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CPCS Cards from Altida

You can now study towards your CPCS card with Altida, thanks to our fantastic new partnership with our friends over at Essential Site Skills. We are calling this exciting new adventure Essential Site Plant.

Essential Site Skills are expert assessors and trainers and have been providing high quality training to the construction sector for a decade.

And Altida have been renting lifting and plant equipment to the construction sector for well over a decade.

We know plant machinery, whether we are fixing, maintaining, operating, or supervising lifting equipment and other machinery.

It makes sense that we team up and create a plant training offering that can’t be beaten!

We are offering specialist training in all things plant, lifting and crane related that will allow you to gain your CPCS card.

But what is a CPCS card?


What is a CPCS Card?

CPCS stands for Construction Plant Competency Scheme. It allows an individual to prove that they are competent in the technical skills they need to do their job and also in health and safety practices and awareness.

Whilst they aren’t a legal requirement, many employers and building sites won’t let you on site without a valid CPCS card.

two men looking at a building site for blog by Altida on CPCS cards


What are the CPCS Card Levels?

There are two levels to the CPCS card; red and blue.

The red card is a bit like a provisional driving licence. A red card tells people that you have completed the very basics and can demonstrate an awareness of health and safety and technical operating ability of plant machinery.

A blue card shows that you have completed a relevant professional qualification, plus the health and safety competency of the red card.


How Do I Get A Red CPCS Card?

In order to get a red CPCS card you need to pass three tests.

The first test you need to complete is the CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test. This should be taken up to 2 years before you do the Theory and Practical test (more on that below). This allows you to demonstrate your health and safety knowledge and safe practice.

The other tests are the CPCS Theory and Practical Technical Test, which allow you to demonstrate your practical skills with your relevant plant machinery and your theory based knowledge.

The CPCS courses run by Essential Site Plant will use a mixture of classroom and practical assessment methods to first determine what you already know, and then build your knowledge to get you through the course and help you operate safely and effectively.


How Long Does A Red CPCS Card Last?

A red CPCS card is valid for 2 years after the date of issue. It is non renewable, too.

The card can be extended for a year, though, as long as you are registered on an NVQ or SVQ and the red CPCS card is still in date.

If the card has lapsed, you can apply for an additional one 12 months after the expiration date by following the same process as the first application.

It certainly is worth upgrading to a blue CPCS card within the time frame.

construction worker on a piece of machinery for blog by Altida on CPCS cards


How Do I Get A Blue CPCS Card?

To achieve a blue CPCS card you need to complete a relevant NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) or SVQ (Scottish Vocational Qualification) within 2 years of gaining the red card.

An NVQ/SVQ is a practical, vocational based qualification. They run from level 2 to 7 (2 being the entry level), although you don’t have to start at level 2. Before you start an NVQ or SVQ you will be assessed to see which level is most appropriate for you based on previous learning, current knowledge, and experience.

The beauty of an NVQ is that is uses a combination of practical and written assessments, so you rarely have to go into a classroom, if at all.


How Long Does A Blue CPCS Card Last?

A blue CPCS card is valid for 5 years.

You can add more categories to your card, and they each have a 5-year period from when the awarding body (CITB) receive your application form for that competency.

You can renew your card, providing it is in date and you undergo a series of tests as before.

You need to be able to pass the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test and the CPCS renewal test for each category you hold on your card.

You also need to be able to demonstrate you have been practicing and refining your technical skills during the 5-year period. This might be through a log book, a onsite assessment, or further study.


How Do I Apply For A CPCS Card?

If you are ready to apply, get in touch with us on 01246261915 , email sales@altida.co.uk, or contact us here. We will be happy to talk you through the courses we have on offer and get you that CPCS card!


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