Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a CPCS card?

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.

For more information on the CPCS scheme please click CPCS cards

My red card has expired but it is still within 12 months of its expiry date what do I need to do?

The Red cards offer a 12 month grace period which means that you can upgrade the card up to a year from the original expiry date provided that it is your first card. You now need to register for the relevant NVQ. Once you are registered you are entitled to apply to CPCS for a 12 month extension to your card which will cover you while you complete the NVQ.

For more information on the NVQ process and to book your NVQ please click NVQ CPCS Blue Card

What do I do if my red card has expired over 12 months from it's original expiry date but I have a lot of current experience in the role?

Once the card has expired over 12 months the only way to re-enter the CPCS scheme is by completing:

  • The Cskills Health, Safety and Environment Test
  • The CPCS Technical Tests theory and practical on the relevant category
  • The NVQ in the relevant category

If you have experience in the discipline and have been active in the role then your best option would be to follow our 'Straight to Blue Route'. This route is the most cost effective and time efficient way of re-entering the CPCS scheme provided you have enough experience.

My card has expired over 12 months but I haven't been active in the role for a while and so have no current experience

Once the card has expired over 12 months the only way to re-enter the CPCS scheme is by completing:

  • The Cskills Health, Safety and Environment Test
  • The CPCS Technical Tests theory and practical on the relevant category
  • Register for the NVQ in the relevant category

If you haven't been practicing in the role recently then your best option would be to start from scratch with full training and testing to bring you back up to speed with current legislation and best practice.

While you are here for the training we would register and induct you for the NVQ. CPCS will then issue you a new Red card with a 2 year expiry. You can then complete the NVQ when you have enough experience (please note maximum registration time with us is 12 months).

How do I get a blue card?

The Red Trained Operator card will only for 2 years. In this time you are required to undertake the relevant NVQ in order to upgrade your card to the Blue Competent Operator Card. The red card cannot be renewed, the only way to remain in the CPCS scheme is to complete the relevant NVQ.

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are competence based and are achieved in the workplace. They demonstrate your ability at work by recognising the skills, knowledge, ability, training and experience required to perform a job safely and in an effective and efficient manner.

To complete the NVQ you will be required to submit work based evidence and also complete an assessment by observation with the assessor. Ainscough Training Services is an accredited Cskills Awards centre offering NVQs relating to the lifting industry. For all the CPCS training we offer we also offer the corresponding NVQ so we can take you through the whole process from start to finish. Please see the 'NVQ' menu above to view our full list of categories that we offer, or click NVQ CPCS Blue card.


Once you have completed the NVQ you will be entitled to apply for the CPCS Blue Competent Operator card. This card lasts for 5 years and is renewed via the CPCS renewal process.

How do I renew my blue CPCS Card?