Construction Plant Competence Scheme


What is CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme)

The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) is the only scheme supported and managed by key industry bodies from the construction and allied sectors. The CPCS card is the recognised plant operator's card accepted on any UK Contractors Group (UKCG) construction site. It proves you can work to national occupational standards of competence and it proves you have the skills that employers need.

Don't be turned away on site for not having a CPCS card -CPCS essential for Plant Operators

Progression through the scheme is simple

Stage One:

How to get your red CPCS Trained  Card

The CPCS Trained Operator Red Card certifies that the plant operator has successfully passed the relevant Health. Safety & Environment Test and both their CPCS Theory & Practical tests in the relevant category of plant.

In order to ensure the card holders competence, the CPCS Trained Operator Red card is only valid for 2 years and is non- renewable. You need to move to stage two to progress through the scheme.

Plant Operators are awarded their CPCS card after successfully passing the CPCS theory & Practical Technical Tests in their chosen category, which is available through Ainscough Training Services's  accredited CPCS Test Centre at Leyland and Hoddesdon. Please visit or call  for more inforamtion on courses & NVQs  Candidates must have also passed the relevant Health, Safety & Environment test prior to taking the CPCS Technical tests please see:

Stage two

How to get your blue CPCS card?
The next stage is to register for and achieve the relevant SVQ or NVQ for the category of plant you operate, this needs to be achieved within the two years of your red card.

To book your NVQ please visit or call 0844 225 0240

A qualified Assessor will guide you through the process of attaining your qualification. This is through the generating of evidence of your skills and competence in the work place. You can then apply for your CPCS blue Competent Card which is valid for 5 years.

Candidates must have also passed the relevant Health, Safety & Environment test prior to taking the CPCS Technical tests please see:

Stage 3

CPCS Blue Card Renewal

To renew your CPCS Competent Operator Card, you must meet the following requirements:

(please note this a brief overview to simplify the process, full information can be found on the Cskills website using the link at the bottom of this page.) 

  • Pass the relevant CITB Health, safety and environment test
  • Pass the CPCS Renewal Test for each category or group of categories held
  • Demonstrate on-going practical operating experience through a choice of routes:
  • Logbook
  • On-Site Assessment
  • CPCS Practical Test
  • SVQ or NVQ
  • Hold a valid Competent Operator Card

Your CPCS Blue Competence Operator Card must be within 5 years of its expiry date to renew using this route.  If the card has expired over 5 years please see ‘Expired Blue Cards’ at the bottom of the page. 

1. CITB Health, safety and environment test:

You are required to have passed the relevant Health, Safety and Environment Test within the last 2 years:

Health, Safety & Environment test for Operatives Test:


Mobile Crane Operator

Tower Crane Operator

Lorry Loader

Health, Safety & Environment Specialist Supervisors test or MAP Test

Crane Supervisor

Health, Safety and Environment test for Managers and Professionals (MAP)

Appointed Person

Please click here for more information about booking the test and purchasing revision material. 

2.CPCS Renewal Test: (visit CPCS website - Renewal test)

You are required to pass the CPCS Renewal Test within the last 2 years in the category or group of categories you want to renew. To check which Renewal Test modules you need to take and also to download revision factsheets please use the online Module Matcher. 

Please note that bookings for the Health, Safety & Environment Test and the CPCS Renewal Test can be made at the same time.


3. Demonstrate on going practical operating experience (please see below for A61 & A62 categories)

By either:

  • Logbook
  • Recording 300 hours per category in your CPCS Logbook*. The hours will need to be validated by a CPCS registered validator**.

*Please click here for an electronic version of the logbook.

**Please click here for the CPCS validator application form. 

On Site Assessment

If you have not kept a log of your hours you can complete an On Site Assessment (OSA) at our training centre at Leyland, Lancashire. This would be a short 30 minute test (per category) with a CPCS tester. On successful completion the tester will validate your card application. 

Please click here for more information about our OSA service. 

***Appointed Person (A61) & Crane Supervisor (A62) Categories***

To renew the A61 & A62 categories you will need to either:

• Complete the CPCS Competence Renewal Assessment for the relevant category:

A61 Renewal / Competence Assessment


A62 Renewal / Competence Assessment

• Complete the CPCS Technical Practical Test in the relevant category. Please contact us for more information. 

How to Apply for the Blue Card

Blue cards can be renewed up to 6 months before their expiry date. To apply to renew the card you will need to complete the F1/3 CPCS Application Form. 

Please click here to download the application form. Guidance notes are printed on the reverse of the form but should have any difficulties in completing it please don’t hesitate to contact us.  

For more information about the renewal process please visit the Cskills Website: 

Expired Blue Cards

If your blue card is beyond 5 years of the expiry date, to renew, you will need to pass:

  • CITB Health, safety and environment test in the relevant category, please see above to choose the correct one. 
  • Pass the CPCS Theory and Practical Tests for each category held. Please call us for more details. 
  • Hold the relevant SVQ or NVQ (if not held then the red trained operator card will be issued). Please click here for more information about our NVQ assessment service.