifications and Credit Framework, or QCF, is a new educational framework designed to make vocational qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland easier to understand, and simpler to use. By the end of 2010, the QCF will replace the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and all existing qualifications under the NQF will be transferred to QCF, including the full suite of National Vocational Qualifications. (NVQ).
How does QCF work?
Will I get an NVQ under QCF?
With QCF, the brand NVQ will still feature in the title of all competence qualifications, however, the qualification type will be referred to as an Award, Certificate or Diploma. For example:
Level 2 NVQ Certificate or Diploma in Plant Operations.
Why NVQ Certificate and NVQ Diplomas?
The main benefit is that is a nationally recognised qualification. These qualifications take into account your past and present practical experience and knowledge.
The qualifications gained can be used throughout your working life and can be taken from site to site with the knowledge that it shows the employer you are competent and able to work to recognised industry standards.
Is there an age limit?
There is no age limit for operating plant.
Qualifications can be obtained at any stage in your career without having to go back into college or attending a course.
What about previous qualifications/work evidence?
Awarding Organisations have agreed work carried out in the past can contribute to and qualify the person for any of the units within a qualification.
For example existing qualifications or evidence of prior work could be photos, videos, reports etc. This is called Aproved Prior Learning (APL) and it aims to make your previous experience count.