If you are looking to work as a site manager, the SMSTS course is seen as a basic and mandatory qualification. The course runs over 5 days and gives you a deeper understanding of legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act and current Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations.

The course provides intensive training in carrying out risk assessments or compiling method statements and also focuses on specific work practices such as operating from height and carrying out demolition work among other activities.

Must have books before taking a test!

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Construction Health & Safety Awareness 2020

This is a must have book if you want to pass CSCS or H&S tests. Great source of knowledge and unique approach to construction industry. Highly recommended by others.

Construction Skills Health & Safety Test: All the Questions & Answers

If you want to pass CSCS H&S tests this book is for you! You will find 3 sections in this book: Core Test questions, specialist test questions and HVACR questions. Be on the safe side and study this book before taking a test. Highly recommended.

Can I Get a CSCS Card If I Complete This Course?

While it is an essential qualification for site managers, one thing that the SMSTS course does not do is allow you to get a CSCS card. Your SMSTS certification, however, can be added to your CSCS card to demonstrate your experience and qualifications.

What is a CSCS Card?

If you want to work on many construction sites in the UK nowadays you will need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. These come in various types depending on what area you work in and your level of qualification or expertise.

For example, there is a CSCS card for skilled site workers such as plumbers, carpenters and bricklayers, ones for technical staff, managers and supervisors and other cards for labourers, trainees or apprentices.

It’s not mandatory for a construction business to ask for a CSCS card but many now do so. For them, it ensures the person they are hiring is trained to do the job.

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How Do I Get a CSCS Card?

For each card, you need a specific qualification depending on what you are doing onsite. If you are working as a general labourer, for example, you will need to undertake, as a minimum, the Level 1 Health and Safety Awareness Course (CSCS).

This is usually a one day course that covers issues such as health and safety in the workplace, awareness of typical hazards in construction and has units on operating at height and occupational health.

For many other construction site jobs, you will require further qualifications, most notably NVQs that relate to the area you work in.

For example, a CSCS gold card is aimed at skilled workers or supervisors who have a craft level NVQ or NVQ level 3 respectively. Courses for these can vary but usually last between 8 and 12 weeks.

What is an SMSTS Certificate?

Separate from the CSCS card is the SMSTS certificate. It’s aimed at site managers, supervisors and agents and develops skills to implement health and safety, welfare and environmental practices in line with current legislation. This is a CITB accredited course that is approved by BuildUK and accepted by most construction businesses across the UK.

It normally involves taking a 5-day course at the end of which candidates are awarded a certificate. This is valid for 5 years. Once this time is up, the individual will need to renew by taking a refresher course.