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Frequently Asked Questions about the CPA


Q) What is a Trade Association?
Q) What is the CPA?
Q) What do you do?
Q) Is it expensive to join the CPA?


Details of Services Offered





Q) What is a Trade Association?


A) Trade Associations are formed from a Membership of Companies operating in a particular area of industry and exist for their benefit. They promote common interests and improvements in quality, health, safety, environmental and technical standards. This can be through various appropriate means: British Standards, Codes of Practice, Guidelines, Information Notes, and regular briefing notes on Technical issues and Regulatory developments.


The sharing of good practices can be facilitated through Seminars, Workshops, and Meetings, which can be held at National and Regional levels to enable networking and the exchange of information and ideas to further, for example Health and Safety.


Safety is of prime importance to any industry and we publicise and circulate safety messages to all of the Membership on a regular basis.


An Association can provide a forum for discussion of non-competitive information; resolve industry wide issues, including discussions and consultations with Regulatory Bodies, and act as a research centre.


Trade Associations are non-profit making and the fees are intended to cover the necessary expenses of operation.


Membership of a reputable Trade Association is an asset to a business in that it defines an area in which that Company operates and an amount of common knowledge, in addition to the direct benefits it receives by way of services and documentation.


Q) What is the CPA?


A) The CPA is the Construction Plant-hire Association, which represents the interests of over 1,600 plant hire firms in the UK . The CPA has been in existence since 1941.


Q) What do you do?


A) We offer a variety of services that assist our Members with their day-to-day issues, including advice on legal matters, contractual matters, employment matters and Health and Safety and Training.


In addition, our Members can benefit from competitive insurance premiums obtained through the CPA recommended insurance brokers.


We tackle new legislation that may have a detrimental affect on our Members.


Q) Is it expensive to join the CPA?


A) No. The CPA's subscription fees are based on the applicant's company turnover - Please here for further information on the latest subscritption rates.



Details of Services Offered


1) Model Conditions


Q) What are they?


A) These have become the standard hire conditions within the plant-hire industry, which outline the obligations of both the Owner of the Plant and the Hirer (Customer). These are used for business-to-business activity.


Q) How do I get a copy?


A) Only Members can obtain copies from the CPA website or by contacting the CPA Head Office.


2) Other Conditions


Q) What other conditions do you provide?


A) We have two sets of Consumer Conditions: for Plant supplied with an Operator and for Plant supplied without an Operator. These conditions are to be used when dealing with the general public


In addition, we have the Contract Lifting Services Conditions, which can be used for Crane Contract Lifts and Machinery Installation work.


3) Health & Safety


Tackling Legislation

Our Trade Association is heavily involved at all stages of consultation as the European Commission, the Health and Safety Executive (and other government departments) produce proposals for the revision of Health and Safety legislation. We are constantly in touch with Members as we advise and discuss with them their health and safety problems on a day-to-day basis. We, therefore, have a unique knowledge of these problems, which enables us to ensure that new legislation and guidance does not impair the smooth operation of plant hire businesses or impose unnecessary bureaucracy.


Q) What advice do I receive?


A) Our advice concentrates on Health and Safety issues that are relevant to plant hire companies. We publish our own safety guidance and Best Practice Guides for the use of supervisors and managers, as well as safety instructions aimed at the operators of plant, small equipment and tools. These publications aim to "fill the gaps" and add practical detail to guidance published by the HSE and other government departments.


Q) Do you offer Risk Assessments/Method Statements?


A) Most plant is hired out under the CPA Model Conditions for the Hiring of Plant. The operator of the plant is working under the direction of the Hirer (Customer) and is deemed to be the Hirer's (Customer's) servant during the working period. It is therefore the responsibility of the customer to prepare a Risk Assessment on each of their sites and produce the Method Statement if one is required. However, plant hire companies are obliged to carry out risk assessment in their own depots, workshops and offices. We publish guidance that gives general advice on how to carry out this Risk Assessment, which is based on HSE guidance. It is impossible to produce a generic Risk Assessment for all types of plant used in all types of work situations. However, we have published detailed advice for carrying out Risk Assessments on specific operations such as Contract Lifting Operations with cranes and the installation of construction hoists and shoring equipment.


Safety Guidance

We publish safety guidance on specific topics. These are leaflets or short documents of a few pages that are provided free to members and downloadable from the publications webpage or under each Special Interest Group pages.


Good and Best Practice Guides

We publish an ever-increasing list of best practice guides and codes of practice. These are booklets giving detailed and practical guidance. These cover specific types of plant and circumstances, for example:

  • Inspection, thorough examination and maintenance of cranes.
  • Inspection, thorough examination and maintenance of construction hoists.
  • Inspection, thorough examination and maintenance of mobile elevating work platforms.
  • Code of practice for the safe use of concrete pumps.
  • Installation, use, maintenance, inspection, examination and testing of transport platforms.
  • Risk assessment and method statement for a contract lift.

This is list is being continuously extended as members request further publications to support recent changes in legislation.



4) Training


Our Trade Association works closely with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) in order to establish training for plant operators, plant mechanics, plant supervisors and plant managers. We work with them to produce training and assessment standards for most employees within the plant hire industry. The CPA does not carry out training itself.


Q) What advice do I receive?


A) We can advise on all matters associated with training, as well as CITB levy and grants. We also understand the workings of the CITB and can put you in touch with the right people to deal with your specific issues or problems.



5) Legal


Q) What advice do I receive?


A) We offer advice on Employment Law, Contract Law, Road Transport Law, Commercial Litigation and some aspects of Tax and PAYE.


Q) If something untoward occurred, could you represent me?


A) We assist the Members as much as we can, but we cannot represent you in a Court of Law, as we are not solicitors or barristers. We would be able to recommend specialist solicitors familiar with the Industry but this would be at your expense.


Q) What else do you do?


A) We look at legislation that could affect how a Member operates.


Q) Can you assist with compiling Contracts of Employment?


A) We have created an Employment Reference Document (ERD), which details a number of 'stand alone' clauses, which can be included in your Contracts of Employment.



6) Insurance Brokers


Q) Do you sell insurance?


A) No. We work closely with a number of brokers who are familiar with the construction plant-hire industry and the CPA's Model Conditions. Please go to the Insurance Brokers.


Q) Will joining affect my premiums?


A) Members who have joined the CPA have generally found a reduction in their annual insurance premiums, as the insurance companies prefer companies who hire out under the CPA Model Conditions.


7) Advertising


Q) Can I advertise in the Bulletin?


A) You can advertise in the CPA Bulletin, which is published on a quarterly basis. If you wish to advertise in it, then please contact Peter Knott on 07595 845972.



8) CPA Free Legal and Financial Helplines


Q) What advice can I get?


A) The CPA offers a free helpline to Members.

The Legal Helpline specialises in Employment and Personnel, Payroll, PAYE, VAT, Tax and Commercial Legal Matters (NOT the Model Conditions or other CPA Conditions).


Q) When can I call?


A) The legal helpline is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at weekends, but not Bank / Public Holidays.



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