NPORS is the acronym for National Plant Operators Registration Scheme. Established in 1992 it is one of the leading Awarding Bodies for work based training in the UK.   NPORS  believe that everyone who operates machinery should be qualified and competent to do so in order to protect not just themselves but the safety of others too. Through the high standards provided by their registered training providers who are professionally qualified and regularly monitored to do so, this regulated training is provided throughout Great Britain for hundreds of variations of training courses.

Who are NPORS associated with?

Following a review launched by the HSE in 2010, the existing Accrediting Bodies scheme was reformed into the new Accrediting Bodies Association – Workplace Transport (ABA) as announced on the 13th September 2012. Final HSE board approval has now been granted and the HSE will continue to provide advice to the ABA on training issues.  The ABA and its founder members: AITT, ITSSAR, NPORS and RTITB are working together to bring clarity to workplace transport training for our industry.


CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) was a card scheme created in 2003 to reflect and showcase the competence of plant operating personnel. The CPCS is now operated by the NOCN Group, they purchased the card scheme in 2019 from CITB, setting up NOCN Job Cards.  The purchase included the retention of all CPCS-related CITB jobs in Norfolk, as well as all CPCS-related mobile roles.

Both NOCN and NPORS operate in a very similar way providing membership for their operators in order to provide competence for operating Plant machinery.


Both schemes use the CSCS logo, CSCS is the Construction Skills Certification Scheme – All these acronyms it no wonder everyone gets confused.

So basically, CSCS cards provide proof that individuals working on construction sites have the appropriate training and qualifications for the job they do on site. By ensuring the workforce are appropriately qualified the card plays its part in improving standards and safety on UK construction sites.

Both NPORS and CPCS/NOCN provide accreditation with the CSCS logo, initially a 2 year Red card during which time you need to complete an NVQ for each category to progress onto the 5 year Blue competent operator card.

Do you need CSCS?

Holding a CSCS card is not a legislative requirement. It is entirely up to the principal contractor or client whether workers are required to hold a card before they are allowed on site. However, most principal contractors and major house builders require construction workers on their sites to hold a valid card.

However, this may just be the traditional 5 year NPORS card, we advise you to check with the site as to the cards they require as you can always upgrade to a CSCS card but you can not transition backwards once you have the two year card.  If your two year card expires you will need to do retesting/assessment, it is not possible to extend the two year limit or to reapply for a Red card.


Health and Safety Touch Screen Test

CITB Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) test is an important way for construction workers to show that they can be safe on the job. It’s also a way for them to know that their fellow workers are as safe on the site and not put them at risk of injury.

The touch screen test is not just for the CPCS/NOCN it can also be applied to the NPORS training scheme too. In fact a valid Touch Screen Test is a requirement for the NPORS CSCS card, which must be no more than two years old.

If the Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) test is added to your NPORS card, the details are recorded on the back together with your training categories and a HS&E Tested logo is applied to the front of your card.


Becoming an NPORS operator

Becoming an NPORS operator is an easy process and there are lots of courses to choose from. Depending on your experience you will either need to complete the novice route of training then testing or, if you have experience or have been tested before, you can complete the one day assessment options.

You have the two different NPORS membership options

  • 5 year traditional NPORS operator card
  • NPORS/CSCS card
    • First step – 2 year red card
    • Complete your NVQ in the categories on your card
    • progress to 5 year Blue competent operator

The NPORS training provider will then be able to complete your assessment and training if required. Upon success completion of your test you are now an approved NPORS plant operator!

NPORS renewal

Renewal options are available for the traditional NPORS card holders. About a month before your card is due to expire NPORS will issue a renewal notification form.   More details are available on our NPORS renewal blog…  follow this link.

Training Providers

Kentra Training has been an NPORS registered training provider since 1997, if you would like to discuss any of the details provided in our blog or have any queries regarding the different NPORS courses please do not hesitate to contact us.