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All You Need to Know About CPCS Courses

by | Jul 5, 2021 | construction

CPCS courses are ideal for plant operators, supervisors, and managers in the construction industry. The courses ensure that plant operators have a thorough understanding of their responsibilities, not only for the health and safety of everyone working at the site, but also for the environmental impact on the site and local area.

What is a CPCS Course?

It is a legal requirement for  employers to  ensure that all construction operations are managed by a ‘competent person’. There was a clear need to raise awareness on issues related to safety, health,  and the environment. More businesses and employers were beginning to screen candidates based on their understanding of safety, health, and the environment. Consequently, there arose a clear need for a streamlined industry standard; CPCS was born!

CPCS is a card scheme that was created in 2003 to evaluate the skill level and competence of plant workers. It is currently run by NOCN (National Open College Network) but was once owned by CITB (Construction Industry Training Board).

Aim of the CPCS Training Scheme

The CPCS training scheme is a competency-based qualification that allows employers to assess the skills and abilities of plant operators. Each type of CPCS course is an official recognition of the knowledge and skills needed to work in a certain area of the construction field.

The scheme takes a holistic account of professional competence, onsite experience, and health and safety awareness – three essential skills needed to operate plant machinery safely and effectively.

Why study CPCS courses?

At EM Training Solutions, we offer a wide range of CPCS courses aimed at different job requirements and skill levels, these are as follows:

i) CPCS A20 Hoist Training – Red card

This scheme is aimed at plant workers that operate Construction  Hoists. In order to qualify for Hoist Training, candidates must have passed the CSCS Health, Safety, and Environment ‘touchscreen test’ for Operatives within the last 2 years. Failure to pass any element will normally require the candidate to retake the test for that element at an additional cost.

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ii) CPCS A73 Plant Marshall Course

This CPCS course is aimed at operatives that are tasked with directing vehicle movement on or around the site. It is relevant for anyone working in the manufacturing, hospitality, security, construction, or warehousing industry.

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iii) CPCS A40 Slinger and Signaller Course

This CPCS course is aimed at people that have limited or no prior experience of slinging and signalling, and want to gain the necessary knowledge and skills needed to – operate plant /machinery in the lifting industry.

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iv) CPCS A61 Appointed Person – Lifting Operations

This course is suitable for supervisors and managers with responsibility for lifting operations. This course will give you an understanding of the appointed person’s responsibilities and how to fulfil them.

On passing the technical tests, you gain the CPCS trained operator card (red card).

If you already hold the CPCS Code A40 Slinger/Signaller, you will also achieve the CPCS Code A62 Crane Supervisor qualification.

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v) CPCS Competent Operator Cards – Blue card (NVQ Level 2)

CPCS red card holders(Trained Operators)  could take the NVQ route to upgrade their red CPCS card to Blue (competent operator) cards. The NVQ assessment will help prove an operator’s experience and consequently lead to a five-year Blue CPCS card for ‘Competent Operators’;  candidates shall still be required to have passed a CSCS test within the past 2 years.

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CPCS Renewal test

To renew your CPCS Blue Competent Operator card, you must take and pass the CPCS Renewal Test. The test makes sure that you have kept your knowledge of each plant category or group of categories held on your card up-to-date.

The tests are designed to cover the essential knowledge that is expected of experienced plant operators. These tests have been developed with industry to meet the needs of construction plant and trades.

Each test is 15 minutes and you will be required to take a renewal test for each group of categories that you hold on your card.

If you have added a new category to your CPCS Blue Competent Operator card within two years of your card expiring, you don’t need to take the renewal test for that category when you renew your card.

The CPCS Renewal Test has been a requirement of the scheme since October 2013.

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Benefits of Taking a CPCS Course

Safety and competency play an essential role in the construction industry. Without these core skills, a business would not operate properly and efficiently. More importantly, a serious safety event could leave the business open to lawsuits.

CPCS training courses will not only keep employees safe in the workplace, but they can also help employers manage their liability – which explains why they almost exclusively hire employees who have acquired CPCS qualifications.Investing in training courses such as CPCS is a smart way to upgrade your knowledge related to plant operation. The safety training courses will cover topics on workplace hazards, identification of hazards, how to address hazards, and preventing accidents – among other topics.

Importance of Construction Training and Benefits

The construction industry has a higher tendency for employees and site visitors to fall victim to accidents, some of which can be fatal or life changing. In fact, HSE figures show that around 61,000 construction workers encountered non-fatal injuries in the period of 2019-2020.

However, the widespread adoption of CPCS courses ensures that employees are more aware of hazards in the workplace, making it easier for them to avoid accidents and injuries. They will know how to use equipment and tools safely and effectively;this is especially important in the construction industry where operators often make use of heavy machinery.

CPCS qualifications will  also help construction workers acquire knowledge about hazards present in the workplace and how to make the environment safer for everyone present.

Long Term Safety and Effectiveness

The right set of courses and work experience makes for a winning strategy. Aside from improving safety on construction sites, CPCS courses can be used to help you climb up the corporate ladder, get promoted, and take advantage of the many opportunities construction offers.

EM Training Solutions is one of the leading providers of training courses in the UK for the construction industry and offers courses across the UK. If you have any more questions about what you need to improve your skillset and qualifications, please get in touch with us.