CPCS Transfer Updates – Cardholders / Candidates


Since the transfer of CPCS to NOCN Job Cards from CITB they have experienced several onboarding issues and can only apologise to you for the delays and long wait times experienced.

1. Applications Backlog

CPCS / NOCN are processing applications from the 11th December and our priority is process
and print these cards out as soon as possible. The CPCS Team are working
overtime and staff from other areas of the Group have been seconded to assist with
the backlog.

2. Card Checker

CPCS / NOCN are aware CITB’s card checker is currently out of date and their version is not
available. CPCS / NOCN are currently in the testing phase and hope to release the final version

If you are an employer / need confirmation for your employer that you are able to
work on site please send them an email at enquiries@jobcards.org with the subject line
‘CPCS 123’ and they will send you confirmation that the operator is able to work on
site. Please note if an application has not being processed (added to our system) they
will be unable to provide this information.

3. Card Number

When you receive your new SMART card, it will have a different number to any
previous card you have held. This is because the number on your old card is a CITB
number. Your new number will be in this format 4XXXXXXX

Transfer of Card Scheme Data


On the first December NOCN successfully transferred all the data concerning individuals with CPCS and CISRS cards from CITB to the NOCN Job Cards subsidiary.

It is important to notify all card holders that the data owners and data processors have therefore changed.

For CPCS NOCN Job Cards is now the Data Owner and processor. We will only use the data that has been transferred to us for the reason it was collected, the issuing and management of Competency Cards. As part of this process the data will also be processed by two UK based IT provider who supply the management systems and a UK based printer who prints and post the cards. We have also retained PearsonVue who will continue to deliver the CPCS renewal test as they did for CITB. They also provide the Health, Safety and Environment test on behalf of CITB. We felt it was therefore less change if we retained this provider. For data legislation reasons, however, it has been necessary to have a separate system for CPCS Renewal test from HSE tests requiring different log ins etc. it was also necessary to cancel any booked Renewal tests and rebook them due to data legislation. PearsonVue have an off shore call centre, which was all that was available to us, who are managing the rebooking of these cancelled tests and will also manage any new test bookings. There is an online test booking system if individuals do not want to deal with an off shore call centre.

The CISRS card scheme is owned by CISRS and they remain the Data Controller, but now NOCN Job Cards is the data processer along with the other 3rd party providers listed above.

All personal data for individuals with CISRS and CPCS cards was transferred from CITB to NOCN in a GDPR compliant manner and all data is stored on compliant data storage devices.

Our Privacy notice where everything is covered can be found here – https://www.nocnjobcards.org/privacy/ . We have data compliant agreements with CITB to gain the HSE results to assist with Card issuing and we will share data with CITB for Grant claiming purposes and for them to update the Industry Training Register. ‘

Industry Accreditation ‘Grandfather Rights’ withdrawal


CPCS is required to phase out blue Competent Operator cards gained through ‘Grandfather Rights’ from 1 January 2020, and any cards issued through Grandfather Rights will be completely removed by 31 December 2024.

The requirement to do this has been set by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) who have said that the minimum standard for skilled operators is a Level 2 Vocational Qualification (VQ) relevant to their occupation. You can find the CLC requirements to industry here: http://www.constructionleadershipcouncil.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/CLC-decision-on-card-scheme-logo-22.11.17.pdf

This requirement stretches across our whole industry and every recognised card scheme.

Grandfather Rights or Industry Accreditation in the past allowed workers to get CPCS blue cards based on industry knowledge and employer recommendation rather than the achievement of a recognised qualification.

This route was closed to new card applicants in 2003 when a Level 2 (VQ) relevant to the categories held was required, but those already holding a blue card were still able to renew under the old rules.

From 1 January 2020 all cards renewed under Industry Accreditation will expire on 31 December 2024 and we will stop issuing these cards from 30 June 2024.

What have we been doing?

The CPCS team has been working very hard over the past year to make this change as smooth as possible for those affected. We put two different proposals together that both had to be agreed and signed off by CITB as the Standard Setting Body, and CSCS.

Both of our proposals have the full backing of the CPCS Management Committee.

Our first proposal said that instead of removing your blue Competent Operator card and issuing you with a red Trained Operator card, we would continue to issue you a blue card. That blue card would have a fixed expiry of 31 December 2024. This would give you time to go away and meet the CLC requirements. You would then come back to us and get your card ‘topped up’ so that your categories reflect their original 5 year length. This proposal was accepted in April 2019.

Our second proposal said that rather than completing VQs for each family grouping you hold on your blue Competent Operator card, instead your skills and knowledge should mean that completing one Competence Interview set by NOCN CPCS would allow you to keep your cards. We submitted a Competence Interview template to CITB and CSCS over the summer and agreed in October 2019 that this was acceptable.

This means you will not have to go away and complete VQs by 2025, instead if you are affected you will need to complete one CPCS Competence Interview.

NOCN can offer this because as the leading Construction NVQ Awarding Organisation we are able to quality assure this Competence Interview to the same level of Quality as that expected of a Regulated Qualification.

If you have achieved at least one VQ in certain Construction or Plant related occupations you may not be affected at all. We will let you know.

What does this mean for you?

If you gained your blue card under Grandfather Rights, and you have not previously achieved a VQ in certain Construction or Plant related occupations, you will have to achieve an NOCN CPCS Competence Interview by the 31 December 2024.

In the meantime, as you come up for renewal from 1 January 2020 we will still issue you a blue card – you will not be disadvantaged on site. Your categories will all expire on 31 December 2024.

Once you have achieved your Competence Interview, come back to us and we will top your card up to its original expiry date. The cost of the Competence Interview will include a new smart card that will be sent out to you at an address you provide.

You can take the Competence Interview at a CPCS Test Centre. Please use our ‘Find a Test Centre’ search to locate those near to you.

If you have achieved a VQ in certain Construction or Plant related occupations – and we have evidence of this – you will not need to do anything further and we will issue you a normal blue Competent Operator Card.

What are your next steps?

You will receive guidance specific to your circumstances when you next renew your card. This guidance will be printed on the letter that your card arrives on. Please keep hold of this letter.

If you are unsure about what you need to do, please get in touch with us and we can talk to you about your individual circumstances.

We know that this is big news for our industry and we want to do everything we can to help you to meet these new industry requirements.

NOCN Launches CPCS Competence Interview



NOCN Group, the leading Construction NVQ Awarding Organisation, has launched the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) ‘Competence Interview’ in response to Construction Leadership Council (CLC) requirements for CPCS ‘Competent Operator’ blue card holders to hold relevant Level 2 Vocational Qualifications (VQ) from January 2020, with all existing cards that don’t meet the new standards being removed by 31 December 2024.

The ‘CPCS Competence Interview’ has been developed by NOCN in collaboration with the CPCS Management Committee to support the construction sector in its industry-wide phasing out of existing ‘Competent Operator’ blue cards gained through ‘Grandfather Rights’; the term used for those cards originally gained by skilled construction plant operators on the grounds of industry knowledge and employer recommendation without a formal qualification. It will allow these existing blue card holders to continue work on-site from 2025 without the need to either switch to a red ‘Trained Operator’ card or complete a Level 2 Qualification. Those undertaking the one-off Competence Interview will be issued with a new smart card that is ‘topped up’ to its original expiry date to ensure a smooth transition. It is recommended that the interview is completed by June 2024, no less than six months in advance of the December 2024 deadline.

The Chairman of the CPCS Management Committee explains: “The current blue cardholders’ status will be unchanged up to and including 2024. CPCS is currently working with industry to ensure that those blue card holders not holding a NVQ/SVQ at Level 2 will be supported to ensure their current status will be retained.”

Those who undertake the NOCN CPCS Competence Interview will use their knowledge, skills and experience to answer questions that cover the following areas:

  • Effective Communication: oral, written, listening, body language, presentation.
  • Team Work: work effectively with others with limited supervision.
  • Independant Working: take responsiblity of your own work
  • Logical Thinking: use clean and valid reasoning when making decisions to undertake work instructions.
  • Work Effectively: undertale the work in a reliable and productive manor.
  • Time Management: use own time effectively to complete the work instrcuctions to schedule.
  • Adaptability: be able to adjust to changes to the work instructions.
  • Assertiveness and confidence: able to resist pressures to work following unsafe practices
  • Respect: apply equality, diversity, and inclusion in dealing with others.

Graham Hasting-Evans, Managing Director of NOCN Group comments: “The CLC’s objective is to drive industry improvement and its requirement that every blue cardholder must have a nationally recognised qualification to match the categories on their card at VQ Level 2 is behind this withdrawal of cards issued through Grandfather Rights. As the leading Construction NVQ Awarding Organisation, we are able to quality assure this Competence Interview to the same level of as that expected of a Regulated Qualification, allowing operators to continue to work on-site with a renewal deadline of 2024.”

The Competence Interview can be undertaken at any CPCS Test Centre for a maximum fee of £160.00. Once completed, the Test Centre will inform NOCN who can then be contacted by Competent Operator cardholders on 0844 815 7274 to ‘top up’. More details can be found here.


In 2015 the CLC announced in its ‘Industrial Strategy: Construction 2025’ that industry, including trade associations, contractors, clients and government, should only accept and promote card schemes carrying the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) logo. This is known as the ‘One Industry Logo’ action.

The CLC listed a number of requirements that card schemes like CPCS need to meet to qualify for the CSCS logo, including:

  • Agreeing appropriate qualifications for each occupation
  • Setting a minimum standard for skilled occupations at VQ Level 2
  • Introducing smart technology by 2020

Why are Grandfather Rights being withdrawn?

In line with the CLC requirements, every Competent Operator (blue cardholder) must have nationally recognised qualifications that match the categories they have on their card at VQ Level 2. Cards issued through Grandfather Rights did not require the cardholder to have a nationally recognised qualification. This means it doesn’t meet the CLC requirement and CPCS will stop renewing cards gained under Grandfather Rights by the end of 2024.

Who are the CLC?

The CLC is the Construction Leadership Council and their objective is to drive industry improvement. You can find information about them on their website here.

How do I know if I have Grandfather Rights?

You have Grandfather Rights, or a card gained under Industry Accreditation, if you gained your Blue card without holding a VQ. This means you may be affected by these changes and need to complete an NOCN CPCS Competence Interview if you wish to keep them in the future. If you have already achieved a VQ in certain Construction or Plant related occupations – and we have evidence of this – you will not need to do anything further and we will issue you a normal blue Competent Operator Card.

What is a Vocational Qualification (VQ)?

A Vocational Qualification (VQ) is a practical work-based qualification based on standards developed across industry. These qualifications are nationally recognised and focus on the skills, knowledge and behaviours that are needed in the workplace. There are a number of Awarding Organisations that offer VQs, including NOCN through CSkills Awards.

What is the NOCN CPCS Competence Interview?

The NOCN CPCS Competence Interview was drafted by the CPCS team to help you meet the CLC criteria. It takes into account your experience, knowledge and training, and asks you to answer a set of questions based on this.

Why stop issuing cards gained under Grandfather Rights in June 2024 and not December?

We do not want to issue blue cards which are only valid for less than six months. If you have not achieved the Competence Interview by June 2024, you will need to do this as soon as possible.

I have been working for many years. Why do I need a qualification now?

Rules around what industry will accept have changed due to the CLC requirements set out in 2015. In order for you to keep your blue card, you need to meet these requirements.

Can I just carry on working without a CPCS card?

The CLC are directing all of industry, including trade associations, contractors, clients and government, to only accept and promote card schemes carrying the CSCS logo. This is known as the One Industry Logo action. It is your choice whether you take the risk of working without a CPCS card but you will not be able to gain a card from another scheme without meeting these requirements.


What Is Relay For Life ?

Relay For Life brings you and your community together to help beat cancer. Throughout the year, teams fundraiser in their local communities to support the work of Cancer Research UK. Then everyone comes together in an inspiring overnight celebration and commemoration that the whole community can be part of.

Whilst the event is in full swing, members of each team will take turns to walk around the track for the duration of the Relay. All events are overnight as this marks the fact that cancer never sleeps. Relay events focus on fun for all the family, regardless of age or fitness level – everyone is welcome!

We’ll be celebrating our fundraising in an overnight Relay, taking place on 20 July 2019, where I’ll be taking turns with my team to walk laps of a track, all day and night, to show that cancer never sleeps.

All the money raised will support Cancer Research UK, the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.

Donating through this page is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with Cancer Research UK.

Message from Kay

Hi all, as you may know I’ve relapsed again and will be starting treatment next week for the 4th time! As normal my determination and support of family and friends will get me thru. 
But mainly the chemo that I have keeps it at bay which couldn’t happen without donations to Cancer Research.

So I am taking part in Relay for Life again this year. This is such a great event to raise money for cancer research. Please if you can donate to my page on the link below that would be great. Come along with the family for a lovely day out.

Thank you
Kay x

to donate please use the link below

Michaela Morphew Relay for Life

Renew your Competent Operator Card


Learn how to renew card within five years of expiry, or renew cards which expired over five years ago.

Renewing a card within 5 years of expiry.

To renew you need to:

  • Hold a CPCS Blue Competent Operator Card for the category which is within five years of expiry date
  • Pass the relevant CITB health, safety and environment test within the last two years
  • Pass the CPCS Renewal test for each category held*
  • Demonstrated on-going practical operating experience through a choice of routes:
    • Logbook
    • On-Site Assessment
    • CPCS Practical test
    • NVQ

Completion of form F1/3 Application to Renew CPCS Competent Operator Card, to be submitted to the mailing address on the reverse of the application form. There is no need to attach payment as the cost of processing the application is included in the CPCS Renewal test fee.

* For more information on which Renewal tests to take and how to book them visit the Module Matcher, the online system built specifically for the renewal of the CPCS Blue Competent Operator cards.

A Blue Competent Operator Card will be issued for five years. Full details on how to renew are available within the Scheme Booklet for Operators.

Renewing a card which expired more than 5 years ago.

The CPCS Management Committee has agreed to new criteria for expired Competent Card holders.

If a Blue Competent Operator Card is more than five years past the expiry date, a cardholder who wants to renew it will have to:

  • Pass CITB Health, safety & environment test
  • Pass the CPCS Theory Test for each category held
  • Pass the CPCS Practical Test for each category held
  • Hold the relevant NVQ (if not held a Trained Operator Card will be issued)

For further information and advice, contact our CPCS Helpline on 0844 815 7274.

Extend a Red Trained Operator Card


Learn how to extend your Red Trained Operator card for 12 months or 2 years.

You can follow one of two routes, depending on when your card expired.

1) For a 12-month NVQ extension, you must:

  • Hold a CPCS Red Trained Operator card which is in date, or within 12 months from the expiry date
  • Be registered for a NVQ relevant to the category

Once these elements have been achieved, call the CPCS Helpline on 0844 815 7274, confirm your details and make a payment of £25, you will be asked to provide proof of a NVQ registration by email or post. This is a non-refundable fee for the services of processing the application.

A new card will be issued for 12 months (from date of application) to enable the NVQ to be achieved. Once the NVQ has been achieved, you will be able to apply to Upgrade to a Blue Competent Operator card

2) For an additional 2 Year card, you must:

  • Hold an expired trained operator card by more than 12 months
  • Hold a valid CITB health, safety and environment test
  • Achieve the CPCS theory test (within two years of the CITB health, safety and environment test)
  • Achieve the CPCS practical test (within six months of the CPCS theory test and within two years of the CITB health, safety and environment test)
  • Both CPCS theory and practical tests are delivered by an accredited CPCS test centre. (Find a CPCS Test Centre)
  • Be registered for the NVQ.

Once all these elements have been achieved, the CPCS test centre will request the CPCS Additional 2 year Red Trained Operator card on your behalf.

Updated Health, safety and environment test for 26 June 2019


CITB’s updated Health, safety and environment test for the construction industry is to launch on 26 June 2019.

CITB has announced a major update to the Health, safety and environment test, which it introduced in 2001 in response to high levels of significant accidents and incidents in construction. Over the last 18 years it has been key to improving health and safety in the industry.

CITB regularly reviews the test to make sure it meets current health and safety legislation, including any changes to EU regulations (which the UK is still subject to) and is aligned with the latest industry practice. Around half a million people sit the test each year, making it one of the most taken after the driving licence.

This time a much more detailed review has taken place, taking into account feedback from construction workers, employers and other key stakeholders across the industry.

CITB has worked with leading assessment company Pearson VUE to improve the format of the questions, and to ensure the test remains fair, reliable and valid. This included piloting new questions and formats with 7,500 candidates over the past year.

The test for construction operatives in particular is being substantially updated to better reflect the range of day to day tasks and responsibilities on site. The test instructions have also been made clearer, in response to candidate feedback.

CITB will be writing to all CSCS card holders who are renewing their card, and informing employers, to let them know about the updates. All new applicants will be informed about the test changes and encouraged to prepare appropriately.

Updated revision materials, such as DVDs, books, downloads and apps, will be available from 15 May 2019.

Braden Connolly, CITB Director of Products and Services, said: “The Health, safety and environment test is being brought up to date with current legislation. We’ve worked with those in the industry as well as Pearson VUE, a market leader in computer testing, to make sure it sets a world class standard. Safety is paramount, so it’s vital that the revised test provides even more assurance to those working in the industry that everything is being done to keep them safe on site.”

Simon Kenworthy, owner of JAK Building Services, attended the standard setting workshop for the construction operatives test.

He said: “Hopefully all the hard work put into the update of the HS&E operatives test willenable all new operatives entering the construction industry to gain the required knowledge of Health and Safety. The new range of questions covers different areas of on-site activities, which those working in construction they will undoubtedly encounter.”

Douglas Price, Health and Safety Manager at Morgan Sindall, also attended the workshop.

He said: “The standard setting process for the revised test was undertaken by a panel of highly knowledgeable and qualified individuals covering a range of construction sectors.

“With an ever-changing industry and multicultural workforce the panel undertook a full and critical review of what was already in place and what could best move us forward. Every question and proposal was reviewed and discussed in depth to ensure it met industry’s needs.”

Find out more about planned updates to the HS&E test.

Jobs retained in Norfolk through CITB sale of CPCS scheme to NOCN Group


CITB has agreed to sell its Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) to NOCN Group, one of the sector’s largest Awarding Organisations (AO). The sale will include the retention of all CPCS-related jobs in Norfolk, as well as all CPCS-related mobile roles.

The move comes as part of CITB’s Vision 2020 programme of reform to better meet the demands of British construction. CITB will take on a more strategic and influential role focusing on securing the right training mix, high standards and quality assurance, building employer confidence in the market.

The CPCS provides skills cards to individual workers involved in the plant sector of the construction and allied industries. Each card provides identification and recognises the competence and qualifications of the individual holder. The scheme maintains health, safety and environmental standards through a programme of testing to prove workers comply with minimum standards.

Braden Connolly, Director of Products and Services at CITB, said: “CITB is committed to supporting a robust, high quality skills and training market. Card schemes will continue to play an important role in demonstrating workforce competence and by stepping away from direct delivery, we remove any conflict of interest. CITB will evolve to oversee and ensure standards are maintained, targeting funding to meet current and future skills needs. This will enable us to focus on building the right relationships with providers to secure the kind of provision British construction needs.

“We already have a successful relationship with NOCN Group – having sold our Cskills Awards to them last August – so we are delighted that NOCN Group will continue the CPCS. We are confident that the organisation will continue to deliver this scheme to the highest quality. CITB will remain part of the CPCS Management Committee and NOCN Group Board, ensuring our influencing role helps to maintain high standards and meets the needs of the sector.”

Graham Hasting-Evans, Managing Director of NOCN Group, said: “With this acquisition, NOCN Group continues to build its education and skills investment in the construction sector. NOCN has successfully integrated Cskills Awards to become the premium construction qualifications brand, now it welcomes CPCS into the Group to widen its product range further. This will give the Plant industry a single organisation to go to for its skills needs, increasing the speed and cost effectiveness of the journey into work. We will retain the CPCS business in Norfolk to ensure continuity, keeping jobs local and protecting livelihoods.”

The agreed sale of the CPCS to NOCN Group is an example of a service which CITB will transfer as part of its Vision 2020 plan to take on a strategic role to influence training provision and competence. This means providing training and card schemes will be better delivered by others.

The transition is expected to happen in two phases with completion expected by August 2019, subject to all parties being ready. This will ensure a smooth changeover of systems and processes with minimal disruption to colleagues and customers.

NPORS Cards Wrongly Turned Away From Site


CSCS Recently Received Reports That Holders Of NPORS Cards Have Had Workers Turned Away From Site Because Their Cards Were Not Considered To Be Approved By CSCS.

The content below was taken from the media section on the CSCS website and can be viewed using this link www.cscs.uk.com/news

Most people in construction are familiar with Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards. It’s the card that provides proof that individuals working on construction sites have the appropriate training and qualifications for the job they do on site.
However, not everyone is aware that there are over 30 different card schemes displaying the CSCS logo and this is causing some confusion at the site gates. Card schemes displaying the CSCS logo are known as CSCS Partner Card schemes and they represent the many specialist occupations such as plant, demolition, plumbing and scaffolding.

CSCS recently received reports that holders of NPORS cards (one of CSCS’s Partner Card Schemes) have had workers turned away from site because their cards were not considered to be approved by CSCS.

Alan O’Neile, Head of Communications at CSCS said: “Just because a card looks different from a CSCS card doesn’t mean it should be turned away at the site gates. NPORS is an approved CSCS Partner Card Scheme and these cards should be accepted when presented at the site gates. The important thing to look out for, alongside the card holder’s identification, qualifications and training is the silver CSCS logo, this is usually displayed on the front of a card.”
Card schemes displaying the CSCS logo are based on the approved standards as mandated by the Construction Leadership Council and like the CSCS scheme require the holder to gain an N/SVQ and pass the Health and Safety Test and should be accepted when presented on site.

NPORS’s Technical, Training and Standards Director Huw Jones said” We fully support the robust processes sites have in place to ensure only valid cardholders with the correct qualifications can access sites, I know CSCS have provided lots of information to sites and site managers about partner card schemes but inevitably there have been a few queries. The NPORS card has a QR code that can be checked using a smartphone, alternatively site managers can visit www.npors.com and use the online card checker or if all else fails they can contact NPORS on 01606 351240 if they wish to check if an NPORS card is valid. It is very frustrating that some construction sites appear not to be recognising the Construction Leadership Council requirements which NPORS has met in full.”

Alan O’Neile continued: “CSCS is reminding the industry to be prepared for cards that don’t look like the familiar CSCS card. These cards are not necessarily invalid, if they bear the CSCS logo then they are a legitimate CSCS Partner Card scheme.

“However, what is absolutely key to the whole process is that cards are checked thoroughly, ideally electronically, before allowing workers on site. Checking a card thoroughly is the most effective way for employers to be sure workers are who they say they are and that they have achieved the appropriate qualifications for the job they do on site.”

For further information on CSCS’s Partner Card schemes visit www.cscs.uk.com/partners.