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March 1st 2007

CPCS consults with industry to help inform complete overhaul of the scheme

The CPCS Management Committee (CPCSMC) has announced plans for an industry-wide consultation with stakeholders, including federations, employers, plant users, training providers and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to inform a major review of the scheme.

The CPCSMC, which includes representatives from key sections of industry, has already listened to the needs of scheme users, and has taken on board the comments, criticisms and suggestions over the past 12 months through employer contact, CPCS road shows and opinion in the media.

This has informed a possible blueprint which covers all aspects of the CPCS scheme and makes recommendations for the future of the scheme.

This consultation process is the next step towards informing the shape of CPCS and the way it is administered, and it will take account of all feedback on the proposed blueprint. The consultation period will run until the middle of May 2007, and it is expected revised plans for the scheme will be unveiled during the road shows that take place between July and September.

The aim of the review is to ensure the Scheme is meeting the current needs of the industry allowing individuals to demonstrate competence in the plant sector in as simple way as possible, whilst maintaining the strong standards that have helped define CPCS since 2003.

Key proposed changes by the committee include:

  • The introduction of a new CPCS technical test for all entrants to the Scheme, removing the requirement for an Intermediate Certificate end test.
  • To bring the Health and Safety Test to the beginning of the qualification process to ensure workers are aware of health and safety risks before undertaking plant training or the CPCS Technical Test.
  • Streamlining of administration processes to simplify and speed up paperwork
  • Requiring candidates to register for the S/NVQ to be able to obtain a red card and reducing the life of a Trained Plant Operator (red) card to one year to encourage candidates to progress through the qualification.
  • Removing age and experience criteria - the Health and Safety Test, CPCS technical test and relevant S/NVQ are all that would be required to obtain your card.
  • Removal of requirement for candidates to hold their Trained Plant Operator (red) card for six months before progressing to blue - to simplify progression through the scheme.

Further details of how to provide feedback will be announced in the coming weeks. In the meantime, comments and suggestions can be forwarded to

For further information, please see the press release

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