Who We Are

The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) is the leading membership and representative body for construction plant-hire in the UK. Established for over 80 years, we now have circa 1,900 Members, ranging from owner operators with a single machine, right through to the largest companies in the industry, with hire fleets of thousands of machines. 

The Association employs permanent, experienced staff working at the CPA headquarters in London, close to other major construction federations and Government. The Association is governed by a Council of Members, who represent plant-hire companies of all types and sizes throughout the country.

The UK plant-hire industry is the best established and most professional in the world, and is worth over £5 billion to the UK economy. Together, CPA Members supply at least 85% of hired plant to the construction industry.

What We Do

The CPA is the UK's principal point of contact for all issues relating to use of construction plant. CPA works with government departments and agencies, regional and local authorities, construction clients and contractors, other trade associations, leadership and skills bodies, third-sector organisations etc. through its extensive contacts, and with access to a range of industry experts and experience,

CPA can help with resolution of issues including: Employee health and safety; Machinery standards and emissions control; Public safety and road transport; Skills and employment and other issues affecting the plant world.

CPA publishes a wide range of guidance documents and other useful material. These are distributed widely throughout the construction industry and many are available for immediate free download from the website.

What the CPA does for its Members

CPA is committed to providing Members with first class support services to help them run their business. The CPA Model Conditions for plant-hire agreements are fair to both hire company and customer; they clarify each party’s responsibilities and are well respected within the industry. Members have access to comprehensive advice on business problems as well as links to insurance, financial and other support services. All Members are kept up to date with email alerts and through the quarterly CPA Bulletin.

CPA Annual Review 2023

(PDF, 4.48 MB)

CPA A-Z Keyword Contact Index

(PDF, 870 KB)

A handy guide to help identify which member of the CPA team to contact with a specific query

Working in UK Construction

CPA maintains close links with other bodies in the construction and allied industries, as well as more widely with utilities and public services organisations. Issues and solutions are shared through regular liaison and meetings with trade bodies and employees’ organisations in construction.

Health, Safety, Welfare & Environmental

CPA places a great importance on health, safety, welfare and environmental matters for both employers, employees and technical issues, working closely with with Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and industry leadership bodies on both policy and implementation matters. The association has been instrumental in developing and publishing a large range of safety-related publications on behalf of industry and is a champion for low emmision industry strategies. HSE specialists are an integral part of the work of all CPA’s Special Interest Groups and Plant Safety Groups.

Legal & Insurance Services

CPA staff are able to provide advice and guidance on a range of legal matters relating to the plant sector, including leading on plant theft initiatives.

Skills & Training

CPA works closely with Government and industry training and skills bodies, including the Construction Leadership Council, CITB, awarding organisations, card schemes and training providers in construction. CPA has been instrumental in the development of National Occupational Standards, training and apprenticeship standards, qualifications and competence developments and has hosted many skills forums and conferences over the years. CPA is a founder member of the Plant Sector Representative Organisation (PSRO) in partnership with other construction federations.

CPA organises the annual Stars of the Future award scheme to recognise and reward outstanding apprentices and trainees in the sector.

Special Interest Groups

To provide focus points within its diverse membership, CPA supports a number of Special Interest Groups, which tackle issues within specialist sectors. These include:

  • Tower Crane Interest Group (TCIG)
  • Crane Interest Group for mobile and crawler cranes (CIG)
  • Construction Hoist Interest Group (CHIG)
  • Road Sweepers Interest Group (RSIG)
  • British Concrete Pumping Group (BCPG)
  • Shoring Technology Interest Group (STIG)
  • Suction and Vacuum Excavator Interest Group (SAVE)

These groups frame standards and practices relevant to that sector. They are also contact points for external organisations who need access to a concentrated pool of industry expertise.

Rail Plant Association (RPA)

The Rail Plant Association (RPA) is part of CPA, focusing on the special needs of companies hiring equipment for railway maintenance.

Plant Safety Group - Construction Industry

CPA chairs the Construction Industry's Plant Safety Group, which draws together expertise from all parts of the construction industry to bring about a continuous reduction in injuries and ill-health caused through the operation of construction plant.