BAM Newsletter : Changes to CPCS Blue Cards & Grandfather Rights

BAM Newsletter : Changes to CPCS Blue Cards & Grandfather Rights

CPCS is required to phase out blue Competent Operator cards gained through ‘Grandfather Rights’ from 1 January 2020, and any cards issued through Grandfather Rights will be completely removed by 31 December 2024.

From 1 January 2020 all cards renewed under Industry Accreditation will expire on 31 December 2024 and CPCS will stop issuing these cards from 30 June 2024.

What does this mean for you?

If you gained your blue Competent Operator card under Grandfather Rights, and you have not previously achieved a VQ in certain Construction or Plant related occupations, you will have to achieve a NOCN CPCS Competence Interview by the 31 December 2024.

In the meantime, as cardholders come up for renewal from 1 January 2020 CPCS will still issue them a blue Competent Operator card – you will not be disadvantaged on site. All categories on this card will expire on 31 December 2024.

Why are Grandfather Rights being withdrawn?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 Competent Operator 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.

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.

We shall keep you informed of further updates as and when we get new information from NOCN.


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