The latest on Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) Cards

November 2019

The Guild of master craftsmen has been in constant communication with different parties to get some concessions on the removal of Grandfather rights.

The Guild trust this is the start.

Plant operators who face losing their blue ‘competent operator’ Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) cards will be able to hold onto them if they undergo a £160 ‘competence interview’, under new plans approved last month.

CPCS is required to phase out cards gained through ‘grandfather rights’ from 1 January 2020 and remove them completely by 31 December 2024.

The requirement has been set out by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), which has said that the minimum standard for skilled operators is a Level 2 Vocational Qualification (VQ) relevant to their occupation.

The requirement stretches across the whole construction industry and every registered card scheme.

The grandfather rights in the past allowed workers to gain a CPCS blue card based on their industry knowledge and an employer’s recommendation rather than achieving a recognised qualification, but the route was closed to new applicants in 2003 when a Level 2 vocational qualification relevant to the categories held was required. Those who already had a blue card under grandfather rights were allowed to renew under the new rules.

However, since the CLC’s latest requirement, those who held blue CPCS cards under grandfather rights faced having to meet the training requirements by 31 December 2024.

Now CPCS owner NOCN has secured an agreement with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) that will allow grandfather rights card holders to undertake a single ‘competence interview’ by 31 December 2024, rather than obtaining qualifications for each family grouping they hold on their blue competent operator card. In the meantime, they can still be issued with a blue card with a fixed expiry date of 31 December 2024.

NOCN said it could offer the interview because as a construction NVQ awarding organisation, it could quality assure it to be at the same level as expected of a regular qualification.

The NOCN competence interview will cover the following areas:

  • Effective communication, listening, body language, presentation.
  • Teamwork
  • Independent working
  • Logical thinking
  • Work effectively
  • Time management
  • Adaptability
  • Assertiveness and confidence
  • Respect

CPCS management committee chair Trevor Gamble said: “The CPCS management committee have been working with the CPCS team to comply with the CLC directive with regard to operator qualifications and to ensure the 2025 compliance directive is complied with.

“The current blue cardholders’ status will be unchanged up to and including 2024. CPCS is currently working with industry to ensure that those blue card holders not holding a NVQ/SVQ at level 2 will be supported to ensure their current status will be retained.”