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Construction

What is a CPCS Red Card?

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Nauman Farooq

Dec 19, 2023

Read time : 10 mins

Table of contents

Introduction
How Long Does a CPCS Red Card Last?
CPCS Red Card Price
Accredited CPCS Test Centre
Difference Between Red and Blue CPCS Card
What Is the Next Step?
Popular Level 2 NVQ Courses

The CPCS Red Card is for beginners in plant operation and is the first card to begin a career in plant operation.

The Red CPCS Trained Operator Card is issued by the Construction Plant Competence Scheme, and it’s also known as the Trained Operator Card.

CPCS Red Card shows that the cardholder is competent and qualified to work in plant operation. It also confirms that the holder has gained core skills, knowledge, and a professional understanding relevant to the workplace, which remains valid until they are officially assessed as competent according to national standards.
 

This card is very helpful for beginners who need time to complete the relevant NVQ or other qualifications and wish to start working in their chosen field under supervision. Before progressing to a Blue CPCS Competent Operator Card, you must get a CPCS Red Card.

How Long Does a CPCS Red Card Last?

CPCS Red Card expires after 2 years and is non-renewable. The rationale for this non-renewable nature is to provide ample time to complete the relevant NVQ in your chosen category. Once you complete the NVQ qualification, you must apply for the CPCS Blue Competent Operator Card.

CPCS Red Card Renewal

Your Red CPCS Card cannot be renewed. However, if you find any delays in completing your NVQ qualification, you can apply for a 12-month extension.

The CPCS Red Card extension costs £25.

For a 12-Month Extension

To renew your CPCS Red Card or to get an extension, you must:

  • hold a valid CPCS Red Trained Operator Card, either currently on date or within 12 months of expiration.
  • provide evidence that you’re undertaking a relevant vocational qualification. You can apply for a CPCS Red Card extension by calling the CPCS Helpline on 0844 815 7274.

For an Additional 2 Year Card

To renew your CPCS Red Card for an additional 2 years, you must:

  • hold a CPCS Red Trained Operator Card that has expired for over 12 months.
  • hold a valid CITB HS&E test.
  • pass the CPCS theory test within two years of the CITB HS&E Test.
  • pass the CPCS practical test within six months of the CPCS theory test and within two years of the CITB HS&E Test.
  • be registered for the NVQ or SVQ.

CPCS Red Card Price

The CPCS Red Card price depends on various factors, such as:

  • Training fee (depends on the training provider).
  • CPCS Theory Test fee (depends on the category).
  • CPCS Practical Test fee (depends on the category).
  • CPCS smart card fee (£28).
  • CITB HS&E Test fee (£22.50).

To get the CPCS Red Card, you must complete relevant training to prepare for the tests. The fee for the training depends on the training provider you choose.

The fee for the CPCS Theory Test and CPCS Practical Test will depend on two factors, i.e. the category you want to apply for and the test centre you choose.

As of December 2nd, 2019, the CPCS Red Card will be issued as a smart card, and the cost for the smart card is £28.

The CITB HS&E Test fee is £22.50

How to Get a Red CPCS Trained Operator Card

You can get a CPCS Red Card by following a simple 4-step process.

Step 1: Get the CPCS Red Card Training

To get a Red CPCS Card, you must pass the CPCS technical tests, and for that, you must complete the relevant training.

Step 2: Pass the Relevant CITB HS&E Test

The next step is to pass the CITB health, safety and environment test.
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Step 3: Pass the CPCS Theory Test

You must pass the CPCS theory test within two years of the CITB HS&E Test.

Step 4: Pass the CPCS Practical Test

You must pass the CPCS practical test within six months of the CPCS theory test and within two years of the CITB health, safety and environment test.

Accredited CPCS Test Centre

You must take both CPCS theory and practical tests at an accredited CPCS test centre, which you can find here. Once you pass the CPCS practical test, the centre will
Once you pass the CPCS practical test, the CPCS test centre will initiate the request for the Red CPCS Trained Operator Card on your behalf.

Difference Between Red and Blue CPCS Card

A Red CPCS Card is for the Trained Operator, whereas a Blue CPCS Card is for the Competent Operator. CPCS Red Card is the first CPCS card you can get to start working in plant operations, and it gives you 2 years to complete your NVQ/SVQ qualification. Once you complete your qualification, you can apply for the Blue CPCS Card.

CPCS Red Card is a temporary, non-renewable, valid for 2 years. On the other hand, the CPCS Blue Card is valid for 5 years and is renewable.

What Is the Next Step?

Once you receive the CPCS Red Card, you get ample time to complete your NVQ or SVQ. After that, you should apply for the Blue CPCS Competent Operator Card, which is valid for 5 years.

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