National Vocational Qualification

Do I Need One?

The CPCS Red trained Operator Card is valid for 2 years. During the 2-year life of the Red Card you must achieve a QCF Diploma or Certificate in Plant and Machinery Operations. This will allow you to apply for the CPCS Blue Competent Card. The Red Card is non-renewable and if you do not achieve the QCF you lose your card.

What is it?

The qualification and Credit Framework or QCF is a new educational framework designed to make vocational qualifications easier to understand. The qualifications have been developed to work more closely with employers and ensure that training and qualifications are more relevant to the actual work undertaken by candidates. Each candidate will have a ULN (Unique Learner Number) and will have access to their key information via a central IT system.


The simple way of understanding the difference between a Certificate and a Diploma, is the more complicated machines like excavator, that require longer training courses and more operating hours to become competent are Diplomas and the less complicated machines like dumpers are certificates. You may require a certificate on one category and a Diploma on another.

How long will it take?

Provided you have at least 2 years operators experience and you can complete the processes below you can gain your NVQ within 1 or 2 days by assessment.

‘EWPAR – Experienced Worker Practical Assessment Route’ is available as a fast track NVQ Level 2 qualification which you can obtain in just one to two days.

How do I start the QCF/NVQ?

Just contact us and we can get you started.

QCF/NVQ Process

Stage 1 – You and your assessor will discuss which units you are going to work towards
Stage 2 – The units will be explained in detail
Stage 3 – Your experience and any evidence that you may have are discussed
Stage 4 – The evidence requirements will be explained

Amount of observations required for each unit

  • Evidence requirements
  • Knowledge assessment by oral questions or written
  • Any Particular Assessment Requirement (PAR) that you many have Evidence

Stage 5 – Evidence

You will produce evidence in the following way

  • Observation in the workplace through assessment
  • Being questioned by your assessor
  • Having a reference system in your logbook/portfolio showing location or copies of time sheets, job
    cards, photographs, plans, work schedules

Stage 6 – Feedback

After each assessment you will be given feedback by your assessor

  • If you are competent in the required standard this will be recorded
  • If you are not competent and require more training. Training can be arranged through your company
    or by yourself and does not have to be carried out by our Plant Training. If has a result of an
    operator assessment training needs have been identified then they must be address before you will
    be able to progress with the qualification

Stage 7 – You will regularly discuss your progress with your Assessor

How much will it cost?

First NVQ including registration fee £450.00
Subsequent NVQ’s same day £100.00
Subsequent NVQ’s within 6 months of first (min 2 nvq’s in the 1 day) £150.00
Subsequent NVQ’s after 6 months £225.00

All Prices subject to VAT, availability, regular review and available funding