CPCS or Construction Plant Competence Scheme is a system that measures the skills of workers as well as machinery operators in the plant sector of the construction and allied industries. The scheme aims to increase the level of safety in workplaces by ensuring that the workers are competent and are duly qualified.
CPCS cards are given to operators as proof of their competence and that they are duly recognized to work for the tasks they do. Since the launching of CPCS in 2003, approximately 300,000 card where given out to operators in 60 different categories of plant and construction related occupations.
The CPCS Card has been very useful for employers because it has allowed them to guarantee that all their plant operators and workers follow the standard requirements and possess the necessary qualifications needed for plant operations.
Many contractor and construction groups recognize the CPCS Card. The Major House Builders Group (MHBG) and the United Kingdom Contractors Group are just two of the many groups that prefer hiring workers equipped with a CPCS Card.
CPCS Core Elements
In order to obtain a CPCS card, an operator must undergo and pass certain tests or core elements that will measure his ability. The number of test passed will determine what kind of CPCS card he can obtain.
The CPCS core elements are: Training, Health and Safety Test (measures an operator’s knowledge of safety procedures), CPCS Theory Test (gauges the understanding of major SOPs), CPCS Practical Test (measures the actual skills and abilities of an operator), Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ) and National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ), Logbook, On-Site Assessment and the CPCS Plant Operator Renewal Test.
Two Major Types of CPCS Card
The first type of the CPCS card is the Trained Operator Card or simply the red card. This red card is valid only for two years and is non renewable. This card is given to those who underwent and passed the Training, the Health and Safety Test, the CPCS Theory Test and the CPCS Practical Test.
The second type of the CPCS card is the Competent Operator Card or the blue card. The card is valid for five years and is renewable. This card is awarded to those who underwent and passed the Training, the Health and Safety Test, the CPCS Theory Test, the CPCS Practical Test and having achieved significant SVQ and NVQ.
There are two ways of obtaining a CPCS card. First is trying to have a Competent Operator Card or blue card right away. On the other hand, one might also opt to obtain a Trained Operator Card first before securing a Competent Operator Card.
Which way or route to choose is dependent on the operator’s decision alone. His decision might be affected by different factors such as competence, skills, knowledge and the urgency of the need to have a CPCS card.
Why Undergo Renewal?
Because the construction and allied industries are continuously evolving, the CPCS Management Committee sees that operators must undergo and pass the CPCS Plant Operator Renewal Test in order to ensure that operators are properly updated with the innovations in the industry.