NVQ Certificate & NVQ Diploma in Plant Operations (Construction) (Regulated) at level 2

NVQ Certificate & NVQ Diploma in Plant Operations (Construction) (Regulated) at level 2

The NVQ Certificate and NVQ Diploma in Plant Operations at level 2 will develop knowledge and skills in preparing and operating plant machines. Learners can specialise in various specialist plant machines including forklift trucks, excavators, scissor platforms, and cranes.

These qualifications meet the requirements of the main industry-recognised operators’ competence card — the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS). 

These National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are available through colleges and training providers.

Overview of these qualifications

These level 2 NVQs are work-based qualifications that assess the skills and knowledge needed to perform the job role effectively. They are based on the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Plant Operations.

These qualifications are available as part of apprenticeship frameworks but can also be delivered separately.

Learners could take an NVQ in Plant Operations as a standalone qualification if they only wished to be trained and assessed on a single category of machine or if they needed to achieve a qualification quickly in order to gain or retain employment.

The apprenticeship also requires the completion of a knowledge-based plant operator’s qualification and English and Maths qualifications (if not already achieved) in addition to this NVQ.

Purpose and recognition

The primary purpose of these qualifications is to confirm occupational competence as a plant operator.

As work-related, competence-based qualifications they will provide confirmation to employers and industry managers and card schemes that the holder has the skills and knowledge needed to operate a specific piece of plant machinery to a nationally recognised standard.

NVQs are assessed by completing a portfolio of evidence which includes:

  • observation from an assessor
  • professional discussion
  • witness testimony and
  • supporting documentary evidence

Because the assessor works alongside the learner they are able to confirm that the requirements of this qualification have been met and that the learner is competent in their role.

Recognition

These qualifications are supported by the Construction Plant-hire Association — the leading trade association for this sector in the UK. CPA members supply 85% of hired plant to the construction industry.

CPA works closely with CITB, the Construction Industry Training Board and has been instrumental in the development of National Occupational Standards, training schemes and competence testing through the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS).

Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS)

The CPCS is the largest and most highly recognised skills card scheme for the plant sector of the construction industry. Membership of the scheme is voluntary, but is mandatory on many construction sites and other work environments.

Why deliver this qualification

These qualifications offer centres flexibility and choice through the comprehensive range of optional units.

The NVQ Certificate and NVQ Diploma in Plant Operations at level 2 can be offered in any of the following modes:

  • full-time
  • part-time (eg day-release)

Who does this qualification suit

This qualification can be taken by full-time or part-time employees or by school and college students with a work placement or part-time job that enables them to develop the appropriate skills in the workplace. 

These qualifications are mainly taken by individuals employed in, or seeking employment in:

  • plant operations as a plant operator
  • plant operations as a loader securer
  • plant operations as a crane and specialist lifting plant operator
  • a construction or civil engineering environment where recognition of competence is needed in one or more plant operations

Progression

Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Plant Operations

Achievement of the Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Plant Operations could enable a learner to become a Construction Plant Operator working with machinery and equipment used on major civil engineering projects, construction and house building sites, roadworks, demolition sites, quarries and railways. They would use machines such as:

  • forklift trucks to move loads around sites in support of day-to-day tasks on site
  • forward- and rear-tipping dumpers to move materials required for construction or clearance purposes around site as required in the construction plan
  • scissor- and boom-type platforms for gaining access to work areas at height as required
  • compaction equipment to consolidate working or access surfaces as and when required throughout the construction phases of a site

Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Plant Operations

Achievement of the Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Plant Operations could enable a learner to work with the machinery and equipment used on major civil engineering projects, construction and house building sites, roadworks, demolition sites, quarries and railways. They could use machines such as:

  • 180 and 360 degree excavators
  • earth-moving bulldozers and dump trucks
  • loading shovels
  • mobile and crawler cranes
  • tower cranes
  • compactors used for levelling out work areas
  • piling rigs
  • concrete pumps

These qualifications can also lead to supervisory qualifications such as:

  • 600/3377/0 (GE1Y 79) Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Work Supervision (Construction)

and provide invaluable practical experience to someone who aspires to the more technical professions. In addition, learners will further broaden their skills set and increase their employability in the civil engineering industry.

Approval

Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority require to come forward for approval and should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Systems and Qualification Approval Guide.

How to assess

Ongoing course assessment will apply. Each unit specification gives detailed information on the evidence requirements and approaches to assessment for the unit.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification structure

Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Plant Operations (Construction) (125 KB)

Group award code: GL5F 66

Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Plant Operations (Construction) (100 KB)

Group award code: GL5G 68 

Unit specifications and assessment guidance

Unit specifications and assessment guidance for these qualifications are available on SQA's secure website. These are available from your centre’s SQA Co-ordinator. For further information, please contact mycentre@sqa.org.uk.

Assessment Strategy

Learner Guidance and Portfolio

CPCS

The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) is the largest and most highly recognised single skills card scheme for the plant sector of the construction industry. The scheme provides certification for plant operatives and associated operations for UK construction and allied industries to prove workers' operating skills and health and safety awareness.

The Plant Operator certification process is supported by CPCS Testers and CPCS Trainers, who in turn are certified as trained and competent by CPCS.

Membership of the Scheme is voluntary, but is mandatory on many construction sites and other work environments.