Course aims

The aim of the course is to give foundation training and assessment towards the achievement of a Construction Plant Competence Scheme Trained Operator Card.

This is the qualification you will need to be allowed to work on 90% of Major Contractor Sites.

The role of an Appointed Person

The Appointed Person is responsible for ensuring that a lifting operation is properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner.

Who should attend this course?

Supervisors and managers with a responsibility for lifting operations who have sufficient experience of the use of cranes to meet the requirements specified in British Standard 7121 Safe Use of Cranes.

Course content

  • Legislation ‐ LOLER, PUWER, HASAWA.
  • Theory test tuition.
  • Codes of practice ‐ BS7121 part 1 and BS712 part 3.
  • Roles and responsibilities of personnel involved with lifting operations.
  • Crane appreciation ‐ crane types, capabilities and limitations.
  • Duty charts.
  • Mode factors for accessories.
  • Down rating of accessories.
  • Sling angles
  • Communications.
  • Crane terminology.
  • Site access and egress.
  • Documentation and certification for lifting equipment and lifting accessories.
  • Crane stability/ground conditions.
  • Rated Capacity Indicators (RCI’s) and Safe Working Loads (SWL).
  • Selection of lifting accessories.
  • Types of accessories and use.
  • Planning a lifting operation.
  • Writing a risk assessment.
  • Writing a method statement.
  • Drawing to scale.


At the end of the course and with experience an Appointed Person will be able to:

  • Explain the function and use off, and use information provided by RCIs and anti-collision systems.
  • Select the correct crane for specific specified lifts and utilise accessories inc: swingaways, stingers, powered boom extensions etc. extra ballast plus duties charts, range diagrams and specification sheets.
  • List different types of lifting accessories and explain typical applications.
  • Identify and explain relevant information relating to different types of lifting accessories i.e. markings, certificates and thorough examination reports, etc.
  • Calculate sling sizes and angles.
  • Explain slinging techniques for given loads including balanced, unbalanced and loose.
  • Specify appropriate lifting accessories for given types of loads.
  • Identify weights and centres of gravity for different types of loads.
  • Describe and demonstrate different types of communication methods for lifting purposes.
  • State the need to complete a reflective report following a typical lifting operation.
  • Identify potential proximity and underground hazards from given plans and drawings.
  • Identify and plan an area, with exclusion zones for different, given lifting operations incorporating safe access/egress routes for before, during and after the lift.
  • State requirements that allow safe site access and egress for typical lifting equipment.
  • Construct a safe system of work by constructing risk assessments, method statements and lift plans using given information.
  • Prepare and explain pre-prepared lift plan information to others involved in a lifting operation i.e. crane supervisor, crane operator, slinger signaller etc.
  • Specify positioning of a crane, load and other limiting factors in relation to fixed objects.
  • Evaluate and explain how environmental factors and the surrounding area, external to the lift zone, can affect the planned lifting operation.

Course duration

The course duration is 4 days.

Training methods

Classroom based tutorials.

CPCS technical tests

At the end of your course you are required to take the CPCS technical tests.  The CPCS test consists of a Theory and Practical Test.  Both Theory and Practical tests for this category are written

What qualification do I get?

The CPCS Red Trained Operator Card which is valid for 2 years.

What can I do next?

Progress to the CPCS Blue Competent Operator Card which is obtained by demonstrating knowledge and competence through completion of a Level 5/6 NVQ Diploma in Controlling Lifting Operations – Planning Lifts


A valid CSCS Health, Safety and Environment Managers and Professional (MAP) test must be held (the test is considered valid if it is was taken within 2 years of the CPCS technical test(s) date). If your test is invalid you will be required to sit the Health, Safety and Environment Managers and Professional (MAP) test prior to attending the course. You can book your test by visiting the CSCS website.

Please note: The date on your CSCS card (if applicable) and your actual test date can differ greatly, therefore it is important that you do not make the common mistake of estimating your actual test date by your CSCS card expiry date. If you are unsure of your CSCS status, please contact us and we will be able to check this for.

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