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Our guide to NPORS v CPCS – Which route is best for you?

CPCS has historically been the leading scheme for plant qualifications and is the most recognised plant operator qualification in the UK. In 2014, NPORS became a UKCG “accepted record scheme”, meaning that it is recognised as being equivalent to CPCS.

Essentially, there isn’t a lot of difference between CPCS & NPORS. The result and learning outcomes are similar, as are the ways to achieve the cards. Both schemes have pros and cons and choosing one will come down to your preferred learning style, budget and what sort of sites and companies you work with.


The main plus for CPCS is that it is so widely recognised and nearly every site in the UK will accept CPCS as a form of accredited training on plant. This should be taken into consideration when thinking about the type of work you will be doing in the future. One of the downsides of CPCS is that it can be more expensive and take longer to achieve the accreditation you want.


The major plus for NPORS is that it is a cost effective alternative to CPCS. The lower costs are not associated with lower quality – NPORS still ensures compliance with strict industry standards in the exact same way that CPCS does. The main objective of NPORS is to allow a flexible approach to meet the needs or the employer and to help and assist in providing  an adequately trained workforce.

NPORS also offers more flexible learning, training can be on-site or with your own machinery while CPCS is restricted to certified centres. An NPORS card is much more flexible than other schemes, giving you the ability to:

  • Include attachments – e.g Telescopic Handler – with Bucket Attachment
  • Restrict the card for Operational reasons – e.g 180 Excavator – restricted to front bucket use only
  • Restrict the card for Commercial reasons – e.g Restricted for use on certain company sites only

NPORS cards have become much more common in recent years and with the addition of the CSCS logo on their cards, most major build companies will accept the card as an alternative to CPCS.

What Next?

Mindset Training can help you achieve either CPCS or NPORS cards. We have a bespoke NPORS centre based just outside of Frome and we can also deliver NPORS training on-site for employers. View all our NPORS Courseshere.

For more information on how we can help with your CPCS qualifications – please contact us direct.

If you would like to discuss either scheme or need advice on which scheme is best suited to your needs, please do get in touch!