Obtaining a 360 digger licence is an essential step for anyone looking to operate a 360-degree excavator in the UK. The process involves training, assessment, and certification, generally following guidelines from recognised bodies such as the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) or the National Plant Operators Registration Scheme (NPORS).
Steps to Acquire a 360 Digger Licence
The road to getting licensed involves several key stages, each serving to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to operate a 360 digger safely and proficiently.
- Eligibility Check
- Select a Training Provider
- Undergo Training
- Pass the Assessment
- Obtain Your Certification
- Additional Endorsements (Optional)
1. Eligibility Check
Before beginning the process, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. You must be at least 18 years old and should have a basic understanding of English to understand training material and safety instructions.
2. Select a Training Provider
Choose a training provider accredited by either CPCS or NPORS. The provider should offer comprehensive courses that align with your skill level—be it beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
3. Undergo Training
The training usually comprises both theoretical and practical components. The length of training can range from a few days to a few weeks, depending on your experience and the course you select.
4. Pass the Assessment
Upon completion of training, you will need to pass an assessment, which typically involves a written exam and a practical test. The assessment ensures that you have mastered the necessary skills to operate a 360 digger safely.
5. Obtain Your Certification
After successfully passing the assessment, you will receive a certificate and ID card from either the CPCS or NPORS, which serves as your licence to operate a 360 digger.
6. Additional Endorsements (Optional)
Some operators choose to obtain additional endorsements or certifications to improve their employability. For example, you might opt for a CPCS Blue Competence Card, which requires further on-site experience and assessment.
Choosing Between CPCS and NPORS
“The choice between CPCS and NPORS depends on your career goals, the type of construction sites you aim to work on, and employer preferences.”
- CPCS: Widely recognised and most often required for larger construction sites.
- NPORS: More flexible but may be less recognised by some employers.
As mentioned in a previous article, the cost for 360 digger training and certification can vary greatly, typically ranging from £800 to £1,500, depending on various factors such as location and course duration.
Is the Licence Time-Limited?
Yes, both CPCS and NPORS licences are time-limited. The CPCS Red Trained Operator Card is valid for two years and is non-renewable, after which you should aim for the Blue Competence Card. The NPORS Traditional Card is valid for five years and can be renewed.
Getting a 360 digger licence in the UK involves a series of steps, including training, assessment, and certification. While the process requires both time and financial investment, the return—in terms of skill development and employment opportunities—makes it worthwhile.