The construction industry plays a vital role as an important component of the society. Everything you see around you – roads, buildings, highways – is built by skilled people in this sector. Hence, it is important that the industry hires only the best and makes sure that all its workers are qualified.
To assure the public of its competence in the field, the Construction Plant Competence Scheme or CPCS was launched. It provides skill cards for plant operators in compliance with the Code of Practice for Competence and Certification. Also, the scheme’s goal is to apply a common standard for all plant operators in the industry. Thus, each CPCS cardholder has the necessary skills, qualifications and knowledge in terms of plant operations.
Among the cards issued under the scheme, the competent operator (blue) card is renewable. Let’s take a look at how this card can be renewed.
The Competent Operator (Blue) Card
The Competent Operator (Blue) Card is a 5-year renewable card that is given to an operative who has demonstrated a certain level of competence. The operative must pass the Health, Safety and Environment test, practical test and theory test. In addition, he should achieve a relevant SVQ or NVQ for him to be given the blue card.
Having a blue card is important because aside from highlighting your skills and qualifications, it is also a mandatory requirement needed before you enter a worksite. Without the card, you won’t be able to perform your plant operations-related tasks.
The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) Renewal Test
The Competent Operator Card is only good for 5 years. After such a period, the operative must apply for renewal in order for him to continue his duties at the construction site.
In order to renew the Blue Card, the cardholder must take the Construction Plant Competence Scheme Renewal Test first. This is to ensure that the plant’s operators and workers maintain a key knowledge of each plant category or group of categories.
Requirements for CPCS Card Renewal
Before you will be issued another Competent Operator Card, the following requirements must be successfully complied with –
- Pass the Health, Safety & Environment Test within 2 years from the date of the renewal application
- Pass the CPCS Renewal Test for each category of the plant being renewed within 2 years from the date of the renewal application
- Must demonstrate ongoing practical operating experience through a choice of routes
- Onsite Assessment
- CPCS Practical Test
- SVQ or NVQ
Note that when the units relevant to a category being renewed was achieved within 2 years of the renewal date, there is no need to take Logbook or Onsite Assessment
- The Blue Competent Operator Card has not yet expired
Composition of the CPCS Test
The CPCS Renewal Test is divided into 5 different test modules. Each module has 15 multiple choice questions that need to be answered within 15 minutes. In order to pass the test, the cardholder must obtain a score of 12 out of 15 for every test module.
Every module is plant specific wherein the questions are based on topics and knowledge that an experienced plant operator is expected to know. Further, questions were also constructed through consultation with plant-based employers and health and safety related data.
Each module was developed to meet the various demands incorporated into the types of construction plant and trades. Therefore, the cardholder should pass each category in order to retain its level when renewing the Competent Operator card.
Five CPCS renewal test modules cost £25.00 while an additional £25.00 will be paid if you wish to add up to 5 modules.
Preparation for the CPCS Renewal Test
Even if you have an existing Competent Operator Card, there is no assurance that you will be able to renew it. The questions asked on previous tests will not be repeated and there is a higher possibility that the questions asked 5 years ago will be different by the time you take the test. Therefore, preparation is very important when it comes to taking the CPCS renewal test.
There are different materials that can help you when preparing for the renewal test. One is by downloading the CPCS Module Specific Factsheets. The factsheet is available for free and contains information about specific subject areas from which the questions in the exams are based. Before taking the exam, each operator is advised to read the factsheet relevant to his field of expertise.
Booking for the CPCS Renewal Card Test
There are several ways in which you can book the test. This can be done either online or by telephone.
If you have booked your CPCS Test online, the renewal test is easier when booked online since you have already registered your details. Otherwise, bookings can also be done by phone.
When booking for the CPCS Renewal Test, provide which module you will take. The Module Matcher can help you identify which modules you need to take and pass in order to renew your card. The method of payment, address details and the CITB registration number must also be provided.
Upon completion of your booking, details about the date and time of the test will be given to you.
Taking the CPCS Renewal Test
The CPCS Renewal Test can be taken in –
- Test centre operated by CITB’s delivery provider
- Independent test Centre (ITC) that are operated by colleges, training providers or commercial organisations
- Corporate Testing Unit
When taking the test, you must arrive at least 15 minutes before the test starts and don’t forget to bring an ID with a photo and signature and the confirmation letter or email sent to you. If you don’t have an ID, you may accomplish an Identification Waiver Form.
After taking the test, a score report for each module will be printed which shows whether you have passed the CPCS Renewal Test or not. It will also provide feedback on areas where you need further learning and improvement. Once you passed the renewal test, you may now apply for the renewal of your Competent Operator Card.
In the case of failure, you may rebook the test and review the Factsheet Revision to help you further in your preparation and studying.
For more information on the CSCS Test click the link to https://constructionskillstest.com