Grandfather Rights & the Blue Competent Operator Card: Time is Running Out.
Do you have a blue Competent Operator card? Did you get it through Grandfather Rights – AKA based on your employer’s recommendations and industry knowledge?
Well, CPCS are phasing these out by 31st December 2024.
Want to know more? Keep reading.
The Phasing Out
CPCS is required to phase out the blue Competent Operator cards gained through Grandfather Rights from January 1st, 2020. Any card gained after this time will be issued with an expiration date of 31st December 2024.
This is an industry requirement, stretching across all card schemes.
This standard is set by Construction Leadership Council (CLC). They say that the minimum standard for a skilled operator is to have a level 2 Vocational Qualification relevant to their occupation.
What is Grandfather Rights?
In the past, Grandfather Rights (or Industry Accreditation) allowed workers to get the blue CPCS card based on their industry knowledge and their employer’s recommendations. This was instead of the achievement of a specific recognised qualification.
This route to a blue Competent Operator card closed in 2003. Since January 1st, 2020, all the cards renewed under this industry accreditation will expire on the 31st of December 2024.
What did the CPCS team do?
In short, they had 2 proposals.
The first; not removing the blue card and simply issuing a red Trained Operator card in its place. Instead of this the blue Competent Operator card would continue to be issued. It has that previously mentioned expiry date of 31st December 2024 though!
But this does give you, the worker, time to go and meet the CLC requirements by either doing a VQ or a Competency Interview (more about this after!). You would then go back and get your card “topped up” so that your categories reflect their original 5-year length before expiry.
The second’ rather than a VQ for each grouping you held, there is another system. To get the blue Competent Operator card from an Industry Accreditation or Grandfather Rights, there is now a competency interview that you would need to complete. This is set by NOCN CPCS and allows you to keep your cards instead of going down that VQ route.
Cost and Requirements for the Competent Operator card
The cost of the competency interview also includes the cost of a new smart card. This is sent to whatever address you provide and would cost a total of £160.
If you have a VQ then you don’t need to do anything else providing that NOCN has evidence of this! You will still be issued a blue Competent Operator card. This costs £10 to get that updated smart card.
How does the interview work?
You’ll need to answer questions using your knowledge, skills, and experience. These questions will be about:
- Effective Communication
- Independent Thinking
- Logical Thinking
- Work Effectively
- Time Management
- Assertiveness and Confidence
What to do.
Are you unsure of what you need to do? Then simply get in touch with NOCN / CPCS.
Do you want to book a Competency Interview for a blue Competent Operator card?
To find out more about what the test entails visit the NOCN website here where you can download the interview template, interview rules and interview script.