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The Red Trained Operator Card confirms a level of core skills, knowledge and understanding that can be applied in the workplace until measured as competent against national standards.
We make getting your Red CPCS Trained Operator Card a simple, stress-free process ✅
Experienced and able operators may hold a trained operator card whilst being measured against national standards through an SVQ or NVQ.
This card is a 2-year temporary card and you must pass your Level 2 Plant NVQ within this time frame to be able to renew it into a full 5-year Blue CPCS Competent Operator Card.
Why is a CPCS card necessary?
Having a CPCS card is necessary as it showcases to employers efficiently and knowledge of the industry. The objective of the CPCS card is to ensure that employers and plant operators can have confidence that they are meeting the required standards in health and safety legislation.
As a result, employing only CPCS card holders in the relevant positions ensures that individuals who possess, and maintain, the knowledge and competence to safeguard plant safety and meet legislative requirements, hold these key roles.
To get the Red CPCS Trained Operator Card you must:
✅ Carry out any training necessary to bring you up to the standard required to enable you to pass the CPCS technical test. This can be delivered by a trainer.
✅ Pass the relevant CITB health, safety and environment test
✅ Achieve the CPCS theory test (within two years of the CITB health, safety and environment test)
✅ Achieve the CPCS practical test (within six months of the CPCS theory test and within two years of the CITB health, safety and environment test)
Both CPCS theory and practical tests are delivered by an accredited CPCS test centre. Find an accredited CPCS test centre HERE.
Once you have proven yourself competent (both with practical experience and by gaining a relevant SVQ or NVQ), you should apply for the Blue CPCS Competent Operator Card.
CPCS stands for the Construction Plant Competence Scheme- a card scheme designed to prove the skills of plant operatives. It is run by the Construction Industry Training Board also known as CITB.
It depends on what line of work you work in. If you work in the construction industry, you'll generally need a CSCS card to get on site. However, if your job is to operate plant on construction sites, you will be better getting a CPCS card, provided through the Construction Plant Competence Scheme.
CSCS does not issue cards to workers in the plant sector. Instead, CSCS is partnered with a number of card schemes which provide their own skills certification cards.
An NVQ is a work-based award that is achieved through assessment and training. Your Assessor will assist you to create a portfolio specific to the category of plant that you’re skilled in. If you hold an existing Red Card upon completion it will automatically be upgraded into a CPCS Blue Card.
The Red Trained Operator Card shows that you have been tested to CPCS standards.
The Blue CPCS Competent Operator Card. shows your competency in the role.
If you are working in construction in the UK then most probably yes. UKCG insist that operatives working on their sites must hold a CPCS card. Many other employers are also demanding the same requiring their employees to hold relevant cards to prove their skills.
Some operators can apply for a Blue CPCS Competent Operator Card without having a Red CPCS card. If this is the case for you, then you must have earned either an NVQ or SVQ relevant to the category of card for which you are applying for.
In addition to that you must pass the CPCS Technical Tests in the related category of CPCS Course:
CPCS Theory Test (within 2 years of passing the HS&E Test)
CPCS Practical Test (within 6 months of passing the Technical Test and within 2 years of passing the HS&E Test).
The Trained Operator Red Card lasts for a period of 2 years and is not renewable – it must be upgraded with the relevant NVQ to a Blue CPCS Competent Operator Card.
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