Confined spaces in construction low risk

The purpose of this standard is to provide operatives with an understanding of the requirements of and practice in working in low and medium risk confined space environments.


Minimum two days of 6 learning hours per day.


The purpose of this standard is to provide operatives with an understanding of the requirements of and practice in working in low and medium risk confined space environments.

The scope of this standard covers:

  • confined spaces: definition
  • risk assessment and training
  • safe systems of work
  • marking, fencing and permits to work and access control
  • specialist personal protective equipment (PPE) including practice in the use of masks, harnesses, hoists, gas detectors, escape breathing apparatus and an overview of working breathing apparatus
  • emergency procedures
  • practice sessions
  • dangers and responses

Occupational relevance

Training delivered against this standard would be relevant to the following occupational group(s):

  • operative and craft
  • supervision.

Candidate pre-requisites

There are no candidate pre-requisites as part of this standard.


As a minimum, course instructors must be able to demonstrate that, in relation to this standard, they have:

  • a train the trainer or instructional techniques course certificate
  • successfully completed training to this standard 
  • at least 2 years relevant industrial experience as a fitter
  • a verifiable CV.


Delivery may be in an on or off the job environment and will include opportunities to practice using specialist PPE in confined spaces, though it is recommended that this training facility should not be subject to ‘live’ unknown risks, but simulated, mitigating risk of harm.

All materials and equipment must be of a suitable quality and quantity for candidates to achieve learning outcomes, and must comply with relevant legislation.

The class size and candidate/instructor ratio must allow training to be delivered in a safe manner and enable candidates to achieve the learning outcomes, recommended maximum 1:12 for theory and 1:6 for practical.

The following delivery methods may not be used in the delivery of this standard:

  • e-learning

This standard is considered to contain 51 per cent or more theoretical learning.

This standard is considered to be set at an intermediate level.


For the successful completion of training, candidates must complete an end of course practical assessment or knowledge test that measures the learning outcomes and has a pass or fail criteria.

Quality assurance

Quality assurance against this standard will require initial approval of the training organisation and their content mapped to the standard. 

CITB will also conduct an approval intervention, either desk-based or centre visit, to ensure the training organisation can meet the requirements of the training standard. 

Approved training organisations (ATOs) will be required to present information on records of training and assessment upon request to CITB for desk based analysis. They will also be visited annually by the CITB quality assurance team.


Recommended refreshment: Health & Safety Executive (HSE), other relevant codes of practice or industry card scheme criteria recommend that the candidate completes a refresher of his/her training, (i.e. to ensure their knowledge and/or skills are up to date) every 3 years.

Approval date

To be confirmed

Review cycle

Either on request or in 3 years from approval date.

Learning outcomes


The candidate will be able to:Additional guidance to support learning outcome
define a “confined space” to include confined space classifications and examples
interpret and interrogate a formal risk assessment

to include

  • current legislation: the Management of Health and Safety At Work Regulations; Confined Space, Construction (Design and Management)
  • hazard identification (using examples of: air quality/atmospheres, fire, dust, liquids, free flowing solids, weather, restricted access); possible effects or consequences of exposure to hazards; disease and hygiene
describe what “safe systems of work” should be implemented in different confined space scenarios.
to include rescue requirements and dealing with emergency situations; manning levels and communications
explain the roles of marking, fencing, permits to work and access control
managing confined spaces, to include documentation, safety zones
enter and exit a low risk confined space
practice and practical assessment
explain the use of  specialist PPE in medium and high risk confined spaces, including masks, harnesses, hoists, gas detectors, breathing apparatus to include checking of equipment; ‘donning and doffing’ procedures; face seals and face fit testing advice; ‘top person’ record charts and entrance to base assessments; dangers of ‘working at height’; equipment care
identify the onset of danger and respond appropriately real-time assessment of risk and responses; possible scenarios

Additional information about this standard

Guides from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Confined spaces: a brief guide to working safely (PDF download)

Safe work in confined spaces (PDF download)

Managing health and safety in construction (PDF download)

Guides from CITB

Industry guidance for principal contractors (PDF download)

Industry guidance for designers (PDF download)