CPCS Compact Crane (A66)

This CPCS training course will teach you how to safely operate a compact crane, enabling you to become certified operator with a CPCS red card on successful completion of your course.

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    CPCS Compact Crane Training (A66)

    The compact crane (often called a spider or mini crane) is a useful piece of equipment that can be used in many industries such as construction, maintenance, entertainment, and events. It is designed to be small and easy to move, making it perfect for use in small or crowded areas. Additionally, its ability to lift heavy loads makes it an asset for any job that requires lifting or moving large objects.
    People who operate compact cranes need special training to do it safely. The CPCS A66 Compact Crane training course is designed for beginners and people who have some experience. By the end of the course, you'll be ready to take the CPCS tests and become a certified Compact Crane Operator.

    Knowledge and Skills covered during your Compact Crane training will include:

    • Health and safety regulations that apply to operating a compact crane
    • Safe operation techniques including hoisting, lowering, slewing, and luffing, and how to execute a range of different lifts
    • Site safety and load management
    • Maintenance including daily checks and inspection procedures
    • Communication with site personnel to ensure a safe and efficient working environment

    Course duration

    Foundation training courses are for beginners and those with some experience. These courses run over 4 days.
    If you are more experienced in operating compact cranes, we can offer a 2-day course. Please call a member of our team to book this course.

    Mandatory entry requirements

    • Hold the relevant CITB health, safety and environment test, passed no more than two years before the course start date
    • Good understanding of spoken and written English.

    If you have any questions about Compact Crane training, please contact a member of our team by phone, speak to us on the chat, or send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

    Course Content

    You will cover the following content on your CPCS Compact Crane training course:

    • The purpose of principle components, controls and terminology
    • Conforming with manufacturer requirements and relevant regulations and legislation
    • Undergoing pre-use plant checks and configuring the machine ready for travel
    • Manoeuvring the crane in confined spaces
    • Setting up rated capacity indicators or load moment indicators for lifting duties
    • Identifying the weights and centres of gravity of loads
    • Lifting various loads using the full radius and slewing or steering capabilities of the crane
    • Accurately placing loads, minimising the swinging of loads
    • Complying with signals and instructions
    • Understanding the procedures for lifting and towing


    You will take both a theory and practical assessment for your CPCS Compact Crane training course.
    You will take a theory assessment in the form of the CPCS verbal test. You need to achieve 80%, plus full marks on any mandatory questions to pass the standard set in the theory test.
    Your practical test will assess your operating ability through practical activities based on the core skills needed to operate the compact crane.

    Course Details

    What happens on a Compact Crane training course?

    Most CPCS courses will run in the following format:

    • Day 1 - mostly theory-based classroom training. This is to ensure that you are confident with the theory aspect before you go out and complete the practical training. Depending on how your theory learning goes, you may get practical training for some of the day on your first day.
    • Day 2 and 3 - usually putting your theory knowledge into practice by completing the practical exercises of your training.
    • On the final day of your course, you will complete your theory test preparation by completing mock exam questions, and then complete your actual assessment: the CPCS technical tests.

    What qualification will I get on the CPCS Compact Crane training course?

    • CPCS Trained Operator Card (red card) on passing the CPCS technical tests.
    • CITB National Construction College e-certificate, available on request from CITB.

    Once you have booked your (A66) Compact Crane training course :

    On receiving payment for your Compact Crane training course, an email with your ‘course joining instructions’ is sent to you.
    This document includes the following details:

    • Your chosen course start date and subsequent dates (this between 2 and 4 days)
    • Course start time at your chosen venue
    • Address of your chosen venue, including a map screenshot
    • Details of what to do if you need any special requirements to complete the course

    You need to bring photographic ID, such as a driving licence or passport with you.

    Lunch is not included, so please provide your own.

    Mandatory entry requirements

    • The relevant CITB health, safety and environment test, passed no more than two years before the course start date
    • Good understanding of spoken and written English.

    Special Considerations

    The delegate can have additional time for their theory test which is a verbal or taped verbal test. If a translator is required, this will incur additional costs and will need to be arranged in advance.

    If you have any questions or concerns regarding support during the course, please contact our team on 0800 0213 263.

    CPCS Cards

    Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS)

    The CPCS covers an extensive range of plant categories. The Construction Plant Competence Scheme uses practical and written assessments to ensure you are competent in your chosen category. These assessments are taken at the end of your training.

    1. Pass the relevant Health, Safety and Environment Test.
    2. Attend training days in your chosen category.
    3. At the end of your training, complete your category assessments (assessment fee's are included in your course price).
    4. Receive your Trained Operator (red) or Competent Operator (blue) card.

    What is the difference between the Red and Blue CPCS Card?

    You can start working within your chosen category once you have earned the Red (trained operator) card. The card confirms the core skills, knowledge and understanding required. However, a newly trained operator will still require full and close supervision until they deemed sufficiently experienced to without supervision. That is where the Blue CPCS card comes in.

    Red CPCS Card
    Each category on your red card will have it's own 2 year expiry date the card itself has no expiry. Your Red card is not renewable, this is to ensure progression towards your competent card (The Blue CPCS card). During the 2 years you will be expected to register and achieve a NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) or SVQ (Scottish Vocational Qualification) and upgrade to the Blue (competent operator) card.

    Blue CPCS Card
    To earn your Blue card you must meet the requirements of the Red card plus complete an NVQ or SVQ in your category.
    Your Blue card will last for 5 years, each category on the card will have the expiry of the card itself. You will have to renew your card within the 5 years.

    If you would like to read more about the application process for Red and Blue CPCS cards, read this 'How to get your CPCS Card' document from CPCS.


    This course may be eligible for 1 or more CITB grants. You can check the eligibility of the course on the CITB Grants and funding page.

    See our flowchart below to find routes to CPCS qualifications.

    CPCS qualification flow chart - Project Skills Solutions

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