About the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS)

The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) provides skills cards for the plant sector of the Construction Industry

Construction Plant Competence Scheme (cpcs)

What is CPCS?

CPCS is recognised by the UK Contractors Group (UKCG) and Major Home Builders Group (MHBG), amongst others, as the preferred card to comply with codes of practice for competence and certification.

It was launched 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. 

CPCS covers a large range of plant and plant-related categories, and more are continually added.

CPCS is owned by the Construction Industry Training Board (otherwise known as CITB) which allocates staff to manage and administer it on behalf of the CPCS Management Committee that develops its policy and strategy.

CPCS Management Committee 

The Management Committee is made up from representatives of the industry that use the plant and equipment covered by the Scheme, including the following organisations:

  • Armed Forces (HM Forces)
  • Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA)
  • Construction Plant-Hire Association (CPA)
  • ConstructionSkills Northern Ireland
  • Federation of Piling Specialists (FPS)
  • Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
  • Home Builders Federation
  • Lantra Awards 
  • Mineral Products Qualifications Council (MPQC)
  • National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC)
  • Scottish Plant Owners Association (SPOA)
  • Build UK
  • Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT)
  • Unite the Union

What are the aims of CPCS?

CPCS aims to:

  • Provide identification for plant operators and those involved with plant operations by recognising skills, knowledge and understanding, competence and qualifications
  • Raise health, safety and environment standards through a programme of Health, safety and environment testing to prove workers have met minimum standards
  • Provide standards of learning and assessment to equip individuals with relevant skills and knowledge to seek employment within industry
  • Provide or improve employment prospects for individuals and experienced operators
  • Keep a record of workers in the construction and allied industries who have achieved a recognised level of operating ability and competence, and to provide a means of identification
  • Be self-financing; with any surplus funds being used for the benefit of the construction industry
  • Encourage construction and allied employers to use certificated and competent plant operators
  • Provide certification for UK workers that could be accepted in Europe through agreements with other European national schemes to mutually recognise qualifications

Core elements of the scheme

The Scheme is made up of a number of core elements, which are used to demonstrate the skills, competence and qualifications that determine eligibility for Scheme membership.

  • Training - through a variety of channels
  • Health, safety and environment - health, safety and environment awareness
  • CPCS Theory Test - underpinning knowledge and understanding
  • CPCS Practical Test - operating ability
  • SVQ and NVQ - operating competence vocational qualification
  • Logbook - on-going operating ability     
  • On-Site Assessment - on-going operating ability
  • CPCS Renewal Test - up-to-date knowledge and understanding

Cards that are available

Scheme membership is confirmed through the issue of a registration card.

The cards available within the CPCS Scheme are:

Delivery of the scheme

The Scheme is delivered using a network of CPCS Test Centres which use accredited CPCS Testers to deliver the CPCS Technical Tests.

 The scheme is delivered through the following entities:

  • CPCS Test Centre
  • CPCS Tester
Web design by S8080