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 

The CPCS (Red) Trained Operator card proves that you have met the required level to begin working on site with the machine.


It lasts for 2 years and during this time you are expected to build your work experience as an operator to pass the Level 2 Plant Operator NVQ.

You can't renew this card, it must be upgraded by completing the NVQ.

Step 4 - CPCS (Red) Trained Operator Card


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