FAQs Construction Industry Training

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Construction Training Courses

We have compiled a list of some of the questions we get asked most often about our training courses, before even setting foot on a building site construction industry workers are required to have a number of different certifications. These qualifications range from general health & safety training through to specialist plant operations training.  These FAQs are here to help but if you have a question we haven’t answered then please call our training course helpline on 08433 301 236.

What do I need to do before I start my course?

There is nothing you need to start your training, however, in order to carry out a CPCS Technical Test, an individual must have a Health & Safety Environment Test completed within the last 2 years. For further details, to see whether you’ve got the appropriate HSE Test or for a reminder when the expiry date of your test is, feel free to call us on 08433 301 236 and we will happily check your details on the CITB System.

To book a CSCS Health and Safety Environment Test visit the website at www.cscs.uk.com/cscs-cards/health-and-safety-test or call CSCS on 0344 994 4488.

What is a CPCS Card?

A CPCS Card is a license that proves your ability to operate construction plant at the highest level.

There are two types of CPCS Card: the Trained Operator Red Card which is the first card you will receive; and the Competent Operator Blue Card which you will need to work up to. Both these cards show a great deal of competence on specific items of plant and are recognised nationwide as the preferred proof of competence within the industry.

With a CPCS Card you will appear more attractive to employers, making it easier to find work and will be able to get onto the biggest Construction sites, with the strictest safety polices.

How long does my CPCS Card last for?

The Trained Operator Red Card lasts for a period of 2 years and is not renewable. However, providing you register for your NVQ in those 2 years you gain a year’s extension to your Red Card – Meaning that the Red card will be valid for 3 years in total.

The Competent Operator Blue Card lasts for 5 years after being issued and can be renewed with a simple renewal test providing you have kept a logbook of 300 hours of work specific to that category of plant. If you have not got a logbook, there are other ways to renew the card, such as Practical Tests at a Centre and On Site Assessments. Once you renew your card it will last for 5 years and the renewals process will be the same at the end of that period.

How to renew your card usually differs from candidate to candidate depending on when you were awarded your first card so if you are unsure what you need to do to renew your card. Feel free to call us on 08433 301 236 and we will be happy to tell you exactly how to reinstate your card.

How do I get a CPCS Card?

CPCS Trained Operator Red Card – To gain a Red Card you need to have a valid HSE Test, pass a CPCS theory test and a CPCS practical test.

Competent Operator Blue Card – You must have a valid HSE Test and pass both CPCS Theory & Practical Tests whilst holding an NVQ for a specific category.

The most common way to gain a Blue Card is by upgrading your existing Red Card. However, if you have an NVQ prior to undertaking your technical tests, it will automatically be upgraded to a Blue Card.

What is an NVQ?

An NVQ is a job related, competency based award that is achieved through training and assessments. Once registered to a centre, you will also gain a year’s extension on your CPCS Red Card (If you hold an existing valid card).

During the NVQ the assessor will create your own portfolio specific to the category of plant that you’re skilled in. The most common form of assessment is an On Site Assessment. The reason this is popular is it has the minimum impact on a busy schedule. The assessor will travel to your place of work and watch you undertaking the various responsibilities that you must do on a day to day basis in order to complete your portfolio.

Upon completion of the NVQ, you should be eligible for a Blue Card providing you have things in place (such as a valid HSE Test and your Red Card has not expired) The requirements to get your Blue Card will differ from person to person but feel free to get in touch in order to find out what is specific to you.

Is there funding available for my NVQ?

Yes, we do have funding available but it does depend on your circumstances. If you are interested in doing an NVQ at a greatly reduced price, give us a call on 08433 301 236 and we’ll let you know.