How To Apply For An NPORS Card

Take a look below at some information on NPORS cards and the steps you need to follow to apply for your card.

What is an NPORS card?

An NPORS Operator Card proves an individual has completed training and assessments so they can operate certain plant machinery competently and safely.

How long does an NPORS card last?

If you go down the Traditional Card route, you can choose if you want it to last for three or five years. If you want an NPORS CSCS Card; the Red Card is valid for 2 years and if you complete your NVQ within this time then you will get the Blue Card which is valid for 5 years.

What is the Traditional NPORS Card?

NPORS Traditional CardThe Traditional Card is available to those you don’t require the CSCS logo on their card. You also don’t need to complete an NVQ to have this card.

What is the Red Trained Operator Card?

Red Trained Operator CardThe Red Trained Operator Card shows that the operator has a level of knowledge relevant to the industry standards.

This card is non-renewable and you must complete an NVQ relevant to your category in the 2 years that this card is valid.

What is the Blue Competent Operator Card?

Blue Competent Operator CardThe Blue Competent Operator Card is for plant machine operators who have completed the relevant qualifications to their category.

Once you gain this card, NPORS will also provide you will a logbook. You must record your workplace evidence in this and it has to be completed before renewing your card after 5 years.

How To Apply For An NPORS Card


  1. Firstly, you will need to complete an NPORS course. Make sure that the category you choose is relevant to you.
  2. If you don’t hold an NVQ for the category that is relevant to you, the body will issue you with a Red Trained Operator Card which is valid for 2 years.
  3. To obtain the Blue Competent Operator Card you must complete the relevant Plant Operations NVQ to you. The Blue Card is valid for 5 years.
  4. NPORS will then issue you with an operator logbook. You must complete this before renewing your Blue Card.

Alternatively, you can also apply for the Traditional Card in which is valid for 3 or 5 years.

Pro’s and Con’s of the Traditional and Red/Blue Card Process 

  • The Red/Blue Cards are CSCS approved whereas the Traditional Card isn’t.
  • The Red/Blue Cards are more widely recognised in the industry and are a favourable qualification for a lot of sites.
  • NPORS require the delegate to complete an NVQ for the Red/Blue Card scheme.
    Pro – This card scheme shows that the delegate is completing ongoing competence development.
    Con – Some delegates may see the NVQ as an inconvenience as they will have to pay more money on training and spend more time out of work.
  • Delegates must complete the CITB Health, Safety & Environmental touch screen test as a prerequisite to applying for the Red Card. Delegates won’t have to do this for the Traditional route. They may also see this as a pro and a con.
    Pro – The process is showing that the delegate is knowledgeable.
    Con – Delegates will have to go through another step of training to obtain the card.

The Benefits of Choosing NPORS

The National Plant Operations Registration Scheme is becoming one of the most recognised accredited training schemes in the UK. Take a look at the benefits of choosing NPORS here.

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