Civil Engineering and Construction Academy

Our Courses Meet the Team Skills Pyramid Uniform & PPE More Info

Firstly, we would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the Civil Engineering and Construction department here at Bicton College. We hope you are feeling ready and excited to start your new journey towards a career in industry!

Bicton College is a leading land-based college set within an area of outstanding natural beauty within Devon. The grounds comprise of excellent training facilities, open fields with plenty of space to operate our machinery as well as wet-trade training areas where you can hone your hand tool skills.

All of the courses we offer are geared and tailored towards preparing you for industry and getting you ready for the world of employment. The certificate gained after your time with us is your gateway to gaining your full professional operators’ license. Once complete and the NPORS test has been passed this is your passport to a career in the construction industry and recognition of your professional operating skills.

You will have the opportunity to carry out a number of construction tasks using machinery ranging from our 1.8 tonne mini excavators up to the 13-tonne excavator, and if that’s not enough you will also receive up to date industry training using our 6-tonne forward tipping dumper, construction tractor and telescopic handlers. At the end of the course you will have been assessed on 4 machines to gain your level 2 qualification and given the opportunity to take your NPORS tests should you wish. For level 1 we cover a range of topics relating to construction and undertake practical projects here on the grounds; using hand tools, power tools and the construction machinery.

What Will You Learn?

Level 1

  • Health, Safety and Welfare within construction
  • Environmental Sustainability within construction
  • Employability Skills
  • Introduction to Construction careers

Level 2

  • Training will be delivered on a range of construction machinery (above and below 10 tonne excavator, forward tipping dumper, telescopic handler, construction tractor and roller)
  • The ins and outs of all of these machines and how they work
  • Health and Safety within the industry

Entry Requirements

Level 1

  • Entry level 3 function skills or grade 1 (and above) GCSE English and Maths

Level 2

  • Level 2 functional skills or grade 3 (and above) GCSE English and Maths
  • Work experience in relevant industry


Level 1

  • Once you complete the level 1 course with us, the natural progression route is to go onto our level 2, where you will develop on the skills you learned and enhance them, aiming toward your NPORS operator ticket

Level 2

  • After completing our level 2 course, learners will be given the opportunity to take their NPORS operator ticket which they can use to go into employment on site as a professional operator
  • There is also the opportunity to progress onto our groundworker apprenticeship course, where you can learn on-site under the directive of an employer

Meet the Team!

Scott Lawson, BSc (Hons)

Scott Lawson, BSc (Hons)

Curriculum Area Manager

Scott served 12 years within the Royal Marines specialising in Surveillance and Reconnaissance. He has also worked extensively within the Security Sector and as a Health & Safety and First Aid Instructor. Scott has served all over the world from Humanitarian Aid missions to multiple operational tours of Afghanistan. Qualified in Site Safety & NRSWA. Having moved into the education sector in 2013 he has developed the Civil Engineering and Construction Academy and takes great pride in developing mental and physical resilience, industry connections, career led training and has high expectations of learner achievement, appearance and values.

Stephen Boden

Stephen Boden

Study Programme Manager

Steve started his career as a mechanical engineer within the electricity industry, specialising in plant mechanical, handling, crane operation and access equipment. After this he then went on to delivering training in operation and maintenance of heavy plant and equipment specialising in heavy plant and mechanical handling equipment. During this time, he was also involved in the development of using construction equipment for heavy construction of high voltage electricity supply and the development of safe excavation systems. Steve also during this time owned a small construction company which he is still a partner of to this date.

Ben Eastman

Ben Eastman

Lecturer and Instructor

Ben is an experienced heavy plant/remote crane operator, in 2004 he became a HIAB lorry driver and worked as a gas mains layer for Wales and West utilities, using Excavators, Dumpers and Telehandlers for major gas works. This then really sparked his interest in lorry-based crane work, and worked for a number of crane operators throughout Devon. Wanting to give something back he decided to become an instructor at Bicton College. Since being at Bicton, he has gained even more machine tickets, he also has a full street works qualification and has recently completed his IOSH managing safety, health and safety qualification.

Charles Simpson

Charles Simpson

Lecturer and Instructor

Charles’s first employment in industry was 2018 where he started his first construction job as a labourer for a general builder, this is where he developed a passion for construction and then went on to complete an apprenticeship as a Bricklayer. After this he worked for a groundworks firm where he built on the skills learned as well as operating machinery, learning an array of industry practices. Since this he has gained multiple machine tickets, his managing safety qualifications and holds full street works operative tickets. He has worked hard to develop strong industry links and connections which he can use for the learners as potential future job and employment prospects.

Construction Skills Level 1 Skills Pyramid 2023-24

Plant Operations Level 2 Skills Pyramid 2023-24

Uniform & PPE


White safety hard hat

Yellow high-vis vest

Work trousers

Steel toe-cap boots

Recommended (not mandatory)


Eye protection

Ear protection

Steel toe-cap wellingtons

High-vis waterproofs

Uniform Supplier Information

Phone:  01392 444303


Please note, without the mandatory PPE, access to the construction site will not be granted.

On your results day, the team will be phoning out to you to discuss your grades and hopefully offer you your final placement on the course. If you didn’t get the grades you were after the team will be more than happy to go through other options for you and set you on another path!

“We wish you all the very best of luck!”

You MUST bring proof of your GCSE results, One form of identification and your National Insurance number with you on your first week of enrolment.

College Reception – 01395 562300

Accommodation – 01395 562320

Transport & Funding – 01395562393/01395562350

Devon County Council Transport Office : 0845 155 1019

Absence Line – 01395 562351