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The construction trade is a great industry to make use of your HGV license, driving forklifts, excavators, dump-trucks and more. Should you be considering a move into this field, then certain jobs require you to obtain your CPCS card.

 

What is CPCS?

If you are wondering what CPCS stands for then look no further – it’s shorthand for the Construction Plant Competence Scheme.  The CPCS card is essential for an employee or a contractor to demonstrate that you meet the necessary standards required for your role within construction. This is most relevant within the role of plant equipment operation, which would be your main responsibility as a driver.

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The CPCS card ensures employers that you are competent and knowledgeable in your role of plant operation. You can demonstrate the right skills and have the professional experience with regards to health and safety and plant competence. Yet you can’t rest on your laurels once you have it, refresher courses are required to keep on top of any changes in the industry.

 

Employability

As you will know, construction and plant operation can be extremely dangerous and hazardous. Health and safety is vital, which is why the CPCS came into place in 2003- to ensure that those with the card are highly trained and up to date with health and safety laws and standards. Without a CPCS card it is likely that you may not be employed on a plant or construction site, as employers will need to feel confident in your skills and abilities, and feel safe hiring you.  Requirements like these are becoming more and more common, especially on sites belonging to the NCF (National Contractors Federation) and the MCG (Major Contractors Group).

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The card itself – and how to get it

The CPCS card is broken down into three cards, each relating to a certain category.  All three cards need you to pass a theory and a practical test at either a specialised test centre or an approved site.

 

The first card is known as the trained operator card, or red card and it’s your first footing into CPCS.  It is valid for 2 years, and is not renewable.

 

The next card is the blue card, or competent operator card, it’s the most recognisable and sought after. This is because its validity period is 5 years and can be renewed, unlike the red card. So for long-term prospects this is much preferred.  

 

Lastly, the tester card is the most specialised. It is for those who are highly knowledgeable and trained in all aspects of plant operation. Such cardholders are qualified to then be testers for CPCS, given their breadth of skills and experience.

 

Other Opportunities

You can gain more qualifications by undertaking tests to specialise in certain plant vehicles, such as these listed below:

 

Forward tipping Dumper – Once you gain your CPCS red card, you can expect to earn an average of £28k per annum in the UK.

 

Crane Supervisor – You must already have the necessary crane experience, and after gaining your red card you can expect to earn an average of £36k in the UK.

 

Telescopic Handler – Once you gain your CPCS red card, you can expect to earn an average of £28k in the UK.

 

360 Excavator –  Once you gain your CPCS red card, you can expect to earn an average of

£31k per annum in the UK.

 

With all these possibilities, the CPCS card might be exactly what you need to take your career to the next level! If you’re looking to get any of the above licences please get in touch. 

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