Get a Tester Card

The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) Tester card shows that the holder has the necessary industry experience and advanced knowledge and operating ability in plant equipment as well as health and safety and first-aid to be able to assess a plant operator.

A CPCS tester may hold either a:

  • Full Tester Card - this shows that the individual has achieved the role-based competence. This card is valid for five years and can be renewed
  • Provisional Tester Card - this card shows that the individual hasn't yet achieved the role-based competence qualification. It is valid for two years and cannot be renewed

Find out:


How to get a Tester Card

Before you can apply for a Provisional Card, you must have:

  • relevant experience in the category or categories of plant
  • been trained and assessed to be able to successfully give lessons and training to operators who don't have enough skills and knowledge
  • the skills to conduct an assessment process
  • the ability to independently and impartially judge a learner's skills, knowledge and understanding during an assessment
  • completed the Record of Category Experience (PDF, 433kb)
    • you will need to submit your Record of Category Experience for approval before you can apply for the card.

You can only apply for the card after your Record of Category Experience (RoE) has been approved.

To submit your application for a black Full Tester Card, you need to:

  • hold a Managing and Co-ordinating Plant (MCP) 5 day certificate
  • hold a valid and up-to-date first aid certificate
  • have passed the managers and professionals (MAP) version of the CITB Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) test
  • have passed the CPCS Advanced theory test no more than two years after you passed the MAP version of the HS&E test
  • have passed the CPCS Advanced practical test no more than six months after passing the CPCS Advanced theory test
  • attend and passed the CPCS Tester Course*
  • have achieved the relevant role-based competence qualification.

* The CPCS Tester Course is delivered by the National Construction College (NCC) on behalf of CPCS.

If you haven't fully achieved the necessary role-based competence for those plant categories, you will be issued a Provisional Tester Card which is valid for two years. You are expected to upgrade to a black Full Tester Card after this time.

Upgrading a Tester Card or adding endorsements to a card

To upgrade from a Provisional Tester card to a black Full Tester card, you must:

  • hold a CPCS Provisional Tester card which is within 12 months of the expiry date
  • hold a current Managing and Co-ordinating Plant certificate
  • hold a valid and current First Aid certificate
  • pass the managers and professionals (MAP) version of the Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) test
  • achieve the appropriate role-based competence qualification
  • fill in the F3/2 Application to Upgrade to a Full CPCS Tester Card form (PDF, 3MB)
  • send your completed form to the address indicated in the form, together with
    • copies of required certificates, and
    • a non-refundable fee of £25 to process your application.

Once your application and payment have been processed, a black Full Tester Card which is valid for five years will be issued. 

Download the Scheme Booklet for Testers (PDF, 890KB) for full details about the scheme and how to upgrade your card.

Adding new categories to your Full Tester card

In order to add more categories to your Full Tester card, you must:

  • hold a valid and current Managing and Co-ordinating Plant certificate
  • hold a valid and current First Aid certificate
  • have passed the managers and professionals (MAP) version of the CITB Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) test in the last two years
  • have completed and fully (100% score) passed the CPCS advanced theory test in the last two years
  • have completed and passed the CPCS advanced practical test no more than six months after passing the CPCS advanced theory test
  • fill in the F3/1 application form for Testers. This form will be given by the CPCS Test Centre when you pass the advanced practical test:
    • the form must be signed by the CITB quality assurance officer who monitored the test
  • attach a copy of relevant certificates to the application and send it to the address indicated in the form.

There is no need to pay for the cost of adding more categories as this is covered by the test fee.

Adding more category endorsements to your Full Tester card

The requirements to add more endorsements to your card is similar to adding new categories but with fewer requirements:

  • hold a valid and current Managing and Co-ordinating Plant certificate
  • hold a valid and current First Aid certificate
  • have passed the managers and professionals (MAP) version of the CITB Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) test
  • have completed and passed the CPCS advanced practical test no more than two years after passing the HS&E test
  • fill in the F3/1 application form for Testers. This form will be given by the CPCS Test Centre when you pass the advanced practical test:
    • the form must be signed by the CITB quality assurance officer who monitored the test
  • attach a copy of relevant certificates to the application and send it to the address indicated in the form.

You do not have to take the CPCS advanced theory test to add more endorsements regardless of when the original card was issued.

About the CPCS Tester certification

black Tester card

A Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) Tester is a person who has been certified by CPCS to:

  • assess a candidate’s knowledge, understanding and performance against the CPCS Technical Test criteria
  • have up to date knowledge of the latest CPCS requirements such as the CPCS training syllabi and practical test specifications, the approved code of delivery (ACoD), and first aid and health and safety matters
  • have suitable and sufficient industry and operating knowledge and ability on the category of plant in all its acceptable uses and environments
  • have met all the requirements to become a CPCS Tester.

A qualified CPCS Tester who is issued with the Tester Card must be registered with a CPCS approved test centre(s) and operate within that centre's remit. They must be able to supervise a candidate while conducting a test and give written feedback in:

  • a one-on-one classroom environment, using verbal questioning techniques when conducting a CPCS Theory Test
  • a practical test environment when conducting a CPCS Practical Test(s)
  • a live work environment or location, making sure that a candidate completes the activity(s) while a CPCS On-site Assessment.

A certified Tester may choose to operate in more than one CPCS test centre.

For more information about a CPCS Tester, download the Scheme Booklet for Testers (PDF, 890kb).

A competent CPCS Tester is defined as an individual who not only has many years of plant technical experience and skills, but also the following qualities:

  • able to communicate effectively and confidently verbally and in writing to a range of persons and for reports
  • able to recognise and show empathy for the operating and learning abilities of others, show patience, and adapt approach to accommodate all situations
  • able to recognise poor practice against test criteria and provide appropriate feedback
  • able to apply appropriate questioning techniques
  • able to lead and maintain control at all times
  • able to test effectively in both classroom and other working environments under varying conditions
  • able to deliver testing whilst offering equal access and equal opportunities to all.

Dates and venues for forthcoming CPCS Tester continuining professional development (CPD) courses will be published soon.

Register your interest for these courses with your local senior quality consultant to be told about future course dates.

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