CITB has announced a major update to the Health, safety and environment test, which it introduced in 2001 in response to high levels of significant accidents and incidents in construction. Over the last 18 years it has been key to improving health and safety in the industry.
CITB regularly reviews the test to make sure it meets current health and safety legislation, including any changes to EU regulations (which the UK is still subject to) and is aligned with the latest industry practice. Around half a million people sit the test each year, making it one of the most taken after the driving licence.
This time a much more detailed review has taken place, taking into account feedback from construction workers, employers and other key stakeholders across the industry.
CITB has worked with leading assessment company Pearson VUE to improve the format of the questions, and to ensure the test remains fair, reliable and valid. This included piloting new questions and formats with 7,500 candidates over the past year.
The test for construction operatives in particular is being substantially updated to better reflect the range of day to day tasks and responsibilities on site. The test instructions have also been made clearer, in response to candidate feedback.
CITB will be writing to all CSCS card holders who are renewing their card, and informing employers, to let them know about the updates. All new applicants will be informed about the test changes and encouraged to prepare appropriately.
Updated revision materials, such as DVDs, books, downloads and apps, will be available from 15 May 2019.
Braden Connolly, CITB Director of Products and Services, said: “The Health, safety and environment test is being brought up to date with current legislation. We’ve worked with those in the industry as well as Pearson VUE, a market leader in computer testing, to make sure it sets a world class standard. Safety is paramount, so it’s vital that the revised test provides even more assurance to those working in the industry that everything is being done to keep them safe on site.”
Simon Kenworthy, owner of JAK Building Services, attended the standard setting workshop for the construction operatives test.
He said: “Hopefully all the hard work put into the update of the HS&E operatives test willenable all new operatives entering the construction industry to gain the required knowledge of Health and Safety. The new range of questions covers different areas of on-site activities, which those working in construction they will undoubtedly encounter.”
Douglas Price, Health and Safety Manager at Morgan Sindall, also attended the workshop.
He said: “The standard setting process for the revised test was undertaken by a panel of highly knowledgeable and qualified individuals covering a range of construction sectors.
"With an ever-changing industry and multicultural workforce the panel undertook a full and critical review of what was already in place and what could best move us forward. Every question and proposal was reviewed and discussed in depth to ensure it met industry’s needs.”
Find out more about planned updates to the HS&E test.