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Plant Training - CPCS & NVQ‘s

What is CPCS?


CPCS stands for the Construction Plant Competence Scheme - a card scheme to prove the skills of plant operators. It is based on a combination of professional competence and health and safety awareness - two essential qualities for operating plant.

More than 150,000 individuals carry the card and it is required to be able to operate most categories of plant on MCG (Major Contractors Group) and NCF (National Contractors Federation) sites. Put simply, it is the main standard for plant operators.

Who's it for?

The CPCS scheme helps plant operators prove their skills to employers.

It is required in order to be able to operate plant equipment on a number of sites. For example, the MCG (Major Contractors Group) and NCF (National Contractors Federation) insist that workers carry the CPCS card to be able to operate most categories of plant on their sites. Many other employers are following suit and demanding that their operators also carry appropriate cards to prove their skills.

It was created primarily for the construction industry, but is also used by many other sectors to maintain standards.

Why have one?

Increasingly, clients and employers are demanding proof of competence from all operators on their sites. The CPCS card proves to employers that you have both the skills and practical experience to do the job effectively. In fact, many sites won’t let you operate plant unless you carry the card

The card scheme really helps employers, too. It means they can be sure that workers on their site have the qualifications and experience to do a quality job. It also means their sites will be safer because everyone has an understanding of health and safety issues.

  • The cards help to promote best practice within the construction industry and show you are health and safety aware.
  • It shows you have the practical experience to operate plant and along with your log book acts as a CV for potential employers.
  • It helps you get work on MCG and NCF construction sites.

Who runs it?

The scheme is directed by a management board of employers, trade unions, federations and training providers who consult with the rest of the industry and set the standards of the scheme. Find out more about the Management Board.

The scheme is also amalgamated to CSCS (the Construction Skills Certification Scheme), which is becoming the standard for the whole construction industry.

How to a recognise a card

Below is a description highlighting the key security features of the CPCS card.

Front of the card:

  • The card should have a CSCS hologram in the top left-hand corner
  • The card holders registration number should be printed below the name and the card’s expiry date
  • There should be an ID photo on the right-hand side of the card with CPCS printed over the top
  • The card holders name should be printed below the CSCS hologram

Back of the card:

  • The cardholders registration number should be printed again on the reverse side of the card
  • Both the CSCS and CPCS logos should be present
  • A list of the card holders construction qualifications should be listed below their registration number

Authentication of any CPCS card

Should you have any queries with a card please call the CPCS Helpdesk on 0870 417 7274. By supplying the helpdesk staff with the card holders name and registration number, an immediate validation can be made. We advise that all cards are checked in this way when first presented on site.

Where can I train?

The training can be delivered on your site if it meets the course requirements or at one of our three training centres situated throughout the UK.

For more information or discuss your requirements please contact us.