In terms of the training you receive, there isn’t a huge amount of difference between the two certifications. Once NPORS changed the way their scheme worked a few years back to bring it more in line with what CPCS offer there became even less difference.
Both schemes offer a red card and then blue card that are achieved by passing practical and theory tests (for the red card) and then undergoing NVQ assessment to achieve the blue card.
The main benefit of CPCS is that despite NPORS making considerable effort to increase the recognition of their scheme, CPCS is still far more widely recognised and you can be confident that pretty much every construction site in the UK will accept CPCS certification.
The benefit to NPORS over CPCS is the cost. It is generally quite a bit cheaper to undertake NPORS training and the training is slightly more flexible in that it can be undertaken on your site with your own machines if you have them where as undertaking CPCS red card training and testing HAS to be done at accredited training centres (there are a few categories that this does not apply to due to the size of the machine).
As for which accreditation is more suitable for you – it depends on what you want to use it for – and what your budget is. If you want to guarantee that you’ll be able to get on any site with your accreditation and you can afford it then CPCS is probably the way to go. If you just need the qualification for a specific site that accepts both then NPORS could be the way to go.
We will keep an eye on the situation going forwards though as NPORS is definitely becoming more and more recognised as time is going on.