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.

The Consensus vote took place between 3 July and 29 September 2017. Here are the detailed results:

Independent survey – Total number of survey responses: 4,000

Overall result: In total, 4000 employees were independently surveyed. 76.9% agreed while 23.1% disagreed

Results breakdown

Breakdown of results by employer size: Micro - 71.6% agree, 22.5% disagree, 5.8% undecided; Small - 75.9% agree, 16.8% disagree, 7.3% undecided; Medium/large - 74.2% agree, 12.9% disagree, 12.9% undecided

Breakdown of results by nation: England - 71.2% agree, 22% disagree, 6.8% undecided; Scotland - 79.1% agree, 15.1% disagree, 5.8% undecided; Wales - 79.2% agree, 16.3% disagree, 4.5% undecided

Breakdown of results by consensus federation: 71.4% agree and 28.6% disagree

Consensus Federations

Consensus Federation name


Build UK


British Woodworking Federation (BWF)


Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA)


Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA)


Federation of Master Builders (FMB)


Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS)


Hire Association Europe (HAE)


Home Builders Federation (HBF)


National Association of Shopfitters (NAS)


National Federation of Builders (NFB)


National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC)


Scottish Building Federation (SBF)


Scottish Decorators Federation (SDF)


Scottish Plant Owners Association (SPOA)


* CPA have initially indicated support however are carrying out further verification work on responses

With a majority in favour, CITB will be informing the Department for Education, that Consensus has been achieved.

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 its website and finally, 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 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 3 July to 29 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.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • Where a sub-federation is also a prescribed organisation, their members will be counted in the sub-federation.

Read the full survey of consensus in the Support for levy and grant report (PDF 1MB)

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