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Crane operation apprenticeship course

Duration: 2 years
Structure: 12 weeks training plus on-the-job experience 
Location: Bircham (Norfolk) and your workplace
: Continuous start dates available 
Funding: See Grants and funding below

This apprenticeship course is for people who want to gain an academic qualification in crane operating, while gaining professional experience.

You'll learn to operate various cranes safely and efficiently, and to carry out basic maintenance and checks.

You’ll also learn about the duties of an ‘appointed person’, how to conduct risk assessments and how to produce method statements.

Course content

The course covers practical principles in:

  • Crawler crane
  • Tower crane
  • Truck-mounted crane
  • Lorry loader
  • Telescopic handler
  • Slinger/signaller
  • Crane erection.

You’ll learn basic skills, knowledge and awareness in:

  • Employment responsibilities and rights
  • Health and safety
  • Drug and alcohol awareness
  • Appointed person lifting operations.

You’ll also focus on personal skills in:

  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Communication
  • Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

Year 1:

  • 12 weeks training: you'll learn through a mix of classroom-based theory and practical training
  • Theory and practical assessments.

Year 2:

  • Work-based experience with your employer
  • A site visit to assess you for the NVQ level 2 in Plant Operations. 

Our assessment team will track you on-site for the first category of plant selected by your employer for conversion to the NVQ and the full Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) competent operator card (blue card).

Qualifications you gain

  • NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Plant Operations (Construction)
  • Level 2 Certificate in Plant Operations
  • Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) trained operator card (red card)
  • Level 1 functional skills
  • Employment responsibilities and rights
  • Personal learning and thinking skills.

Mandatory entry requirements


No formal requirements, but it’s useful to have Maths and English GCSE Grades 3-9 or D-A .

To help us assess your suitability for the course, you'll need to:

  • Complete a skills learning exercise and possibly attend the college for further tests
  • Complete a questionnaire and take part in an informal discussion.


  • Good communication skills
  • Physical fitness
  • A head for heights
  • Technical competence.


You will be paid while you learn.


The following CITB grants are available for employers to fund their apprentices on this course:

If you applied for your apprenticeship through the Education and Skills Funding Agency, only applicants aged between 16 and 18 who have not been placed on a training scheme before are guaranteed full funding.

Apply here - online application form

Need more information?

Contact one of our account managers

Jason Haslam

Sarah Forbes

Or phone Course booking line: 0344 994 4433

After this course

You can be assessed for higher NVQs at the National Construction College. We provide details to all trainees.