Coronavirus update for customers

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Coronavirus update for customers

You will be aware of the various Government and World Health Organisation (WHO) announcements and official advice over COVID19.

The situation is unprecedented and has been continually changing. With colleges and schools now closed and the country in effect ‘locked down’, other than essential services, we will endeavour to continue to support you, your apprentices, learners and card applicants through this difficult period.

We support Ofqual’s statement that the most important principle is fairness to all learners and apprentices, not only for those being assessed now, but also for those assessed before COVID-19.

All our staff are working from home, so we will still be offering front line support, through telephony, email and web chat as usual.

At this time, NOCN aims to provide as full a range of our services as possible, where these can be delivered remotely, and where possible we will use remote or recorded assessment methods. We will do this in a way to maintain the integrity of the assessment.

All face-to-face appointments for approval visits, External Quality Assurers, and external assessments have been suspended until training centres reopen and normal business resumes.

We will be providing digital on-line support to you, this may include the ability to offer WebEx interviews, develop online invigilated exams in place of physical papers, and certain digital content support. Please contact us to discuss how best we can support you.

As you will know, NOCN Group offers a wide range of services including regulated qualifications, EPA for apprenticeships, Job Cards in construction, Access to HE Diplomas, bespoke accreditation and educational and skills support training. You will find out more operational detail on the implications of COVID19 for each of these services, including advice for students and centres preparing for external assessments, through the following links:

Business Development
Regulated Qualifications
Quality Assurance
EPA for Apprenticeships
Job Cards in construction (CPCS)
Access to HE Diplomas
Bespoke Accreditation

Please note that NOCN will be following the guidance issued by the ESFA, IfATE, Ofqual, CCEA, QAA and Qualifications Wales, and will update our customers as things change.

If you have any concerns or would like to discuss the impact on your centre, apprentices or learners please contact us on or 0300 999 1177 (Option 1).

Best wishes from all at NOCN to you our valued customers. We hope you all remain safe and well.

Graham Hasting-Evans, Group Managing Director

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Search our FAQs or call 0300 999 1177 (option2)

Q.How do I check a CPCS Card?

Our online card checker can be used to check a CPCS card. Please note to make a valid search, you must enter two items of information, one of which must be Individual ID/Registration Number or National Insurance Number.  For example: Surname & Card Number, Surname & NI Number, DOB & Card Number, or DOB and NI Number.

Card Checker

Q.I have lost or had my card stolen, what can I do?

Call our Helpline on 0300 999 1177 (option2) to apply for a replacement card.

All CPCS cards are £28, this is a non-refundable fee for the services of processing the request.

Q.How do I appeal against the outcome of a CPCS Technical Test or On-Site Assessment?

Contact the CPCS Test Centre where you took the tests.

Q.What happens if my Trained Operator (Red) card has expired by more than 12 months?

There are two routes available - Option 2 and Option 3, see Section C1 and Appendix I of the Scheme Booklet for Operators.

Q.I hold an MPQC card – can I transfer to CPCS?

Yes, CPCS has an agreement with the Materials Products Qualification Council (MPQC) that allows the holders of MPQC cards to transfer certain categories onto a CPCS Trained Operator and Competent Operator cards if they meet agreed requirements.

There are two application forms:

  • F1/8 application to transfer a MPQC card to a CPCS Trained Operator card
  • F1/9 application to transfer a MPQC card to a CPCS Competent Operator card

For full details on the requirements refer to the Scheme Booklet for Operators.

Both forms and the Scheme Booklet for Operators are available to download.

Q.I hold SOLAS card – can I transfer to CPCS?

Yes, CPCS has an agreement with the SOLAS (An tSeirbhís Oideachais Leanúnaigh agus Scileanna) that allows the holders of SOLAS cards to transfer certain categories onto a CPCS Competent Operator cards if they meet agreed requirements.

For further details, download the F1/4 transfer of SOLAS to CPCS Competent Operator card application form, the reverse of the form gives you details on the completion requirements.

You can also transfer your CPCS Competent Operator card to SOLAS, for further details, download the F1/4 SOLAS transfer of CPCS Competent Operator Card to SOLAS CSCS Experienced Operator Card application form.

Both forms are available to download

Q.Can I Upgrade my Red Trained Operator Card over the telephone?

Yes, you need to have achieved the relevant VQ and achieved the CITB Health, safety and environment test within the last two years.

Once both have been achieved, call us on 0300 999 1177 (option2), making sure you have to hand:

  • Your CPCS Card Number
  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Your debit/credit card details
  • The category of plant you wish to upgrade

We will then check:

  • Your details and that we have your correct home address
  • The VQ* achieved is relevant for the category being upgraded
  • The HS&E test achieved is valid (within the last 2 years)

We will then:

  • Take your payment and give you a confirmation number for your records
  • Request a CPCS Logbook to be dispatched to your home address
  • Request a Blue Competent Operator Card to be dispatched to your home address

*If we cannot see that you have the required VQ we will ask that you fax, e-mail or post a copy of the certificate to us. Upon receipt we will check the copy certificate and either request the Blue Competent Operator card, or contact to advise why this is not possible.

Q.I have an expired Tester Card, how can I renew it?

Appeal in writing to: CPCS, NOCN Job Cards Innovation Way King’s Lynn PE30 5BY

Please ensure you state your Tester card registration number, along with full details as to why your card was not renewed before expiry.

All appeals received will be reviewed on an independent basis. Responses will be issued within 28 days of receipt.

Q.What is the CLC: One Industry Logo?

For further information please visit the CSCS Ltd website

Q.Industry Accreditation 'Grandfather Rights' withdrawal

In 2015 the CLC announced in its Industrial Strategy: Construction 2025 that industry, including trade associations, contractors, clients and government, should only accept and promote card schemes carrying the CSCS logo. This is known as the One Industry Logo action.

The CLC listed a number of requirements that card schemes like CPCS need to meet to qualify for the CSCS logo, including:
• Agreeing appropriate qualifications for each occupation
• Setting a minimum standard for skilled occupations at VQ Level 2
• Introducing smart technology by 2020.

Why are Grandfather Rights being withdrawn?

In line with the CLC requirements, every Competent Operator (blue cardholder) must have nationally recognised qualifications that match the categories they have on their card at VQ Level 2.

Cards issued through Grandfather Rights did not require the cardholder to have a nationally recognised qualification. This means it doesn’t meet the CLC requirement and CPCS will stop renewing cards gained under Grandfather Rights by the end of 2024.

Who are the CLC?

The CLC is the Construction Leadership Council and their objective is to drive industry improvement. You can find information about them on their website here.

How do I know if I have Grandfather Rights?

You have Grandfather Rights, or a card gained under Industry Accreditation, if you gained your Blue card without holding a VQ. This means you may be affected by these changes and need to complete an NOCN CPCS Competence Interview if you wish to keep them in the future. If you have already achieved a VQ in certain Construction or Plant related occupations – and we have evidence of this – you will not need to do anything further and we will issue you a normal blue Competent Operator Card.

What is a Vocational Qualification (VQ)?

A Vocational Qualification (VQ) is a practical work-based qualification based on standards developed across industry. These qualifications are nationally recognised and focus on the skills, knowledge and behaviours that are needed in the workplace.

There are a number of Awarding Organisations that offer VQs, including NOCN through CSkills Awards.

What is the NOCN CPCS Competence Interview?

The NOCN CPCS Competence Interview was drafted by the CPCS team to help you meet the CLC criteria. It takes into account your experience, knowledge and training, and asks you to answer a set of questions based on this. You can find the NOCN CPCS Competence Interview template here.

Why stop issuing cards gained under Grandfather Rights in June 2024 and not December?

We do not want to issue blue cards which are only valid for less than six months. If you have not achieved the Competence Interview by June 2024, you will need to do this as soon as possible.

I have been working for many years. Why do I need a qualification now?

Rules around what industry will accept have changed due to the CLC requirements set out in 2015. In order for you to keep your blue card, you need to meet these requirements.

Can I just carry on working without a CPCS card?

The CLC are directing all of industry, including trade associations, contractors, clients and government, to only accept and promote card schemes carrying the CSCS logo. This is known as the One Industry Logo action. It is your choice whether you take the risk of working without a CPCS card but you will not be able to gain a card from another scheme without meeting these requirements.






Q.CPCS Renewal Test FAQs

You can view further related questions and answers here.