Whereas trainee excavator operators can dig holes and fill them in again, practising sinking piles is rather harder, since they cannot readily be taken out again. The necessary training, or at least much of it, has to be given on site rather than at a training centre.
But you cannot get on site without a skills card, which (for piling) you cannot get without site experience.
The solution to that vicious circle is the yellow provisional card for piling.
To obtain one of these cards, which are free of charge, candidates must complete:
- HS&E operatives test
- Level 1 award in simulation (simulated piling rig, minimum of 70 hours)
- the simulated “end test”
- a CPCS theory test in a relevant category (e.g. A48 piling rig bored >20t)
FPS will complete the application with the required evidence of achievements and submit directly to CPCS.
The provisional card is valid for six months, with endorsed categories listed on the back of the card as required for the occupation. The theory test is also valid for six months.
The FPS said that this would allow sufficient time for the provisional card holder to gain the practical skills and site experience they need to enable them to achieve a full CPCS practical test.
Existing red and blue card routes will be followed on completion of the CPCS practical technical test. CPCS will be notified and relevant CPCS card issued.