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About the Health, safety and environment (HS&E) test

The CITB Health, safety and environment (HS&E) test is an important way for construction workers to show that they can be safe on the job. It's also a way for them to know that their fellow workers are as safe on the site and not put them at risk of injury.

For employers, having workers who've passed the CITB HS&E test is assurance that their workforce are and can continue to be safe at work.

There are three types of HS&E test. If you already know which type of test to take, you can book and pay for the test online or over the phone.


The HS&E test is made up of 50 questions covering five core knowledge areas:

  • legal and management
  • health and welfare
  • general safety
  • high risk activities
  • environment

Candidates have 45 minutes to answer the 50 questions. The test now includes new question styles. Behavioural case studies are also used in the test to check a candidate's understanding of health, safety and environmental issues, and how to behave safely on-site.

CITB is continually reviewing the test to ensure that it continues to help construction workers and employers get the right knowledge, skills and training to be able to work safely in the industry. There are further forthcoming improvements to the test over the next 12 to 18 months.

There are three types of HS&E test:

About the Operatives HS&E test

The Operatives test ensures workers have a minimum level of health, safety and environmental awareness before going on site. This test covers the five core knowledge areas listed above (see Structure of the test).

About the Specialist HS&E tests

These tests include questions about the five core knowledge areas as well as relevant questions in the chosen specialist areas. The Specialists test can be taken in the following topics:

  • supervisory (SUP)
  • demolition (DEM)
  • plumbing (JIB) (PLUM)
  • highway works (HIW)
  • specialist work at height (WAH)
  • lifts and escalators (LAEE)
  • tunnelling (TUNN)
  • HVACR - heating and plumbing services (HAPS)
  • HVACR - pipefitting and welding (PFW)
  • HVACR - ductwork (DUCT)
  • HVACR - refrigeration and air conditioning (RAAC)
  • HVACE - services and facilities maintenance (SAF)

About the Managers and Professionals test

This test covers the same five core areas but also includes questions on the following topics:

  • construction (design and management) regulations
  • demolition
  • highway works.

CITB offers the following special assistance arrangements to candidates taking the HS&E test:

Assistance available

Type of test


Operatives HS&E test

Specialist HS&E test

Managers and professionals HS&E test

Voice over All 14 languages (see list below) English and Welsh English and Welsh
British Sign Language (BSL) Yes No No
Wheelchair access Yes Yes Yes
Translator Yes Yes English and Welsh only
Signer Yes Yes Yes
Reader Yes Yes Yes

You can book all the HS&E test with an English or Welsh voiceover. For the Operatives test, these additional voice-over languages are available by request:

  • Bulgarian
  • Czech
  • French
  • German
  • Hungarian
  • Lithuanian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Punjabi
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Spanish

For queries about additional support, call 0344 994 4491 or email citb.testingspecialassistance@pearson.com

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