Granddad rights plant operators face interviews to keep skills cards

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Experienced plant operators will need to pass a ‘Competence Interview’ to keep their skills cards earned under Grandfather Rights.

The new initiative means up to 50,000 operators will not have to sit formal qualifications to keep their Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) blue cards.

Operators will have to pay up to £160 to undertake a competence interview – which is much lower than the cost of taking vocational qualifications.

The interview initiative has been launched by training body NOCN who own the CPCS.

It follows an industry-wide drive by the Construction Leadership Council to ensure all skills cards are backed-up by relevant qualifications by 2024 and carry the Construction Skills Certification Scheme logo.

Graham Hasting-Evans, Managing Director of NOCN Group said: The CLC’s objective is to drive industry improvement and its requirement that every blue cardholder must have a nationally recognised qualification to match the categories on their card at VQ Level 2 is behind this withdrawal of cards issued through Grandfather Rights.

“As the leading Construction NVQ Awarding Organisation, we are able to quality assure this Competence Interview to the same level of as that expected of a Regulated Qualification, allowing operators to continue to work on-site with a renewal deadline of 2024.”

Passing the Competence Interview will allow existing blue card holders to continue working on-site from 2025 without the need to either switch to a red ‘Trained Operator’ card or complete a Level 2 Qualification.

The Competence Interview can be undertaken at any CPCS Test Centre for a maximum fee of £160.