A Guide To The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS)

Working within the construction industry can be an exciting, fulfilling, and rapidly-changing career choice. As well as acquiring various recognized credentials, you may find yourself in need of more information on the Construction Plant Competence Scheme, more commonly referred to as CPCS. Indeed, there is a lot of information on the topic; however, the more information available, the more confusing things seem to appear! Hence, we are delighted to provide you with a clear and concise guide to CPCS.

In Brief, What Does Holding A CPCS Card Mean?

Not everyone working within the construction industry will find themselves in need of a CPCS card. However, in certain circumstances where an employee or contractor will be required to hold a CPCS card. Once acquired, the CPCS shows that the holder has met the necessary standards for performing specific roles within the construction world. Employees who are engaged in plant operation should give special attention to the following information.

Let’s Get A Bit More Specific

We know that a CPCS card shows that the holder has met specific standards; however, how is it all defined? Let’s take a look in more detail.

A CPCS card is recognized as a form of ID and gives evidence that the holder is competent and has the necessary information to work within plant operation. The knowledge and competence are in defined categories. These categories are as follows:

  • Professional construction and plant competence
  • Health and safety requirements
  • Procedures in plant operation

What Confidence Does Holding A CPCS Card Instil?

Employers can have a significant level of confidence in employees that hold a CPCS card. They have a general feeling of assurance that the holder has the right skills to effectively and safely carry out their specific work and tasks. This can help develop a trusted and respected relationship between the employer and the employee, which can continue to grow and improve as the employee further improves their skillset and safe way of working.

How Are The Skills And Knowledge Maintained?

The CPCS is carried periodically by EM Training Solutions, visit https://www.emtrainingsolutions.com/cpcs-course for details on the course. However, it is certainly not a case of acquiring a card and then doing nothing further. Rather, it requires that the holder stays up to date on industry developments so that their skills and knowledge are always maintained.

When Did The CPCS Scheme Come Into Operation And What Was The Objective?

The CPCS scheme started in 2003. The scheme had one simple and clear objective; to make sure that plant operators and employers are confident in their work and that they effectively meet the necessary standards of health and safety legislation.

How Has The Scheme Had an Impact On The Overall Approach Towards Safety Within The World Of Construction?

The CPCS scheme has done a lot more than provide confidence for specific individuals in their operation of plant machinery, although this in itself is an excellent achievement. Another exceptional benefit to the scheme is how it has transformed the overall approach towards safety within the industry. Employers may find themselves choosing to employ only CPCS cardholders in specific positions. This, in turn, encourages more and more construction workers to acquire the CPCs card recognition. It is easy to see the domino effect this process has, the more employers that are dedicated to employing CPCS cardholders. The more CPCS cardholders that exist within the word of construction, the fewer penalties imposed by authorities, the safer working conditions, and the better the overall approach to safety within the construction industry; a win-win station on many fronts.

How To Acquire A CPCS Card?

For workers within the world of construction, acquiring a CPCS card makes sense on many fronts. However, how is a card acquired?

Firstly, it is essential to understand that there are three different types of cards, as follows:

  • the trained operator card
  • the competent operator card
  • the tester card

For all three, the applicant needs to pass tests both in theory and in practice. There are numerous approved sites nationwide where these tests can be taken. Following this, the holder should keep a professional logbook to acquire and record ongoing experience and expertise.

The First Step – The Trained Operator Card (The Red Card)

Known more commonly within the industry as the red card, the first step is to acquire a Trained Operator card. This card is issued to the successful applicant for two years.

The Second Step- The Competent Operator Card (The Blue Card)

The next step is to acquire the blue card, officially known as the Competent Operator Card, which is valued for five years and proves an excellent choice for plant operator positions that are to be held for an extended period.

The Third Step – The Tester Card

The most advanced of all the cards is the Tester Card; individuals must have shown through knowledge and ability that they are competent in all plant operations and environments. As a provisional step for employees working towards the qualification, a black card can be issued, this being a temporary Tester Card.

The Bottom Line On The Construction Plant Competence Scheme

Set up in 2003 and providing increased safety and overall improved safety awareness, the CPCS had done much to help individuals acquire the right knowledge and expertise to carry out their tasks in a way that meets all necessary legislation and standards. Employers often will give preference to potential employees who hold a CPCS card and may, in fact, only employ such individuals for specific roles. The scheme comprises three cards: the Trained Operator card, the Competent Operator card, and the Tester card. While acquiring a CPCS card requires sitting tests and working to keep up to date with all related knowledge and abilities, such efforts are very well worthwhile both for the individual and the employer.