Health, safety and environment test development project

A review of health, safety and environment (HS&E) test is taking place to ensure it continues to contribute towards a qualified workforce with the right knowledge, skills and training.

Changes to-date

Phase 2 of the redevelopment is now live.

We have carried out a substantial review of all our questions to ensure they remain fit for purpose and up-to-date. We have also introduced three further new question styles, enabling us to ask questions in the most engaging and effective way.

These question styles are:

  • drag and drop image
  • hot spot
  • hot area

Revision materials have also been updated to include all of the new and revised content and have been available to purchase since 3 April 2018.

We continue to update FAQs in line with feedback and have been working hard on Phase 3 which will see the biggest changes so far and will include the following points:

  • Full review of the operatives test including a job task analysis, which will outline the future content areas for the operatives test, how many questions should be asked in each area and how the test should be scored.
  • Embedding of behaviours within test questions, resulting in the removal of the separate behavioural case study questions. 
  • Engagement around our MAP and specialist tests, working with the experts to ensure that these tests meet the needs of the industry.
  • Revised revision materials to incorporate changes made throughout this phase.
  • Research into revision materials in the future, what these should look like and how they can work best for candidates.

Industry engagement is more important than ever for Phase 3 of the project.  Work has already started but there are still opportunities to get involved. If you would like to be involved in any aspects of the project, as detailed above, please email

Future developments

We will continue working with industry stakeholders to expand and develop the content of the HS&E test.  To find out more about the proposed changes, read the project phases below.

  • There is no content change to the questions in Phase 1
  • The new question styles have been piloted (by around 7500 candidates) in the live test and feedback has been analysed. This feedback has guided the development of the question styles.
  • Two new question styles ‘drag and drop text’ and ‘multiple choice with images’ have been applied to 57 revised questions and have been included in the test from 8 January 2018. Find out more about the new question styles below.
  • The sample questions platform is also available to allow candidates to experience the Phase 1 questions styles alongside ALL the new question styles being delivered throughout the project.
  • You can also see images of the new questions styles in the sample images document.
  • Further new question styles will be introduced in to the test. Go to the ‘What are the new question styles’ section, below, to find out more.
  • New question content will also replace some existing questions within the test from 1 June 2018.
  • All versions of revision materials (hard copy and digital) will be updated and available to purchase on our website from 3 April 2018.
  • A review is underway to help define the topic areas (test blueprint) for the development of the test and questions in Phase 3.
  • This review will support the requirement to ensure the test continues to align to the current industry activities.
  • The phase 3 update will include a review of all the revision materials and will deliver a test and supporting products that continue to meet industry requirements.
  • The revised test will be delivered from June 2019.

What are the new question styles?

The following question styles will be introduced into the test in three phases:

From 8 January 2018

  • Multiple-choice with images (these styles of question already exist but more will be introduced)
  • Drag and drop with text

From 1 June 2018

  • Drag and drop with images
  • Hot spot
  • Hot area

From June 2019

  • Drag and drop paragraph text
  • Drag and drop ordering

Use the Try the new question styles button at the top of this page to see examples of all the new question styles and to have a go at answering them.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

If you have any questions about changes to the test, please read our FAQs.

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