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Plant standards and grants

Plant standards update: The most recent plant standards update can be found on our news page

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During October and November 2021, we carried out a consultation exercise with industry in order to gain views on what the new Plant Short Duration Training Standards and Grants should look like.

The aim of the review was to simplify employer access to plant grants whilst maintaining high standards of training and testing in this safety critical area. We worked closely with industry including employers and federations throughout this process, drawing on their knowledge and expertise.

We had 246 responses to the survey, link to the consultation which is now closed.

There were a number of key themes which came out of the consultation, including:

  • New plant grants should be simple for employers to understand and access
  • Training and assessment should be combined in relation to CITB standards and grants
  • CITB standards should include minimum trainer and assessor requirements

A full analysis of the feedback has been carried out. Using this evidence, in conjunction with further discussions with industry representatives, we are creating eight new plant standards for the most frequently accessed plant training and made changes to the grant scheme for these new standards.

What is changing?

The changes will start being introduced in Spring 2023. The new standards will ensure safe, consistent and high-quality plant operations throughout England, Scotland and Wales. 

The first phase of the changes will see new standards introduced for the following:

  • Excavator 360, above 10 tonnes (tracked)
  • Forward tipping dumper (wheeled)
  • Rear tipping dumper/ dump truck: articulated chassis (all sizes)
  • Ride on Roller
  • Telescopic handler: all sizes excluding 360 slew
  • Industrial forklift
  • Plant and Vehicle Marshaller
  • Slinger, Signaller: all types, all duties


Alongside the new standards, the grant rates for plant training and tests will also be changed and improved.

Currently, three smaller grants are available for practical test, theory test and short course training, which employers can claim in different ways.

Under the new changes a larger single grant will be available for all CITB registered employers. To claim grant, employers will only need to give their CITB registration number to the Approved Training Organisation (ATOs) delivering the training and testing.

By making these changes we aim to make claiming grant for plant training and testing simpler and straight forward for employers.

Training related to the new standards from Spring 2023 will only be grant eligible if it meets the following criteria:

  • Is delivered by one of CITB’s Approved Training Organisations (ATO)
  • Is quality assured by the provider, the card scheme and CITB
  • Leads to a card carrying the CSCS logo

Expected grant rates

For those who require some training before taking a test, CITB are introducing an “experienced” plant grant rate. In order to be eligible for the grant, experienced training will have to cover all elements covered in the new training standard and is expected to be 1-2 days in length for many types of plant.

A separate, higher “novice” grant rate will be available for employers who are putting staff through plant training, who have never had experience in the type of machinery they are being trained in. This is to help respond to the industry’s need for more people to become highly skilled and competent plant operators.

Current grant rates and the expected grant rates for the eight new standards are detailed below:

Tier 1

  • Current training rate: £120
  • Current CPCS testing rate: £250
  • Maximum rate claimed: £370
  • Proposed Novice Rate: £440
  • Proposed Experienced Rate: £370

Tier 2

  • Current training rate: £120
  • Current CPCS testing rate: £300
  • Maximum rate claimed: £420
  • Proposed Novice Rate: £500
  • Proposed Experienced Rate: £420

Tier 3

  • Current training rate: £120
  • Current CPCS testing rate: £470
  • Maximum rate claimed: £590
  • Proposed Novice Rate: £700
  • Proposed Experienced Rate: £590

When will the changes take place?

The changes to the first eight plant standards will take place in Spring 2023. Changes to the remaining plant standards will follow.

The work of writing the other new plant training standards is continuing. If you might be interested in joining an industry working group which is helping to develop the new plant training standards, please email standards.qualifications@citb.co.uk for further details about what is involved and how to sign up.

I am a plant training provider, what are the next steps?

Training providers should contact their card schemes, who we are working closely with us to roll out the new plant standards. They will be advising their training providers on the steps they need to take to continue to deliver grant eligible training.

If you are a training provider that already provides plant training on behalf of a CSCS partner card scheme, but you are not an Approved Training Provider, you can sign up to become an ATO by visiting our How to become an ATO webpage.

I am an employer, what happens next?

From Spring 2023, any training your employees complete under the new plant standards must be completed by an ATO and lead to a CSCS card to be eligible for grant.

The way you claim grant will also be changing. Over the coming months we will share more information and additional resources to help guide you through the new process.

Any other plant training that is separate from the new standards will remain eligible for grant and you will claim the grant in the same way you currently claim it.