Skip to content
Home » How do I get my tower crane license?

How do I get my tower crane license?

Obtaining a tower crane license in the UK involves a comprehensive process designed to ensure that operators have the necessary skills, knowledge, and competence. In this article, we will explore the steps to get your tower crane license, detailing each phase for a clearer understanding.

Step 1: Meet Basic Requirements

Firstly, it’s vital to ensure that you meet the basic requirements. You must be at least 18 years old, have a good level of fitness, and a basic understanding of English, maths and science.

Medical Examination

Prospective crane operators must also pass a medical examination to ensure they are fit to work on a tower crane. This examination includes various health checks such as vision, hearing, and physical fitness.

Step 2: Complete the Relevant Training

Completion of a relevant training course is crucial for gaining the necessary skills and knowledge. Many organisations across the UK offer CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) accredited courses for aspiring tower crane operators.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
– Nelson Mandela

Choose a CPCS Training Provider

Choose a CPCS training provider and complete the training, which typically includes both theoretical and practical components to ensure a comprehensive learning experience.

  • Theoretical knowledge
  • Practical skills training
  • Health and safety training

Step 3: Pass the Theory and Practical Tests

After completing the training, candidates must pass both a theory and practical test to demonstrate their understanding and skills.

Test TypeDescription
Theory TestCovers safety, operation, and emergency procedures.
Practical TestDemonstrate competence in operating a tower crane.

Step 4: Apply for a Trained Operator Card

Upon successful completion of both tests, you can apply for a Red Trained Operator Card from CPCS. This card is valid for two years and serves as proof of your competence as a crane operator.

Compile Necessary Documentation

Compile all necessary documentation, including your test certificates and medical examination results, and submit them along with your application.

Step 5: Gain Experience and Upgrade to a Competent Operator Card

The final step involves gaining experience working as a tower crane operator. After two years, you can upgrade your Red Trained Operator Card to a Blue Competent Operator Card by demonstrating your continued competence and completing an NVQ in Plant Operations.

Cost of Getting a Crane License in the UK

Understanding the financial investment is crucial when planning to obtain a tower crane license. The costs can vary based on location, training providers, and additional fees.

Training Course Fees

Training courses are a significant part of the cost. A CPCS tower crane training course can range from £1,500 to £3,000, depending on the training centre and the course’s length and complexity.

Examination Fees

Examination fees for both theory and practical tests typically cost around £200 to £300.

Card Application Fees

Application fees for the Red Trained Operator Card and the Blue Competent Operator Card cost around £25 to £30 each.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Total Cost

In total, expect to invest approximately £1,725 to £3,330 to obtain a tower crane license in the UK, not including potential additional expenses like travel, accommodation, and study materials.

Financial Assistance

Some organisations and employers might offer financial assistance or sponsorship to help cover these costs, so be sure to explore all available options.

Ensuring you are financially prepared for this investment is crucial for a smooth and successful licensing process, ultimately leading to a rewarding career as a tower crane operator.


In summary, getting a tower crane license in the UK is a systematic and thorough process, ensuring that operators are well-equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to operate a tower crane safely and efficiently. Commitment, dedication, and continuous learning are crucial for success in this field.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x