Categories within CPCS are derived through employer consultation and relevant National Occupational Standards (NOS), and are subject to continual review to ensure the Scheme meets employers’ needs.
Subject-specific Technical Advisory Groups meet to review current learning and assessment criteria, and develop learning and assessment standards when new categories are being introduced.
CPCS works closely with many federations, organisations, plant users, other plant certification schemes, CPCS Testers as well as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to ensure that the standards for plant categories are relevant, up-to-date and realistic.
The Scheme adheres to Codes of Practice, British Standards and other sector-led guidance documents for many items of plant users. It works closely with Sector Skills Councils and specialist plant certification schemes, and continually contributes to industry-led, and produced codes of practice and guidance documents. CPCS follows the principles and requirements of BS EN 17024 – General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons.
CPCS has been recognised as an exemplar scheme by a HSE commissioned report on routes to competence in the construction sector. This report was independently researched by PYE Tait, an established research organisation, who reviewed competence processes, certificating bodies and card schemes in order to gauge their effectiveness in both delivering and ensuring competence for occupations within the construction sector.
The research looked at the effect over the previous ten years where the sector had implemented many health and safety initiatives based on the 'Revitalising Health and Safety strategy of 2001', which further led to the origins of CPCS. The report noted that there needs to be further emphasis on situational awareness and the sustaining of appropriate behaviours and CPCS is working with bodies such as the HSE to incorporate these findings into assessment.
Delivery standards are continually monitored by dedicated staff employed by CITB to ensure national standards are applied. The Scheme acknowledges that flexibility is needed in some instances. However deviations from test and assessment standards can only be approved by the monitoring and technical teams, and in many cases through prior consultation with the relevant technical advisory group and/or consultation with the employer organisation.
As the manager of CPCS, the Scheme falls within the umbrella of CITB, a Sector Skills Council and Industrial Training Board which is tasked, amongst others, with ensuring that skills gaps and shortages are reduced and that occupational skills and understanding are improved. The Scheme plays its part in ensuring those goals are reached.