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COVID-19 - Urgent messages and industry updates

The social and economic challenges stemming from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continue to impact us all. A constantly changing situation with National and regional lockdowns across England, Scotland and Wales, and the measures required to operate safely within government guidelines, creates challenges for CITB and the construction employers we work with and support.

To protect our industry we are constantly reviewing the situation and developing plans of action in line with the latest UK Governments’ guidance.

Where we can lead, we will, and where we can offer support, or signpost to others better placed to help, we will do that.

Keep up to date…

The most up to date information across our operations can be found on this page, and through our social media channels.

We will continue to provide specific updates relating to COVID-19 and regular industry updates, so please revisit this page for the latest information and advice.

Your feedback on the impact of the Coronavirus on the construction industry and your business would be appreciated. Click the link to take part in our construction industry survey

Apprenticeships are essential to safeguard the future of the construction industry amid the skills shortage. 

The current pandemic  is putting employers, in particular smaller firms, under extreme pressure and CITB will continue to support them through this crisis.

Apprentice reviews and engagement

In line with the ongoing lockdown restrictions across the UK, CITB Apprenticeships staff will continue to work from home.   Apprentice reviews and engagement with your apprentices and colleagues will continue to be carried out via phone or Skype. We would appreciate your support with this as we work to keep our staff, and yours, safe.

Your Apprenticeship Officer will continue to be your point of contact and will provide ongoing support to you and your apprentices.

An Apprenticeship Officer will be in touch and in the meantime we ask all CITB Apprentices to follow NHS and UK/Devolved Government guidance

We will contact you with more information as the situation develops further.

CITB urges all employers not to dismiss any apprentices without first speaking to our .

COVID-19 safety checklist for on-site apprentices

The checklist, based around the CLC guidance, contains measures that employers/site management must have in place to ensure they are adequately protecting apprentices and others.

Apprentice achievement grants

We are aware that due to the current situation there is a delay in Apprenticeship completion certificates being issued by centres. As a result of this, we are currently accepting email confirmation of achievement from the awarding body, in lieu of the certificate, when applying for Apprenticeship achievement grant.

Covid response strategy - Delivery of blended learning

CITB has a duty of care to provide the best quality education it reasonably can under these conditions. CITB believes that a blended approach for learning is necessary to deliver high-quality lessons. However, in offering such provision we take very seriously the need to maintain the highest standards of safeguarding and risk management. Therefore, in order to provide an effective and safe learning environment:

  1. CITB managers will establish the current position of colleges within their area remit in regard to delivering remote learning
  2. CITB will ensure that all learning sessions lessons are carried out during the normal timetable
  3. CITB managers will agree a methodology of establishing remote learning attendance with their colleges
  4. We  will use progress reviews to establish any gaps in skills and knowledge and:
    • Use this assessment to inform risk management
    • Share this information with delivery partners
    • Prioritise contact with vulnerable learners
  5. We will ensure that learners are able to participate in remote learning sessions and will:
    • Ensure learners understand how to access sessions easily
    • Discuss any impact of digital poverty on participation
    • Ensure learners are prepared to participate in sessions
    • Ensure learners have any support needs facilitated to enable participation
  6. CITB will conduct learner surveys and reviews to evaluate remote learning
  7. CITB’s Quality Team will provide interim evaluation reports on the quality of learning
  8. If a parent or employer has concerns about any aspect of remote learning they can contact the learner’s Apprentice Officer directly to discuss this.

ESFA – guidance for apprentices and employers

CITB has worked with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to discuss funding rules on breaks in learning for apprentices. ESFA have issued guidance for apprentices, employers and training providers, you can read the guidance.

Online learning tools

Online learning tools (functional, core and essential skills videos with Welsh language versions) have also been made available to help apprentices continue their studies from home. These videos are available to all apprentices, not just CITB’s. Information on how to register and access the videos can be found. On self-registration, just pick a letter (surname) and number of your choice.

Dedicated helpline

A dedicated e-mail helpline for all apprentices and their employers providing advice and signposting during COVID-19 has been set-up by CITB.  Please e-mail us at  for assistance.

NCC Apprenticeship support

The National Construction College/CITB would like to re-assure our learners working towards their Apprenticeship qualifications that we are here to support you through these challenging times.

Please continue to complete and send in your work-based evidence in the normal way (recorded delivery, if by post) as instructed by your training college instructor or on-site assessor.

We are moving toward a more a more focused approach on blended learning during this time and there will be a higher degree of remote learning. We are already delivering Essential Skills delivery remotely and are now about to pilot a two week  remote induction for new starters. Our training teams are now in the process of working toward the delivery of other areas of the curriculum remotely and through other blended learning opportunities. They will be in contact with you in due course about this. If you do have any questions however in the meantime please do contact us at: 

Last updated: 19 January 2021

The ‘Construction Talent Retention Scheme’ is a not-for-profit programme, funded by Government, designed to secure and retain essential talent in the UK construction sector

The online portal allows skilled individuals to showcase their experience and expertise and helps businesses across the industry find the skilled workers they need.

The scheme is led by the Construction Leadership council (CLC) and is backed by business organisations, construction unions and professional institutions, including CITB.

More than 700 employers have signed up to use the scheme already. These companies, drawn from across Britain, range from multinational engineering giants to micro businesses. While almost half of all live vacancies are posted by regional SMEs, some of the bigger companies with vacancies listed include Barhale, Kier, Aecom, Balfour Beatty, ISG and Travis Perkins.

Employers

If you’re an employer looking to recruit, this simple, easy to use platform enables you to promote an unlimited number of vacancies; search for online profiles and CVs; and recruit employees on a local, regional and national basis.

Register here.

If you’re willing to take on an apprentice who has been made redundant please contact the Construction TRS or contact us.    

For those looking to show their support for the Construction TRS, a dedicated communications toolkit has been developed showcasing a range of information and support. The communications toolkit will be regularly added to, refreshed and updated, so make should you revisit regularly for the latest information.

Individuals looking for job opportunities

If you are an individual looking for work, this easy to use platform allows you to showcase your experience and skills. It works by promoting you to interested organisations across the UK and allows direct contact between you.

Automated job alerts and saved searches allow you to keep in touch with any new opportunities. You can also track and manage all your job applications and any expressions of interest you receive.

Simply register to upload your personal profile and CV, and search for vacancies on a local, regional or national basis.

Interested in finding out more?

Register here

Last updated: 6 January 2021

ATO customer service telephone lines

Due to ongoing challenges outside of our control surrounding COVID-19, we have had to temporarily close our customer service lines for ATO customers.

This is a temporary reduced service and will be regularly reviewed in line with government advice. We will provide an update as soon as we have a clear date for service to return to normal.

Should you need to contact us please email our dedicated mailbox:  

Thank you for your patience.

ATO course delivery

The role played by Approved Training Organisations is crucial and, with the various home nations updating their guidance, to support employee competency and meet the demand for training, we are encouraging ATOs to review their course offering.

How to find remote training

For standards that sit in the recognised category please contact the relevant Recognised Organisation to see if these standards can be delivered remotely.

Self assessments

Self-assessments for the August changes must be completed by 8 October 2021.

Changes and updates

Standards:

10 Day Achievement Upload Rule

To support the construction sector we are reintroducing the 10 day achievement upload rule, against all standards, on 27th May 2021.

Any achievements that have gone beyond 10 days should be uploaded before this date.

This will ensure the automatic payment of grant to employers (if their levy number is included in the achievement upload) and that candidate achievements are up to date.

To support you, our ATOs, we are allowing a 30 day ‘grace period’ in which to upload, before this rule is reinstated against all standards on 27th May 2021. 

Grant Codes

If you are an employer looking to claim short duration grants, you can find a list of Grant Codes for Short Duration standards on the Short Course Grants page.

Remember if you claim your grant this way the achievement will not be visible on the Construction Training Register (CTR).

CTD and CTR improvements

Recent improvements include a new resources area and improved search functionality for finding a course or learner. This has seen an increase in the number of successful learner searches via the Construction Training Register and Card Checker.

We will provide further updates as and when we can.

Last updated: 24 June 2021

Skills and Training Fund

Our Skills and Training Fund has been refreshed and now encompasses two strands supporting; micro and small companies (up to 100 employees), medium sized businesses (up to 250 employees) to become a wider offer for employers. 

The fund comprises two streams:

  • A Skills and Training fund for micro and small businesses where businesses can apply for a maximum of £10,000 (full details and how to apply) depending on the size of the employer.
  • A Skills and Training fund for medium-sized businesses where employers with up to 250 employees are eligible to receive up to £25,000 (full details and how to apply).  

Based on employer need the fund will allow businesses to define then address their particular challenges. The focus has broadened from productivity and innovation, to helping employers with business sustainability and skill retention – key concerns for the construction industry in the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in at the moment.

Thanks to feedback from our customers the stream for medium sized businesses includes greater flexibility on funding rules to ensure it addresses employers’ immediate needs. I urge interested employers to contact their local CITB Advisor to talk about how they can make this funding opportunity work for them.

This video provides further information on the funds.

Commissioned Funding

We recognise that planned work and outputs on short and medium term CITB projects you are working on will almost certainly be affected by COVID-19.  CITB understands that the progress of the commission may be affected in a variety of ways because staff are unable to do the relevant work, that beneficiaries may be unable to attend as usual and events and meetings may be cancelled.

Please be assured that we understand that you may need to pause, postpone or change the work you are doing and that you may also need to adjust targets and reprofile payments. Members of the team will contact you shortly, if they have not done so already, to discuss the impact on the commission of COVID-19 and work with you to ensure changes to the commission are managed as effectively as possible.  Of course, there are likely to be long-term implications as a result, but we can explore these in due course

In the meantime there is no need to contact us – please focus your attention on your beneficiaries, your teams and yourselves.

Last updated: 12 January 2021

Grant Online

We have created a short document outlining how you can authorise grants online: How to authorise automated grants (PDF 159KB).

We urge employers to check their Grant Online accounts for grants which need authorising.  

Apprentice achievement grants

​We are aware that due to the current situation there is a delay in Apprenticeship completion certificates being issued by centres. As a result of this, we are currently accepting email confirmation of achievement from the awarding body, in lieu of the certificate, when applying for Apprenticeship achievement grant.​

This applies to Apprenticeship achievements, Short period qualifications and Long period qualifications.

Grant Codes

If you are an employer looking to claim short duration grants, you can find a list of Grant Codes for Short Duration standards on the Short Course Grants page.

Remember if you claim your grant this way the achievement will not be visible on the Construction Training Register (CTR).

Last updated: 23 August 2021

COVID-19 guidance

Test Centres

Scotland

All Pearson Professional Centres in Scotland will re-commence the Health Safety and Environment Testing from 6 April 2021. Please check your test confirmation email or letter for details of safety measures at the Test Centre including the requirement to wear face coverings, or for any changes to your scheduled appointment.  ITCs should ensure that they make the decision on whether to deliver testing in line with the guidance issued. CITB would like to remind ITCs that it is essential that all COVID-19 advice is followed and that you comply with all health, safety and welfare Government-issued guidelines in order to protect all staff and delegates.

Further information can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Wales

The Welsh Government have agreed with CITB to re-establishing the Health, Safety and Environment testing operations. All Pearson Professional Centres in Wales will be operational from 18 January 2021, please check your test confirmation email or letter for details of safety measures at the Test Centre including the requirement to wear face coverings, or for any changes to your scheduled appointment.  ITCs should ensure that they make the decision on whether to deliver testing in line with the guidance issued. CITB would like to remind ITCs that it is essential that all COVID-19 advice is followed and that you comply with all health, safety and welfare Government-issued guidelines in order to protect all staff and delegates.

Further information can be found on the Welsh Government website.

England

The Health, Safety and Environment testing is operational in England, all Pearson Professional Centres are operational, please check your test confirmation email or letter for details of safety measures at the Test Centre including the requirement to wear face coverings, or for any changes to your scheduled appointment.  ITCs should ensure that they make the decision on whether to deliver testing in line with the guidance issued. CITB would like to remind ITCs that it is essential that all COVID-19 advice is followed and that you comply with all health, safety and welfare Government-issued guidelines in order to protect all staff and delegates.

Further information can be found on the GOV.UK) website.

Impact of card renewals

We understand the availability of testing may have an impact on card applications and renewals. We have been liaising with card scheme providers to agree supporting measures whilst testing capacity is reduced. You can find more on this by following the links below for the latest advice.

Test Centre availability and candidate support

We are continuing to work alongside Pearson VUE to maximise testing capacity, however, there are some centres experiencing longer wait times than usual. Social distancing rules enforced by the UK Governments are continuing to impact on operations, meaning centres cannot run at full capacity.

Please continue to check availability as spaces are being continually reviewed.

Where testing capacity is limited, we have the following temporary LITE testing products as well as some suggested test delivery guidelines (PDF 646KB). This is to help employers run their own in-house interim testing to give a level of local assurance that an employee is safe to work on their site. Permission to allow the employee on site is at the discretion of the employer.

Please note: This is an interim measure only. LITE tests cannot be used to apply for a CSCS or CPCS card, candidates must pass a HS&E test in a Test Centre before applying for a card.

CITB: LITE Operatives and Specialist HS&E TEST only

CITB: LITE Managers and Professionals HS&E TEST only

Employers can use the app and/or the windows PC/Laptop download to 'test' their employees in a controlled environment.

Our supporting revision products are still available on Apple iOSAndroid and PC Download.

If you have any concerns or queries, please email: 

Last updated: 15 January 2021

Levy collection and payment

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CITB explored with government ways to support employers with Levy assessment payments, recognising the cash-flow challenges that industry faces. By law, we must collect the Levy, but we developed a solution to reduced payments for all Levy payers and offered an extended 'payment holiday'.

We asked for no Levy payments until September 2020, and then employers had the choice to pay up-front or over a 12 month period to August 2021.

This year's Levy assessments will be delayed and cut by 50%. The ‘Small Business Levy Exemption’ threshold has been increased from £80,000 to £120,000 meaning that if your total wage bill (payroll and Net CIS) is under £120,000, your organisation won’t have to pay the Levy.

This bill can also be paid in one go, or spread over up to 6 months, from September 2021 - February 2022. You will receive this assessment in August 2021.

This means an overall Levy cut of 25% across two years.

Levy collection will then return to the 'normal' period from May 2022.

Notes

All Levy bills, raised before 2020, should have been paid by this point. Employers in arrears should contact CITB at  to discuss payment options.

Last updated: 21 April 2021

National Construction College

NCC Colleges at Bircham Newton, Erith and Inchinnan are now open for face-to-face delivery to our commercial learners and apprentices. All our colleges are following government guidance on testing and social distancing in relation to COVID-19. Joining instructions will give more details.

Apprenticeship support

The National Construction College/CITB would like to re-assure our learners working towards their Apprenticeship qualifications that we are here to support you through these challenging times.

Please continue to complete and send in your work-based evidence in the normal way (recorded delivery, if by post) as instructed by your training college instructor or on-site assessor.

We are moving toward a more a more focused approach on blended learning during this time and there will be a higher degree of remote learning. We are already delivering Essential Skills delivery remotely and are now about to pilot a two week  remote induction for new starters. Our training teams are now in the process of working toward the delivery of other areas of the curriculum remotely and through other blended learning opportunities. They will be in contact with you in due course about this. If you do have any questions however in the meantime please do contact us at: 

Remote learning available

To support learners and companies looking to continue their Health and Safety training, we have expanded our range of courses that can be delivered remotely:


CDM Awareness

CDM for Principal Contractors

CDM for Principal Designers

CDM for Clients

Health and Safety Awareness

Managing & Coordinating Plant Refresher

Management of Lifting Operations Plant

Site Environmental Awareness Training Scheme (SEATS)

Site Managers Safety Training Scheme Refresher (SMSTS Refresher)

Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS)

Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme Refresher

Temporary Works General Awareness

Temporary Works Coordinator

Temporary Works Supervisor

To make a booking or for more details you can contact the Course Booking team on 0344 994 4433.

S/NVQ support

The National Construction College/CITB would like to re-assure our learners working towards their S/NVQ that we are here to support you with your qualification through these challenging times.

Please continue to complete and send in your work-based evidence in the normal way (recorded delivery, if by post) as instructed by your training college instructor or on-site assessor.

For additional support with your qualification progress please e-mail us at:.

National Specialist Accredited Centre (NSAC)

The NSAC team are continuing to operate supporting assessors & learners sampling portfolios and providing information advice and guidance to the specialist sectors.

We would ask all new enquiries to email us at .

Assessment and Verification (A&V)

The A&V team will be continuing to complete the assessment of apprentices remotely. Apprentice employers should contact their Apprentices’ Assessor to see how they can assist in their apprentices progression.

National Construction College – Midlands (Birmingham)

Please be advised that since 1 December 2020, all courses at National Construction College – Midlands (Birmingham) are now provided by Walsall College Further Education Corporation ("Walsall College"), who are CITB’s successor in the operation of the college.

Walsall College are a trusted and a recognised quality course provider for learners, educational organisations and employers across the industry. We are confident that Walsall College will continue to deliver training that meets the skills needs of the local area and the wider industry.

Contact details for Walsall College:

Website: Construction College - Midlands Telephone: 01922 663600
Email: Address: Construction College – Midlands, 83 Lifford Lane, King’s Norton, Birmingham, B30 3JH 

Last updated: 27 May 2021

The COVID-19 crisis has required CITB to review the approach for the delivery of S/NVQs and a temporary revision of the Consolidated Assessment Strategy (PDF, 332KB).  Please see our Guidance to Consolidated Assessment Strategy (PDF, 147KB). See also the Consolidated Assessment Strategy version approved for SVQs (PDF, 422KB).

Last updated: 24 November 2020

CITB has continued to follow government advice and working remotely wherever practicable, carrying out face-to-face visits based on a risk assessment of the situation.

Our team will continue to operate remotely, covering applications for centre approval, routine audits for the Site Safety Plus (SSP), Internet Testing Centres (ITC) and Levy and Grant verification. These measures will remain under review and be in place until 2nd December 2020 and any changes will be based on government guidelines, including any changes to lock down or the Tier 1, 2 & 3 levels recently announced.

Please email any queries to 

Quality assurance and verification activity

We will continue to do the majority of our work by electronic correspondence and by telephone and video interview, reducing the need for a physical visit. For essential compliance work we will risk assess prior to any intervention.

We have reviewed our quality assurance approach to enable you to continue to offer training and testing.  To do this, we have put in place additional requirements that enable the quality team to video conference onto all classroom based Site Safety Plus courses and set up a secure transfer portal for CCTV for ITC test centres through MS Teams.

The additional requirements have been put in place to enable us to gain an assurance of the delivery of courses and support centres.  These requirements are not optional and need to be met to enable you to keep operating during the pandemic. Further details will be sent out to SSP centres in August.

Compliance Work

We will attempt to collate as much information as we can electronically and some interviews will take place by phone. This will mean that where visits are essential, they can be as short as possible and minimise the risk.

Investigation Team

This will continue to operate as usual, with each case being risk-assessed where investigative activity may bring our staff member into contact with other people. CITB’s compliance teams are committed to continuing their important work of identifying and protecting the construction industry from fraud risks relating to training delivery.

Considering the new advice around social distancing, colleagues have been advised not to attend face-to-face meetings unless necessary, and where practicable should participate over the phone or via video conference instead. We have also asked our teams to review their plans for the weeks ahead and postpone any non-essential travel.

CITB is continually reviewing the situation and will provide further updates as the situation changes.

Last updated: 10 November 2020

Site operating procedures and lifting of restrictions from 19 July 2021

The site operating procedures produced by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) will remain available after 19 July. Whilst they no longer reflect the latest Government guidance, businesses across the supply chain have welcomed the consistency that the site operating procedures have provided and they may wish to maintain elements of social distancing for the time being.

The use of face coverings in construction has been updated in line with the latest Government guidance from 19 July and it is recommended that the good practices the industry has adopted over the last 18 months are retained.

You can read the updated site operating procedures and guidance on face coverings on the CLC website.

COVID-19: Site safety checklists and forms (v7)

During the pandemic it is essential that the workforce is protected to minimise the risk of infection on construction sites.

We have worked hard with the CLC and others to produce a comprehensive range of interactive checklists and forms to assist construction employers. The resources will ensure that those who are permitted and able to return to work have a clear understanding of how they can apply the CLC’s COVID-19 Site operating procedures guidance (Version 7, updated 7 January 2021) in practice. Guidance on issues such as close working, cleaning and what employees should do if they become unwell is included. 

Download: All COVID-19 forms (ZIP file, 3.8MB)

CC01: COVID-19 – Site operating procedures compliance checklist

An interactive checklist, designed to be used to ensure compliance with current guidance on protecting your workforce on site during the COVID-19 pandemic. The checklist can be amended with additional comments to ensure it aligns with specific site policies. The checklist will help organisations to establish whether crucial health and safety principles are embedded in their day-to-day operations during the pandemic.

Download: CC01 COVID-19 - Site operating procedures compliance checklist (PDF file, 1MB)

CC02: COVID-19 – Health, safety and environmental risk assessment template

A guide offering example control measures for those required to undertake risk assessment of the workplace and specific activities on site. An interactive risk assessment template is also included in order to facilitate this process.

Download: CC02 COVID-19 - Health safety and environment risk assessment template (PDF file, 2MB)

CC03: COVID-19 – A toolbox talk for construction workers

Designed to be delivered to construction workers by their manager or supervisor. Good communication is essential for health and safety management on construction sites. It is vitally important that contractors, managers and supervisors engage and consult with workers, as it is an effective way of identifying hazards and controlling risks.

Download: CC03: COVID-19 – A toolbox talk for construction workers (PDF file, 214KB)

CC04: COVID-19 – Weekly site operating procedures checklist

An interactive checklist, designed to ensure on-going compliance with both established and additional procedures.

Download: CC04: COVID-19 – Weekly site operating procedures checklist (PDF file, 1MB)

Additional resources

Examination of lifting equipment

The Health and Safety Executive has published guidance (External link - Opens in a new tab or window) on the examination of lifting equipment, and their approach to enforcement on this issue, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

We have also released our complete library of 98 interactive checklists and forms from our GE700 Construction Site Safety publication for free download. The comprehensive range of checklists and forms are designed to help with the day-to-day management of construction sites.

Link: GE700 - Checklists and forms

On May 11, the UK Government published Working safely during COVID-19 in construction and other outdoor work, a document to help employers, employees and the self-employed in the UK understand how to work safely during the COVID‑19 pandemic. The guidance emphasises the importance of keeping as many people as possible two metres apart from those they do not live with. You can download the guidance from the Government website.

Last updated: 18 January 2021