CITB statement on CPCS scheme


As part of the Vision 2020 programme of reform, CITB is divesting its cards schemes to other suitable providers, including the CPCS scheme.

CITB is pleased to share that NOCN has been selected as preferred bidder for the CPCS scheme. 

If the sale progresses successfully, NOCN are proposing the creation of an independent subsidiary as part of their overall approach to the purchase and delivery of the CPCS scheme. The process now moves into a stage of due diligence and negotiations between CITB and NOCN.

CITB employees affected by these changes will be kept updated on what this means for them.

CITB remains the CPCS card scheme provider and the CPCS scheme will continue to operate as normal. 

CITB is pleased to be able to update stakeholders on this important step.

£22m fund launched to boost construction skills


A multi-million pound fund to help tackle the construction skills shortage has been launched by UK Government Skills Minister Anne Milton today (18 June).

The £22m Construction Skills Fund will bring training to construction sites – allowing learners to apply their knowledge in a real-world environment.

This will help meet the needs of employers and tackle the construction skills shortage, while also supporting those who want to join the industry, particularly adult learners.

The 18-month scheme is funded by the Department for Education and will be administered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

CITB is now calling on employers, housing associations and other interested bodies such as LEPs and local authorities to submit expressions of interest. These can be from both existing and prospective on-site learning hubs.

The fund aims to support:

  • 20 on-site training hubs in England
  • Work experience and placements for people working to join the industry
  • Entry pathways for those currently unemployed
  • Pathways for career switchers.

The funding will only support on-site training provision, and access to live construction projects is essential to qualify.

Skills Minister Anne Milton said: “For our economy to thrive we need everyone, regardless of their age or background, to be able to get the training and the skills they need to make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead.

“The Government has committed to building 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s and we want to make sure that we are investing in the UK skills base to deliver this.” 

A career in construction offers the chance for many people to establish and grow their own business. 

On-site training will be hugely beneficial for employers and trainees, as it will help bridge the gap between training and working in the industry, meaning trainees are site-ready sooner.

Minister of State for Housing Dominic Raab said: “A construction workforce with new and innovative skills is essential to building a housing market fit for the future.

“We have already invested £1bn to develop modern approaches in the industry and the Construction Skills Fund will teach builders the skills they need to deliver 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.”

The fund forms a vital part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy – a long-term plan to build a Britain fit for the future by helping businesses create jobs in every part of the UK.

It underlines the Government’s commitment to improving education standards for everyone, so they can gain the skills they need to succeed and can secure good jobs.

Steve Radley, Policy Director at CITB, said: “The Construction Skills Fund is a milestone scheme for the sector and provides a significant investment in skills and training. It will help attract new talent and bridge the gap between training and working in the industry.

“Having training on or near to major projects will reveal what an exciting sector this can be, while also putting new talent in the shop window.

“We want all interested organisations to submit Expressions of Interest that are innovative, collaborative and with training at their heart. We will support applicants through the process and provide expert guidance to apply to the fund.

“We are pleased to help deliver this major new project and we are confident that, with industry support, it can help meet construction’s skills needs now and in the future.”



In a bulletin released on 13th February 2018, CPCS stated that ‘a review was undertaken on the category due to the nature in which slew types have evolved since the Telescopic Handler category was first introduced many years ago.

As a result of a review of the endorsement for Telescopic Handler All Sizes inc 360 slew (A17D), CPCS are pleased to announce a new stand-a-lone category of Telescopic Handler 360º Slew (A77), which is now incorporated within the Scheme and will be available from 28 March 2018.

The review was undertaken due to the nature in which the slew types have evolved since the Telescopic Handler category was first introduced many years ago and, then was predominately only used for fork use as with traditional telescopic handlers but are now increasingly being used as ‘a crane’ with a drum hoist and rope.

This category will supersede Telescopic Handler – All Sizes inc 360º Slew (A17D) which will be retired from the scheme.

What Does This Mean For Existing Card Holders

(Operator and Tester)

Those who gained A17 D prior to the introduction of A77 (28/03/18) have the following transitional options available:

If you do not hold the A17D category on your ticket, you’ll be required to complete the new A77 Telescopic Handler 360 Slew category. This includes an extended theory test which will consist of 101 theory questions and this also includes 2 mandatory question related to 3 duties charts, then a 3 hour practical test which will cover fork-mounted loads, free-on-wheels, pick-and-carry duties, and fixed-hook / hoist-rope suspended loads. On achievement of A77 you will also be automatically awarded A17C and A17E.

If you hold the A17D category on your ticket, you’ll be required to undertake the Transitional Assessment for A77 (A89) to be awarded the A77, A17C (non-slew) and A17E (suspended loads) at the point of renewal. Those who do not undertake the A77 (A89) Transitional Assessment at the point of renewal or upgrade will only be awarded the A17C (non-slew) category.

New Card Holders achieving A77 

On achievement of A77 all cardholders will also be automatically awarded A17C & E

Learning Outcomes

What will get covered

Learning Outcome Training Content
Describe the nature of the sector of industry and their role and responsibilities as a plant operator • Industry type
• Customer / client needs
• Sector contribution
• Role
• Reporting structures
• Lifelong skills
• Working practices
• Communication with colleagues / management / other trades
• Health and Safety at Work Act
• Environmental issues
• Other trades
• Social responsibilities
Name and explain the purpose of principal components, the basic construction, controls and terminology • Differing types
• Functions and applications
• Power units
• Hydraulic systems
• Chassis / steering / tyres Inc. pressures / ply rating and importance of replacement with same
• Stability
• Booms
• Forks
• Safety / stability systems
• Counterbalancing
• Attachments and accessories
• Hoist ropes / hook blocks
• Access systems
• Safe load indicator equipment
• Remote control units
Conform with manufacturer’s requirements as per the operator’s handbook, other types of information sources and relevant regulations and legislation • Operator’s Manual
• Machine decals
• Health and Safety at Work Act
• Rating plates
• Codes of Practice
• Site plans / drawings
• Duty charts/Load charts
• Familiarisation
• Method statements
• Lift plans
• Lifting requirements and limitations
• Risk assessments / COSHH
• Inspection and reporting requirements, daily weekly thorough examination, both for equipment and accessories
Undertake and record all pre-use checks • Regular and non-scheduled maintenance procedures
• Checklists
• Sequence of pre-use checks
• Defect reporting
• Company polic
Explain the need and function of appropriate documentation • Certification (CE for machine & attachments)
• Thorough examination (machine and accessories)
• Relevant site-related documentation
• Pre-use checks/inspections
• Operator’s handbook
Configure and ready for travel (site and highway) • Driving controls
• Attachments
• Driving position
• Type and security of attachments
• Visibility
• Road Traffic Act (attachments etc.)
• Site (towing)
Travel over level surfaces and on rough, undulating ground and inclines, with and without loads • Driving controls
• Ground conditions
• Traction / aids
• Inclines and techniques
• Hazards
• Travel speeds
• Load swing and impact on equipment
• Working area / routes
• Site and road travel
• Environment protection / minimise damage
• Load protection
• Stability/centres of gravity
• Locking axles
Manoeuvre in areas with limited space, with and without loads • Visibility
• Limitations of vision
• Steering options
• Proximity hazards
• Protection of ground / tight turns
• Environmental / noise / fumes
• Travel speeds
Arrange and follow given signals and instructions when travelling and manoeuvring with and without loads • Code of signals (hand)
• Signaller location
• Visibility
• Signalling methods
• Types of hand signals
• Hand signal compatibility
• Verbal instructions
• Codes of practice
• Communication types and limitations
• Radio set-up
• Radio protocols
• Visibility
• Multiple signalling
Configure and set for all lifting, loading and transferring duties • Best method for safe load movement
• Lift plan
• Positioning / planning
• Required configuration
• Lifting controls
• Machine capacity
• De-rating
• Load Moment Indicators
• Load charts
• Attachments
• Load centres / C of G
• Environmental conditions
• Levelling
• Site markings
• Fork spacing
• Hazards
• Load weights
• Deploy stabilisers
• Rated capacity indicators
• Levelling devices (axles)
• Ground conditions
Attach and remove various attachments • Attachment types and function
• Preparation procedures
• Attaching and removal procedures
• Storage requirements
• Machine configuration and positioning
• Manual handling
• Using assistance
• Securing requirements and essential pre-use checks
• Post-fitting checks
• Load charts
Attach and remove hoist-rope attachments for the movement of suspended loads • Attachment types and function
• Preparation procedures
• Attaching and removal procedures
• Storage requirements
• Machine configuration and positioning
• Manual handling
• Using assistance
• Securing requirements and essential pre-use checks
• Post-fitting checks
• Load charts
Explain actions required for proximity hazards Inc. underground and overhead services • Types of typical services
• Warning / identification systems
• Reporting procedures for damage to services
• Minimum distances and clearance
Explain the basic principles of the slinging of loads, types of lifting accessories that can be used and the correct and incorrect methods for attaching suspended loads to the machine • Signalling procedures
• Techniques
• Types of loads
• Machine stability
• Effects of incorrect methods of attachments
• Function
• Application
• De-rating
• Load stability / security
• Environmental conditions
• Load characteristics (loose/bundled/fluid etc.)
• Accessory compatibility
• Slinging angles
• Load weight
• Limitation of slinging duties
Explain the requirements for ensuring adequate ground support and stability • Tyre pressures
• Ground conditions/assessments
• Lift plans
• Point loadings
• Machine bearing pressures/point loadings
• Ground bearing capacity
• Factors of safety
• Environmental effects Inc. severe weather
• Sole plate material/ composition
• Spreading of load/sole plates
• Ground improvement
• stabiliser extension/short rigging
• Application of full or some stabiliser use
• Underground services
• Ground structure and composition
• Terrain/topography
• Previous use of ground
• Temporary works
Explain the causes of instability during blocked, free-on-wheel and pick-and carry duties • Effects of swinging loads
• Dynamic forces
• De-rating of slung loads
• Load size
• Ground conditions
• Factor of safety
• Travel configuration
• Proximity hazards
• Regulations/guidance
• Environmental conditions
Lift and place various suspended and fork-mounted loads from a variety of locations including a vehicle • Best method for safe load movement
• Lift plans
• Required authority
• Guidance and regulations
• Load charts
• Environmental conditions
• Machine suitability
• Preparation
• Loading towers / platforms / racking / stacking
• Undercutting
• Load types
• Attachments/accessories Inc. limitations and design use
• Working area
• Identification of proximity hazards
• RCI/LMI settings
• Types of trailer / transporter
• Transporter capacities
• Procedures / weight distribution
• Materials / vehicle protection
Lift and place suspended and fork-mounted loads under blocked, free-on-wheels and pick-and-carry duties • Load charts
• Stability
• Trial lifts
• Ground conditions
• Lifting controls
• RCI/LMI information
• Jib extensions
• Visibility
• Environmental conditions
• Load stability/security
• De-rating requirements
• Following instructions
• Travel routes
Lift, transfer and place fixed- hook suspended loads up to maximum extension, at full of working height and using the full slewing capability of the machine • Configuration
• Ground conditions / hazards
• Visibility
• Load security / travel position
• Signalling / following instructions
• Stability
• Loading towers / platforms / racking / stacking
• Protection of structures / loads
• Overhead obstructions
• Lift plans
Lift, transfer and place hoist- rope suspended loads up to maximum extension, at full working height and using the full slewing capability of the machine (Blocked duties) • Configuration
• Ground conditions / hazards
• Visibility
• Load security / travel position
• Signalling / following instructions
• Stabilisers
• Stability
• Loading towers / platforms / racking / stacking
• Protection of structures / loads
• Overhead obstructions
• Lift plans
Lift, transfer and place fork- mounted loads up to maximum extension, at full working height and using the full slewing capability of the machine (Free-on-wheels) • Configuration
• Ground conditions / hazards
• Visibility
• Load security / travel position
• Signalling / following instructions
• Lift plans
• Stability
• Loading towers / platforms / racking / stacking
• Protection of structures / loads
• Overhead obstructions
Minimise the swinging of suspended loads during travel • Travel routes
• Accessory types
• Poor/uneven ground
• Slopes/inclines
• Effects of swinging loads
• Hand & tag lines
• Travel speeds
• Stability
• Observation/anticipation
• Load characteristics
Explain how stability is affected by travelling with a raised / extended boom and/or rotated upper structure with suspended loads and fork-mounted loads (both regular and irregular) • Centres of gravity
• Swinging of loads
• Environmental factors/extreme weather
• Dynamic forces
• Ground conditions
• Slopes/inclines
• Travel speeds
• Travel routes
Explain visibility issues and restrictions with suspended and fork-mounted loads • Load size
• Load swing
• Carrying height of load
• Maintaining vision with slinger/signallers
• Direction of travel
• Assistance for travelling
• Typical proximity hazards
• Ground conditions
Place suspended loads out of sight of the operator • Communication/signalling
• Signaller positioning
• Stability
• Proximity hazards
Maintain safe working situations • Stability
• Load security
• Hazards
Maintain safe and tidy working areas • Specification
• Stacking
• Load positioning / storage
• Proximity hazards
Carry out shut down and securing procedures • Shut down procedures
• Security
• Configuration
• Parking and positioning
• Isolation of remote units
• Reporting of defects
Explain the loading and unloading procedures for machine transporting • Compatibility
• Positioning
• Ground conditions
• Access / egress / working at height
• Types of transporter
• Security
• Configuration
• Loading responsibility

Category Information

CPCS defines a category as an item of plant or equipment used within the construction or allied industries and worked in accordance with the manufacturer’s basic design. Although this category can have varying uses within industry and used with many attachments, for CPCS training and assessment standards, the descriptions reflect basic core use.

To identify a machine within this category, a typical 360 degree slew telescopic handler would normally have the listed features and be used within the described characteristics.

Category Features

  • Multi axled wheeled chassis containing a side- mounted operating position; power, hydraulic and electrical units, counterweight components, and front and rear stabilisers
  • Upper structure containing the cab and boom components, able to be slewed through 360 degrees
  • Extending multi-sectioned boom with a tilting carriage allowing attachments to be fitted, all hydraulically operated

Category Characteristics

  • Able to travel in forward and reverse and change direction during travel with most types having all-wheel steering and drive
  • Most types can travel on uneven and loose ground and slopes
  • Can carry out lifting, transfer and placing duties with loads mounted on forks, from ground level to maximum operating height and reach by raising and extending the boom
  • Can carry out lifting, transfer and placing duties with loads suspended from the carriage and jib extension via a fixed hook, and connected to the machine using a lifting accessory
  • Can carry out lifting, transfer and placing duties with loads connected to a hook block and suspended from the carriage and jib extension via a power-driven hoisting rope


*** It is important to note that we expect the price for training and testing for the new A77 category to increase in comparison to the current A17D category.


Industry-supported new CITB Training Model launches


A transformative new system to access training and grant from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has been launched today (3 April).

The new Training Model and Grants Scheme is a central feature of CITB’s Vision 2020 programme, delivered on time and on budget as the training body becomes more responsive and accountable to the industry it serves.

The Training Model is broken down into three parts:

Construction Training Directory – where employers can find the right training, in the right place, at the right time. This is supported by Grant from CITB quality assured training providers, focused on construction skills.

Construction Training Register – an online database which allows employers to search records of employees to check skills and manage their training needs. The scale of this is huge, recording millions of individual training achievements by our construction workforce. One of the key benefits is that there will be less duplication of training, as employers can rely on the training a new employee has gained elsewhere.

New Grant Scheme – more flexible and focussed on supporting construction-related training, allowing CITB to support the areas of greatest training need. On successful completion of a course, a CITB Approved Training Organisation (ATO) will confirm the learner’s achievement, upload the details onto the Construction Training Register, triggering the automated grant process. This process will massively cut red tape for employers.

The new Construction Training Directory and Construction Training Register are both in early stage use. CITB does not expect them to operate at their full potential, nor hold all courses and records, until early 2019. During the intervening period CITB will work with ATOs to upload all available courses whilst screening and matching employee records for the Construction Training Register.

To ensure continuity of service and a customer-focused transition, CITB will run both the manual and automated grant payment processes in parallel. The manual grants process will only be ‘turned off’ when it is certain that the new products are working effectively.

Braden Connolly, Director of Products and Services at CITB, said:

“We are delighted to launch CITB’s new Training Model and Grants Scheme today, on time and on budget. It is a major step towards CITB becoming the modern, responsive, accountable organisation industry wants us to be.

“The new Construction Training Directory will make it much easier for employers to get the training they need, where they need it, when they need it.

“By tracking achievements and making employee qualifications accessible to employers, the new Construction Training Register will have a transformative effect on the ability of employers not only to train employees, but also to hire people with the right skills on day one.”

The Construction Training Directory will take time to fully populate as more and more training providers are approved. While the process begins the current grant system will run alongside the new Training Model and automated grant system. This will allow time for people to get familiar with the new system and for the directory to be populated.

Sarah Beale, Chief Executive of CITB said:

“This is a new chapter for us as an organisation and for the industry as a whole. The new automated Grants process will make it much easier for employers of all sizes to receive funding for the training they need.

“In addition, the new Construction Training Register will give us a much better understanding about the skills issues we have across the country, allowing us to take a more informed, strategic approach.

“We are still in the early stages but I feel confident that this work will make a real and lasting difference to construction employers across England, Scotland and Wales.”

For more information about the Training Model and new grant system visit

To become an Approved Training Organisation visit

CITB in Bircham Newton talks


The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is sitting down with local politicians and industry leaders in Norfolk next month to discuss the future of its Bircham Newton training centre.

What's to become of Bircham Newton?
What’s to become of Bircham Newton?

Talks are being held to find a way to keep Bircham Newton alive as a construction training facility after the CITB’s withdrawal.

The meeting will be chaired by King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council. Attendees will include Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Saul Humphrey, director at Morgan Sindall and chairman of the LEP’s Building Growth board, and local MP, Sir Henry Bellingham. College leaders, along with representatives from Norfolk County Council and Jobcentre Plus will also join the meeting.

It follows the announcement of CITB’s proposed strategy for its future offer – Vision 2020: The Future CITB – setting out reforms demanded by the construction companies that pay for the CITB. The reforms will see CITB remain an enabler of training, but no longer a direct provider.

Brian Long, leader of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council, said: “We appreciate the reasoning behind CITB’s proposed move away from direct training, which is why we’re keen to maximise the potential opportunities for new partners at the site. We’re pleased to be hosting this session with the aim of creating a Vision 2020 Taskforce to ensure that all ideas and solutions are geared towards a positive outcome for the future of the site.”

CITB chief executive Sarah Beale said: “The industry has been absolutely clear – CITB must reform – but we also care very much about the communities and individuals affected by our change programme. We are pleased to be working with key stakeholders to find the best possible future for our Bircham Newton site.

“When we consulted recently with colleagues at the borough council, I found it particularly heartening to be met with open, responsive and positive attitudes towards our suggestions. The site has huge potential and, working together, we stand the best chance of maximising its benefit for both West Norfolk and the construction industry.”

New Anglia LEP chief executive Chris Starkie said: “CITB’s announcement will have come as a major blow to staff at Bircham Newton and businesses in the supply chain. But we understand the industry’s desire for change. The collaborative approach now being taken is a very good sign, and we look forward to working with all partners to provide a solution that best suits workers, the local economy and the construction industry.”

CITB hands in notice to CSCS


The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has handed in its notice to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme.

Who ya gonna call? Not CITB for much longer...
Above: Who ya gonna call? Not CITB for much longer…

CITB has had a contract for the past 20 years with the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) to provide card administration services, looking after customers and processing applications. Each year the CITB process more than 400,000 card applications and one million contact centre enquiries on behalf of CSCS.

However, following its recent existential crisis CITB has decided that it not only does not want to deliver training any more, it also does not want to provide CSCS administration.

CSCS is a not-for-profit organisation owned by a consortium of industry trade associations and trades unions.

CITB’s notice period is three-and-a-half years. CSCS will now begin the process of identifying a new service provider. It has appointed management consultants to help with the search. In the meantime, the CITB will continue to deliver the card application and contact centre service until handover to a new supplier.

CSCS chief executive Graham Wren said: “I can confirm that CSCS recently received notice from the CITB that they wish to terminate the card administration and contact centre contract. CSCS has relied on the CITB to deliver the administration of the scheme for more than 20 years and we are grateful for the contribution they have made to the success of the scheme.

“CITB and CSCS agree that the administration of the scheme must not be interrupted and our priority is to secure a new service provision to deliver a first-class service to our 1.6 million cardholders.”

He added: “The three-and-a-half-year notice period provides an opportunity to identify new and smarter ways of working, such as online applications, that could benefit not just individual card holders, but their employers to. We would like to reassure card holders that the scheme will operate as normal while the process to identify a new service provision takes place.”

CITB director of products and services Braden Connolly said: “Future CITB will see us becoming a more strategic organisation, clearly focused on delivering on industry’s key skills priorities. This means focusing on fewer things and doing them better. In the last 20 years, the UK has established itself as a world leader in services and there are potential providers who can offer a more efficient, modern service than CITB can provide in the administration of the CSCS card scheme.

“Our association with CSCS goes back many years and CITB is proud to have been associated with its success however the time is right for us to withdraw from providing this service. CSCS still holds an important place in our industry, being relied on for evidence of skills and certification thousands of times a day. The continued success of CSCS is important to our industry and we will continue to work with them to improve the service and ultimately transfer that service to a new provider.”

Withdrawal of Plant EWPA route


Following consultation with the Construction Plant sector including Construction Plant Association (CPA), Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), Federation of Piling Specialists (FPS) and Build UK, ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council has withdrawn the use of simulation as an assessment route to achieve Plant and Plant-related qualifications, unless there is a very substantial reason that site assessment is not possible.

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CPCS Renewal test


This test makes sure that key knowledge of each plant category or group of categories is maintained, in order to renew a CPCS competent operator (blue) card.

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