Once you have completed your training you will undertake your CPCS Theory & Practical test.
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 achieving the theory section of the test. See the page for your chosen category for details of refresher training. )
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. If the plant is an 'off centre' category it will be necessary to provide you with a quote based on the location and criteria. Certain restrictions apply.
Delegates must have achieved a Health, Safety & Environment 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). Please note that ID must be either valid (or no more than 6 months past expiry). If this is not possible please contact one of our team well before your test so we can provide you with alternative options. Once it is time to start the tests you will be shown into the test room.
The Theory Test
You will have, depending on the category, a maximum of an hour to complete this section and achieve the minimum marks required.
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. A copy of the theory questions will be provided during your theory test in the correct order.
The whole theory test will be recorded as required by the Awarding Body. 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 and must be a translator approved by the awarding body.
NOCN provide downloads of theory test questions which you can download and review in advance of your test. These can be found here.
You must achieve the theory test in order to progress to the practical test. If you do not achieve 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 achieved 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 achieve 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.
You will be issued with a temporary certification that will be valid for 1 month from your test day.
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.
NVQ Assessments for CPCS Upgrade
In order to progress from a CPCS or NPORS Trained Operative Card to a Competent Operative Card, you are required to have completed the relevant level of NVQ. If the certification is not upgraded in sufficient time, there is the potential that the candidate may have to repeat theory, practical and the NVQ at a greater cost.