Taking the test

The Health, safety and environment (HS&E) test is broken down into behavioural case studies, knowledge questions and specialist questions (if applicable)

construction workers

You will have 45 minutes to answer 50 multiple-choice questions once the test starts, which include: 

  • 12 behavioural case study questions
  • 38 knowledge questions (including six specialist questions for the Specialist and Managers and Professionals test) 

These are computer based tests and all you need to do is click on the relevant answers by touching the screen or using a mouse. 

A tutorial is available before the test which explains how everything works and lets you try out the buttons and computer. 

To take the test, you need to: 

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes before your test starts
  • Bring your confirmation letter/email with you
  • Bring ID that includes your photo and your signature - See a full list of acceptable ID  (PDF 189 KB) that you can use

If you don’t have suitable ID you can use an Identification Waiver Form (PDF 53 KB). Details on how to complete and use the form are included on the document.

Staff at the test centre will check your documents when you arrive. You will not be able to sit your test if you don’t have the relevant documents, and you will lose your fee. 

Behavioural case study questions 

The behavioural case study questions are designed to test how you respond to health and safety situations on a construction site. These questions are based on the principles established in the Setting Out film.

Every test includes three case studies, each of which has four linked multiple choice questions. These follow an individual through a fictional situation from the construction industry. 

Knowledge questions 

The knowledge questions cover 16 core areas that are included in all of the tests. For example, you might be asked to identify different fire extinguishers and signs. 

The questions are all based on British legislation. Legislation in Northern Ireland differs from the rest of the UK, but for practical reasons all test candidates will answer questions based on UK legislation only. 

Specialist test 

A specialist test includes six questions from a specialist knowledge question bank, plus a selection of 32 core knowledge questions (making a total of 38 knowledge questions overall). 

There are currently 12 specialist tests available.

If you are unsure as to which test you need to take, there is information that will help on our card schemes page.

After the test 

At the end of the test there is an optional survey that gives you the chance to provide feedback on the test process. 

A score report will be printed straight after your Health, safety and environment (HS&E) test to let you know if you have passed or failed. 

The score report will also provide you with feedback on any areas where you might benefit from further learning or revision.  Candidates taking the HS&E Labourer test with L1 award will receive 2 score reports, one for the HS&E Operative test and one for the L1 award in health and safety in a construction environment.

A HS&E test pass is often a necessary requirement to apply to join a construction industry card scheme, with different schemes existing for different trades and professions. 

Membership of a relevant scheme helps you prove that you can do your job safely, while access to construction sites might need a relevant card. 

In the event of you failing the test: 

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