ITSSAR and OPERC have recently held several meetings to discuss how the two bodies can work closer together for the greater good and benefit of the mobile plant and equipment industry. During these meetings, the OPERC safetynet test was discussed in some detail and it has been agreed that ITSSAR will begin to use OPERC safetynet as part of a package of training and educational resources to be delivered by ITSSAR.

In July 2012 Paul Mackley, Gary Hobson and Carl Greaves successfully completed the invigilator session with Grahame Tobin from ITSSAR and have been registered as approved invigilators for the safetynet test.


The Off-highway Plant and Equipment Research Centre (OPERC) is renowned for being the leading international centre of excellence for plant and equipment management science and it is also one of the fastest growing professional trade bodies.

OPERC’s underpinning philosophy is to provide low cost, high quality products and services to members in order to ensure:

Improved health and safety throughout industry; Higher standards of training, education and competence development; Enhanced business processes leading to higher company profitability and performance; Dissemination of cutting edge technological innovation and industry best practice.

A number of the major construction companies in the UK are now members of OPERC.


The fundamental aim of OPERC-Safetynet is to measure knowledge retained once an operative has undertaken basic ‘plant or equipment’ training. OPERC-Safetynet is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The OPERC safetynet is seen as an alternative to the CSCS and CPCS cards and is evidence of candidates achieving a good level of Health and Safety and specific plant knowledge.

Upon successful completion of the operational test, candidates can then undertake the new S/NVQ mandatory questions test paper free of charge. Moreover, each individual unit can be taken at any time and again no charge is made. Having completed the S/NVQ process, automated reports are the generated to include in a candidate’s S/NVQ portfolio thus saving assessor time and expense but also allowing them to spend more time on training the candidate.

Any employee or manager can undertake this test and so you do not have to be a machinery operator.

The test represents an ideal measure of the trainee operator’s knowledge retained once having undertaken a basic course in plant and equipment operation. It can also be used to periodically measure the retained knowledge of experienced operators albeit at this present time, the test is only applicable to mono plant items. In the near future, the test will be expanded to cover operators with multiple categories of plant and equipment on their operator’s card.