A CPCS Trained Operator Card with a red stripe is awarded to inexperienced operators who have completed a training course.
They must also have passed within the previous two years a CITB-ConstructionSkills health and safety test, a multiple choice touch-screen exam that should take about 15 m inutes.
After three years the holder must upgrade to a blue Competent Operator Card and must have maintained a log book, logged 300 operating hours and completed an NVQ/SVQ in specialised plant and machinery operations.
Where there is no full NVQ award for the plant concerned, the card has a green stripe. Blue and green cards must each be renewed after five years and logbooks kept continuously up to date.
All cards, renewals and addition or deletion of categor ies must be paid for, as must all training, testing and assessments.
Operators holding CTA cards were granted blue cards f ree of charge (although more than 20,000 CTA card holders have not taken up the offer). Other experienced operators ? over 21 and with two years' experience ? now have the option of an assessed route.
If they are deemed competent after a practical and theoretical assessment by a CPCS assessor, they can take an achievement test instead of doing an NVQ.
The scheme is governed by the const ruct ion industry employers' associations, including the Construction Confederation and the Construction Plant-hire Association, in conjunction with the Health & Safety Executive and the unions. It is adm inistered by the CITB on behalf of the industry.