NVQ - Getting Your Blue CPCS card

There are a number of ways to get your CPCS blue card
  1. Upgrading from Red to Blue
  2. Blue card direct - EWPA or OSAT


The Red CPCS card is valid for 3 years and now 2 years since Oct 2008, it cannot be exchanged for a Blue CPCS card without a Level 2 Plant Operator NVQ.


In order to convert a CPCS Red Trained Plant Operator Card to a CPCS Blue Competency Card, Plant Operators must achieve a Level 2 Plant Operations - Plant Operator NVQ Qualification.
The Level 2 Plant Operations - Plant Operator NVQ is a work-based qualification, designed for plant operators. For more details scroll down and look at the OSAT route,

Experience Worker Practical Assessment

This is a fast route available for workers with a minimum of five years experience who don't need any further training.
It involves spending a day having your skills and knowledge assessed at an off-site location, our centre. This can sometimes be done at weekends.
All the skills needed to pass the NVQ are included in one task, which is observed by an approved assessor.

The 4 steps of EWPA

Step 1: You will be contacted by a member of staff to arrange your first appointment.

Step 2: An assessor will introduce you to the process and make an initial assessment to ensure you are suitable to qualify through this method. They may also ask you to bring some items of ‘evidence' with you. Evidence you provide can be in a written form, such as witness statements from customers or supervisors worked with in the past, or it can take the form of photographs of your work, site plans, qualifications or proof of employment.

Step 3: You will undertake a practical assessment of your skills which will be observed by the assessor. This will be followed by professional discussion to assess your knowledge of the subject.

Step 4: If you are successful, you should receive your full CPCS card within 21 working days and your NVQ certificate will also arrive a few weeks later. If you do not pass the assessment all is not lost: the work you have done can still count towards your qualification through OSAT, see next.


On Site Assessment & Training

This route is available for all candidates who feel they can prove that they are competent and is generally someone with a minimum of 2 years experience.

This as by its name is a work based qualification or on-site, all evidence gathered is natural, work that the candidate is doing on a day to day bases.

The 3 steps of OSAT

Step 1: You will be contacted by a member of staff to arrange our first appointment. This will be use as an opportunity to introduce the candidate to the NVQ process and to ascertain if the candidate should require any further training at this stage. An action plan will be agreed between the assessor and the candidate

Step 2: An assessor will carry out what has been agreed with the candidate in the action plan, this will involve some or all of the following; Observation reports, Photographic evidence, oral or written Questions, CV, Employer Witness Testimonies and References, Recorded discussion about candidates role and responsibilities. This evidence gathering will take place over a number of site visits.

Step 3: If you are successful, you should receive your Blue CPCS card within 21 working days and your NVQ certificate will also arrive a few weeks later. If after this the NVQ is not yet achieved the candidate has the opportunity to enhance his/her knowledge through further training, our assessor will agree a new action plan with the candidate to enable them to gain the full NVQ.


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