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

Step 6 - CPCS (Blue) Competent Operator Card 

When it's time to renew your blue card, you will need to make sure you have completed the following.

Have 300 hours in your log book per machine. This proves that you have ongoing operating experience. It is very important to keep your log book up to date if you want to keep the cost of renewal as low as possible. If you don't log the hours you will have to complete a CPCS On Site Assessment or Practical Test!

Pass the CPCS Renewal Test. These are theory tests which focus on the knowledge side of the machine's operation. You can take these at the same test centres as the CITB Health, Safety & Environment test.

To find out which CPCS Renewal Test you need to take you can use the CPCS Module Matcher. This tool also lets you download factsheets for you to revise for the test.

Pass the CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test (if necessary). If it comes to your renewal and you haven't passed one of these in the last 2 years you will need to do another. It can be taken at the same test centre, on the same day as the CPCS Renewal Test. See Step 1 for more information.

Once all of this is in place you should complete a CPCS Competent Operator Card Renewal form send it to CPCS. If everything is correct a new (Blue) Competent Operator Card will be sent allowing you to continue operating for another 5 years. 


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 


Step 5 - Level 2 Plant Operator NVQ