What is CPCS?

The Construction Plant Competency Scheme (CPCS) is the largest and most highly recognised card scheme for the plant industry. More than 280,000 individuals carry the card and it is required to be able to operate on most major contractors sites in the UK

The Process

The usual process for operators to enter the scheme is by first gaining a (Red)Trained Operator Card, then progressing to the (Blue) Competent Operator Card. Once the operator has the (Blue) Competent Card, they can renew it every 5 years.

Step 2 - Training 

Step 3 - CPCS Technical Test 

Step 4 - CPCS (Red) Trained Operator Card

The Plant Operator NVQs that we provide, are all about collecting evidence which shows that you are working competently on site.


The assessor will visit you on site to observe you working with the machine, take witness testimonies from your employer/supervisor and check your theory knowledge.

Once you have completed this, you can apply to upgrade your CPCS (Red) Trained Operator Card to the CPCS (Blue) Competent Operator Card. 


Remember, if you haven't passed a CITB Health, Safety and Environment test in the last 2 years you will need to do another before you can upgrade. See Step 1 for more information.

Step 5 - Level 2 Plant Operator NVQ


Step 6 - CPCS (Blue) Competent Operator Card

Step 7 - Renew Your Card

This description of the CPCS Scheme process is a brief outline of what you need to do. Further details of the CPCS Scheme can be found on the CPCS website, or within the CPCS Scheme Booklet for Operators.

Step 1 - CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test