As an Industry Training Board (ITB), CITB is asked by the Secretary of State to show that it has continued support from the construction industry every three years – this is knowns as Consensus.  With Consensus achieved, the Government can then authorise CITB to collect a construction levy from employers and invest it in the training that the industry needs.

What is consensus?

Before a Levy Order can be made, the Industrial Training Act 1982 requires CITB to carry out “reasonable” steps” to satisfy the Secretary of State that the Levy proposal is necessary to encourage adequate training in the industry.  To do this, CITB has to consult and gain the majority support of “likely Levy payers” (by number and value).

How do we get consensus?

The Industrial Training Levy (Reasonable Steps) Regulations 2008 (the Regulations) set out the “reasonable steps”:

  1. consultation with ‘prescribed organisations’ (organisations which represent likely levy payers); OR
  2. consultation with ‘prescribed organisations’ and all ‘unrepresented persons’ (likely levy payers not represented by a prescribed organisation); OR
  3. consultation with ‘prescribed organisations’ and sample all ‘unrepresented persons’; OR
  4. sample all ‘relevant persons’ (likely levy payers).


CITB consult with “prescribed organisations (known as consensus federations) and sample all “unrepresented persons”.

Every three years, CITB work with the industry-led Levy Working Party , and agree the levy options for the next consensus vote.  With proposals agreed, CITB consult widely with industry through a variety of channels to seek views on the proposals – typically CITB would host events, use the construction media to share the levy proposal, promote the proposals through and finally would attend regional and local membership events to present the proposals and seek feedback.

The results from consultation are analysed and shared with the Levy Working Party, who will propose to the CITB Board that a preferred proposal has been achieved and CITB should seek Consensus on the final Levy proposal.

How do i get my Consensus vote?

If you are a member of a consensus federation, they will take reasonable steps to seek the views of their Levy paying members.

If you are not a member of a consensus federation but are likely to pay the CITB Levy there is a good chance you will be contacted by an independent market research agency who will ask employers some simple questions.  The market research agency will use the primary contacts details for employers taken from the last assessed Levy Return and will ask to speak to the most appropriate person in the business.

The independent Market Research Agency will try to speak to about 6,000 employers, who should reflect the industry and ask them if the proposals are necessary to encourage adequate training in the industry.

How is Consensus calculated?

A set of Consensus rules have been produced which will guide CITB and make sure that consistency of data and fairness of process is achieved when carrying out the Consensus calculation.

For the current Consensus period of 3rd July to 29th September 2017, the following rules apply:

  1. The 2016 Levy Return will be the basis for the calculation. This is the latest ‘Assessed’ Levy Return.
  2. Only those likely to be liable to pay Levy under the levy proposals are in scope of the calculation.
    1. This will include positive, non-standard, Estimated Levy Assessments – as they are ‘Likely to pay Levy’.
  3. Employers NOT ‘positively’ identified, by the employer, as being a member of a Prescribed Organisation (Consensus Federation) (or a member of a sub federation) will be included in the NON Consensus Federation list.
    1. This will apply to those employers categorised as ‘Don’t Know’ and ‘Unknown’.
  4. Establishments listed on the Levy Register will be treated as individual entities.
  5. If an employer is a member of multiple Prescribed Organisations (Consensus Federations) their Levy value and vote will split equally between the Prescribed Organisations they belong to.
  6. Sub federations will be included in the Parent Federation data where the parent federation is a Prescribed Organisation (Consensus Federation).
    1. Where a sub-federation is also a Prescribed Organisation their members will be counted in the sub-federation.

What is the role of the Consensus Federations?

They will take reasonable steps to seek the views of the Levy payers they represent before they form their own view on the Levy proposal.

The process Consensus Federations take to get the views of their members is for each Federation to decide and may be different from Federation to Federation and is not something that CITB should be involved in.

Web design by S8080