top of page

Plant NVQs

NVQ’s Explained


Why do I need an NVQ?

Your CPCS red trained operator card is valid for 2 years. Once it expires you will need to gain the CPCS Blue Card.

To achieve a CPCS Blue Competent Operator Card you will need to complete an NVQ for each category of plant required.


Is there a test?

No. There is no test involved in the NVQ, and there is nothing to revise or learn beforehand.

NVQ's are completed after time in the classroom to fill out your portfolio and a short onsite observation. The time scale for this is 1 -  2 days.


You will however need to have passed the touch screen Health, Safety & Environment test before your blue card can be applied for.


My Red card will soon expire, what do I need to do?

Get registered for the NVQ. Once you are registered, we will get in touch with CPCS who will add it to your CPCS record. You can then extend your red card for a year, so you can continue to drive the machine whilst you complete the NVQ.


What if my Red Card has expired?

If your red card has been expired for less than 12 months you will need to register for the NVQ asap. Once you are registered you can apply to extend the red card for a year. This will allow you to continue driving the machine whilst you complete the NVQ.


If your red card has been expired for more than 12 months, you will need to retake the CPCS theory and practical test for each category required. You will then need to register for the NVQ and complete it.


I’ve completed the NVQ, What next?

Your CPCS Blue Card is valid for 5 years. After this you will need to apply to renew each category held.


To renew your Blue Card, you need to do a Health and Safety Touch Screen test and the corresponding touch screen Renewal test (15 questions per each category of Plant held). Renewal test factsheets can be downloaded from the NOCN website by selecting the categories you require on the Renewal Test Tool here.

You will need to record 300 hours for each category of plant in your CPCS log book. You will also need your employer to sign your application form to verify your hours.

Note: If you are self-employed or a contract operator, you may be able to sign your hours off yourself.


Alternatively, you can do an onsite assessment to renew, obviously this will cost more.


If your CPCS Red Card is due to expire or has already expired, please feel free to get in touch with us to get the ball rolling with your NVQ.

bottom of page