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CPCS Management Committee announces scheme review results

All feedback from the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) consultation has now been reviewed by the scheme's Management Committee.

Having considered the proposals in the light of the feedback received, a number of changes have been made. As a result of the response and the vast support in the industry for the review of the scheme, additional amendments will be incorporated and a revised plant competence scheme will be launched in summer 2008.

The CPCS Management Committee, which includes representatives from key sections of the industry, conducted an intensive consultation which lasted eight months. A variety of feedback channels (including an online questionnaire, a dedicated e-mail address, a mail-out to over 11,000 employers, face-to-face consultation at SED, consultation with key federations and associations, and twenty-four industry and training provider roadshows) has helped to inform key changes to the largest plant scheme in the UK.

Feedback has been received from individuals and companies representing over 44,000 employees - which was up for review, in line with industry requirements.

The consultation with industry showed that the core elements of the scheme should remain in place, these include:

  • Maintaining the ConstructionSkills Health and Safety Test pass
  • Keeping Level 2 Scottish/National Vocational Qualification (S/NVQ) as the measure of competence.
  • The scheme would continue to consist of red Trained Operator cards and blue Competence cards.
  • Using the logbook as a means to record ongoing competence.

However, there was wide support for an additional core element which will see a `CPCS Technical Test' implemented into the scheme. The Technical Test will replace the existing Intermediate Certificate end test.

During the consultation process a number of issues were raised regarding the initial proposals causing amendments to be made, these include the following:

  • Amending the life of the red Trained Operator card - from the one year originally proposed to two years to encourage individuals to work towards their S/NVQ once the Technical Test has been taken.
  • Removing the proposed requirement that new entrants register for the relevant S/NVQ before receiving their red Trained Operator card to avoid candidates being disadvantaged due to eligibility requirements for Government funding. CPCS are, in conjunction with ConstructionSkills, continuing to work with Government agencies to seek an acceptable solution for the plant sector.
  • Permitting a degree of flexibility regarding location of Technical Test Centres to deal with remote locations and provision of testing on site.
  • Maintaining a list of Instructors that meet CPCS recommended standards to ensure individuals can select trainers that have the required skills.
  • Whilst it was agreed that the recording of health issues was desirable, consultation has concluded that, at present, recommendations will be made to ensure that applicants to the scheme are reminded of their responsibilities in regard to occupational health issues.
  • Providing flexibility in the Technical Test Syllabi to ensure current issues notified to the scheme by the HSE and industry bodies can promptly be included in the recommended training items. These would include items such as Quick Hitches.

Trevor Gamble, Chairman of CPCS stated, "The aim of the review was to ensure the scheme is meeting the current needs of the industry and allowing individuals to demonstrate competence in the plant sector in as simple way as possible, whilst maintaining the strong standards that has helped define CPCS since 2003. We're delighted that so many of those in all areas of industry took the time to give us their thoughts on the new proposals, and we're pleased that there has been broad support - this should see vast improvements implemented into the scheme over the coming months."

To keep up to date with all the latest news on what ConstructionSkills is doing and find out more about how your company can get involved in helping secure the future of the UK construction industry register for the Skills Update.

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