CPCS Testing

NTSS Ltd have been granted Test Centre Status for our training grounds in Cambridgeshire.  CPCS Certification is still the most widely sought after and well recognised.  If you are going to be working on a large construction site, chances are you will be required to have a CPCS operator card.

To find out more about the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS), click here.

If you need to check the status of your own or an employee's CPCS card, click here.

The Technical Test is in two parts and any of our CPCS Trainers and Testers are available to discuss your needs or queries:

A CPCS Theory Test consists of a number of questions on Health & Safety and Technical Elements for the type of equipment under test.

A CPCS Practical Test consists of a number of tasks to judge the competency of the operator in skill and judgement whilst using a machine.

Before undertaking any CPCS course/test it is necessary to have passed a Health & Safety touch screen test in the two years prior.

Note: The CPCS Theory element is required to be taken and achieved prior to an attempt on the CPCS Practical Test. This is to ensure that the Candidate has demonstrated a fundamental knowledge of the category for safety reasons.

For general information on the CITB and their Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) click here.

CPCS Red Card Test Days

Once you have completed your training you will undertake your CPCS Theory & Practical test day.

If you are an experienced operator you have the option to undertake a CPCS theory and practical test day without the need for training*.

*(As no training will be offered if only tests are booked we often suggest that a ‘refresher day’ may be useful.    This can be especially helpful to experienced operators that have many years of experience, who are self-taught and may have fallen into bad habits or are concerned about passing the theory section of the test. See the page for your chosen category for details of refresher training. )

We can generally test up to 2 individuals per day but this does vary per category.

The category dictates whether the testing must take place at our accredited training centre in Cambridgeshire or whether it can be done on your site.  Most categories are required to be done at an accredited training centre.

Delegates must have passed a Health & Safety touch screen test within the 2 years prior to their test date.

What to expect on the day:

Upon arrival you will be introduced to the instructor who will be testing you.  You will be asked to provide your ID (ideally photograph drivers licence or passport). Once it is time to start the tests you will be shown into the test room.

The Theory Test

You will first undertake the theory section of the test.  You will have up to an hour to complete this section.  The theory test will be a verbal/spoken exam in exam/test conditions. You will not be required to write any answers.

The whole theory test will be recorded as required by the CITB.  You will not be permitted access to any computer or mobile phone during this time.  You will not receive any help or guidance during the test. (If you feel you may require help with your theory test, please consider booking refresher training in advance of the test).

If you should require it, a translator can be provided for an additional charge.  This must be requested in advance.

The CITB provide downloads of theory test questions which you can download and review in advance of your test. These can be found here. Look for ‘Category Specific Documents’ and ‘Theory Test Questions’ about half way down the screen.

You must pass the theory test in order to progress to the practical test.  If you fail the theory test the whole test day will be stopped.  Unfortunately we still have to charge in full for failed test days.

The Practical Test

Once you have successfully passed the Theory Test you will move onto the Practical Test.  This will take place outside and will involve the tester providing you with instructions to follow out on the machinery.  You will then be accessed to ensure you have the necessary experience, core skills and the technical knowledge to operate the specific category of plant safely.

At the end of the test day you will be asked to complete a form providing your contact details.

If you successfully pass both the CPCS theory and practical elements of the test you will be awarded a CPCS Red Card which we will apply for on your behalf.  Once we have received the card we will send it to the company or individual who has booked and paid for the course once payment in full has been received.

CPCS Blue Cards and Renewals: Your CPCS Red card will be valid for 2 years after which you will need to apply for a CPCS Blue ‘Competent Operator’ Card which will last for 5 years.

For more information on CPCS and how these accreditation’s work please see the CPCS section of our website.

To book your CPCS test please contact us.  For details of the different courses we offer, please see our Plant Training page.

NVQ Assessments for CPCS Upgrade

Plant Operators working in construction with Red cards which are due to expire or have expired will need to, in order to obtain a blue 5 year card, complete the relevant NVQ level 2. If the certification is not upgraded there is the potential that the candidate may have to repeat theory, practical and the NVQ at a greater cost.


We are able to offer EWPA certification which enables experienced workers who do not require any further plant training to obtain a blue 5 year CPCS card.  For more information on EWPA click here.