What is CPCS? Do I need it?

What is it?

CPCS stands for the Construction Plant Competence Scheme- a card scheme designed to prove the skills of plant operatives. It is run by NOCN  Previously CITB  (Construction Industry Training Board)  It was launched by CITB in 2003 at the request of employers, to help them comply with regulations and requirements, and aims to apply common standards for all plant operators.

Important update
In 2019, NOCN Job Cards acquired the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) the leading skills certification scheme for plant within the UK construction industry from CITB. NOCN Job Cards provide proof that individuals have the required training and qualifications for the type of work they carry out.

The move comes as part of CITB’s Vision 2020 programme of reform to better meet the demands of British construction. CITB will take on a more strategic and influential role focusing on securing the right training mix, high standards and quality assurance, building employer confidence in the market. The CPCS provides skills cards to individual workers involved in the plant sector of the construction and allied industries.

Each card provides identification and recognises the competence and qualifications of the individual holder. The scheme maintains health, safety and environmental standards through a programme of testing to prove workers comply with minimum standards.
Please click for more information on NOCN

Over 150,000 people carry a CPCS card and it is the most widely recognised as the preferred card to comply with codes of practice for competence and certification. It is required to operate on most types of plant on UK Contractors Group (UKCG) sites throughout the UK.

The scheme operates two cards, below is the “old” design CPCS card that is still valid until the respective category expiry date and the new CPCS Job card under NOCN (Your new NOCN job card will have a new Personal ID number)

Card Checker is now available at:

The Red Trained Operator Card which shows that you have been tested to CPCS standards.
The Blue Competent Operator Card which shows your competency in the role.

Do I need it?

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.

However not all employers insist on CPCS certification especially those in non-construction industries. If this is the case then in many instances our own certification will suffice to prove your skills. Please see the ‘Courses’ menu above for more information about the training and certification we provide.

How do I get a CPCS card?

The CPCS scheme is made up of 3 stages. Ainscough Training Services can help at every stage to ensure a simple journey through the CPCS scheme for you.

Ainscough Training Services are an approved NOCN job card centre

We are are approved by the Construction Industry Training board (CITB) as an Approved Training Organisation (ATO)

We are  recognised by CITB as well as the British construction industry as a training provider who can deliver good quality training that meets the industry approved standards

We are part of CITB’s automated grant payments system, making it easier for employers to book courses with us for their workers and be reimbursed for it.

our registration number is 9357

For more information please call 01772 623591 or email info@ainscoughtraining.co.uk