TOPIC – Training on Plant in Construction TOPIC is a training forum administered by the CPA to promote and develop training within the plant sector. The forum looks at the provision of training and other related issues that are specifically relevant to the plant sector.

TOPIC has three main aims:

  • to increase the number of new recruits to the industry,
  • to increase the skill levels of the existing workforce,
  • to increase the sector’s effectiveness in working with awarding organisations and certificating bodies

The membership of the forum is made up of CPA member representatives, including those from the various Special Interest Groups within CPA and currently chaired by Bob Harper, Head of Training, Sunbelt Rentals. TOPIC have initiated and developed a number of products such as a raft of apprenticeships at Levels 2 and 3, including hire desk operations, plant maintenance, plant operations etc. The Group delivers Careers Guidance events to schools and other organisations giving information which is specific to the plant sector. 

The forum is also used as an additional vehicle to pass on information from CITB and awarding organisations to CPA and its members and includes subjects ranging from the provision of training grants in plant training, to NVQ’s and the CPCS 'card-scheme' The CPA further delivers regular updates to the forum members on the activities of the Construction Industry Plant Safety Group,in producing safe use guidance.

TOPIC are also the driving force behind the very succesful 'Stars of the Future' awards programme where the achievements and successes of trainees and apprentices within the plant sector are recognised through an annual awards ceremony.

TOPIC further plan to widen the scope for the 2022 period onwards. The plant sector plays a vital part in the construction industry and with the ever increasing technological advances incorporated in today’s plant and machinery, there is a constant need to improve training provision to reflect and meet the needs of the construction industry plant sector and TOPIC have already been involved in a co-ordinating role with the standards-based apprenticeships.


If you are of a like mind and wish to participate in the activities or if you have any training related issues which you think TOPIC should address, 

Please contact Rob Squires on 0207 796 3366 or at