College of Contract Management United Kingdom
College of Contract Management
United Kingdom

2020 Guide to SMSTS | College of Contract Management UK


2020 Guide to SMSTS


Today we’re discussing SMSTS and the commonly asked questions surrounding it, as well as some updated information regarding the certificates during COVID-19. We’ll also be discussing site management courses, CITB certificates and SMSTS refresher courses. Follow our handy index guide below to find what you’re looking for.


1. Frequently Asked Questions
2. Courses and Certificates
3. SMSTS Learning Resources
4. Safe Practice Benefits Everybody
5. Refresh Your Knowledge
6. Online SMSTS Training During COVID-19
7. Careers in Site Management
8. Site Management Courses
9. Why Choose the College of Contract Management?


Frequently Asked Questions


What is SMSTS?

So, you might be thinking: ‘What does SMSTS stand for?’ Well, the answer, is the Site Manager’s Safety Training Scheme. This is a course delivered at dedicated learning centres over the course of 5 days. It will train you in the fundamentals of site management health and safety and how to safely run your construction site with minimal risk.

The SMSTS certificate is fundamental to working as a site manager and you won’t be able to do so without it. It’s important to try and apply everything covered in the course into your workplace in order to ensure effective operation and high quality completion. You’ll also have knowledge of relevant environmental legislation and how to responsibly manage your workplace.


Who are CITB?

The CITB are the Construction Industry Training Board and they are the overseeing examination institution which provides the SMSTS test. Furthermore, they provide the CSCS card tests and other industry health and safety certifications. They are at the forefront of providing qualifications which demonstrate adequate health and safety knowledge. This is in order to ensure workplaces remain safe for the employees, clients and the public.


How long does an SMSTS certificate last?

The certificate for the SMSTS course will last for 5 years after passing. This is in order to keep your health and safety knowledge up-to-date as policies and regulations change throughout the years. It means there is no excuse for poor health and safety procedures, since you must complete the refresher every 5 years. If you have taken the SSSTS course previously, you could use this time to upgrade to an SMSTS certificate if you’re hoping to progress as a site manager.


CITB card checker

While it can be confusing keeping track of which courses you have taken, using a CITB or CSCS card checker is a great way to keep on top of your courses and qualifications. You can use the online tool to check when you SMSTS certificate expires, as well as any other qualifications you may have. The CITB provides a free online card checker tool to make it easy for you to see when your cards or certifications may be up for renewal. You can access the CITB card checker here, where you can check CSCS cards, CITB certificates and tests you have undertaken.


Difference between SMSTS and SSSTS?

The SSSTS stands for the Site Supervisor’s Safety Training Course. This, while similar to the SMSTS is for supervisors rather than site managers. Moreover, this course is more aimed towards those who are training in courses such as our CIOB Level 3 Diploma in Site Supervisory. This is the next step before becoming a site manager


How long will the course take?

The length of time learning providers allocate for the SMSTS is provided over 5 days, either consecutively or once a week for 5 weeks. It is up to you how you feel it will be best to take the SMSTS course; some people may learn better with a quick burst of 5 days, others may find it more beneficial to learn over the course of 5 weeks.

The course will usually take place in a classroom-style setting, making it an engaging environment where you can ask questions and collaborate with others taking the course. You’ll also be able to engage with the individual presenting the course and can ask them any challenges or risks they faced within their profession in order to get a wider perspective.


What are the dedicated learning outcomes?

Throughout your study of the SMSTS course, you’ll cover many important aspects of maintaining a safe workplace. As a current or aspiring site manager, you’ll be required to assess potential risks and implement safe solutions to problems that may arise when working. The idea of a site manager is to minimise these risks completely; by having adequate health and safety knowledge you’ll be able to spot potential accidents and mitigate them appropriately. At the end of the course you’ll know how to safely perform demolitions and excavations, as well as fire safety procedures and managerial duties.


How is the course assessed?

Throughout the course, you’ll learn about many things. Risk assessments, the implications of not following guidelines, regulations to operate lifting equipment and other work equipment safely and practical scenarios will all test your knowledge. You’ll be assessed throughout the training course through individual and group exercises. Indeed, this is to test your understanding of each topic. Finally, you will be assessed with an exam paper at the end of the course.

However, this is in addition to your course exercises. The test will consist of multiple-choice questions and a few questions which require written answers. Overall, the test is there to assess your ability to manage a site safely. However, if you took on board everything you learned within the course, you should have nothing to worry about.


Benefits of taking the course

While the obvious benefits of taking the SMSTS course include solidifying your health and safety knowledge, there are many others. The process of taking the SMSTS course can promote better practice and productivity within the workplace, it’ll lead to fewer shortfalls later on in projects and encourage your employees to work with stricter health and safety policies.

This in turn will save your company money in the long-term, since fewer workers will develop injuries and less building damages, fines and financial losses will occur if guidelines are properly adhered to. Moreover, no construction company wants a lawsuit on their hands; by ensuring managers are equipped with the SMSTS certificate, they have sufficient health and safety information to make safe and professional decisions throughout the project life-cycle.


Courses and certificates

In order to become a site manager, you’ll need to complete the CITB Site Manager’s Safety Training Scheme. There are numerous courses which can be completed in order to show your competence within the construction industry. Some other examples include the SSP (Site Safety Plus) course, Site Environmental Awareness Training Scheme (SEATS) and the Certificate in Controlling Health Risks Construction (CCHRC). There are different courses based on your role and your experience, you may need more than one certificate depending on your position.


SMSTS learning resources

There are many resources available during your time achieving an SMSTS certification. It’ll take a little bit of digging in order to find which learning materials will work best for you. The CITB sell books and reading resources if you are more of a traditional learner, however there are available e-books and online resources which contain similar information if you prefer to work digitally.

You can pick and choose which way you think you’ll learn better when preparing for the course, you may find that you prefer to just learn throughout the training programme itself without the need for additional resources. Whatever you choose, you’ll need to make sure you commit the information to memory, as you’ll be needing it in the workplace when you finish.


Safe practice benefits everybody

By enforcing safe practice which you have gained on your SMSTS course, you’ll be showing your employees that you value their safety as well as their hard-work. It is no secret that employees work harder when they feel they are valued. Taking their health and safety seriously is a great way to do so. This by default will increase morale, productivity and efficiency of site-workers. Additionally, it should inspire them to complete their tasks with best practice. Most importantly, you’ll also feel more confident within yourself, knowing you have the correct qualifications to properly undertake any tasks within your managerial role.


Refresh your knowledge

The SMSTS certificate is valid for 5 years once you successfully complete it. This means that you’ll need to complete a refresher course after those 5 years have elapsed. What you’ll need is a SMSTS-R course. The R stands for refresher, and you should learn everything you need to top-up your knowledge. This is to make sure you can work safely within your profession. The refresher course will take two days and if you complete the refresher before your renewal date, you’ll be re-certified.

Fail to complete the refresher before the renewal date and you’ll have to take the 5 day course once more. Similarly, if you have the SSSTS course, you can also take a refresher course and the same rules apply.


Online SMSTS training during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is the possibility to still study both the SMSTS and the SMSTS-R courses. This can be done virtually through video conferencing software. This is only a temporary measure to ensure site managers can stay up to date with their certifications.

The CITB ensures that while the course delivery may be slightly different, the course content remains unchanged. This means you’ll still be able to learn all the relevant health and safety guidelines, even if you have to use an online training course for your certificate or refresher. Either way, the CITB has adapted to the current circumstances. This is to ensure individuals remain confident in their health and safety procedures.

This flexibility also stands with the renewal of expired certificates. So, if your SMSTS certificate has already expired, the CITB is currently allowing you to still take a refresher course. You won’t have to take the full 5 day course again. The global situation is being monitored and updated on a weekly basis. Morevover, for more information, the CITB keeps their website regularly updated.


Careers in site management

Indeed, site management is a very responsible role to have. You’ll have to accept challenges as they arise and find quick and effective solutions. It’s a job that not everybody is cut out for; you’ll need strong leadership skills, the ability to communicate effectively and the motivation to inspire and drive your workforce. While experience is extremely helpful, the addition of a tailored site management course is a great way to begin your career pathway into management.

Our CIOB Level 4 Certificate and Diploma in Site Management covers everything you need to know about management skills. Furthermore, it includes how to operate a safe and efficient working environment for all involved.


Site management courses

The benefits of our technologically advanced world is that many courses can now be delivered to you from the comfort of your own home. Our CIOB Level 4 Certificate and Diploma in Site Management will give you everything you need to become a site manager, all you’ll need to do is complete the SMSTS certificate afterwards. Since we offer courses directly approved by the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building), you’ll be able to study assured that you’re getting high-quality industry education.

Our courses offer skills that are directly transferable into the workplace. Our site management course prepares individuals for work straight after completion, and you’ll have all the skills you need to run your own construction workforce.


Why choose the College of Contract Management?

Here at the College of Contract Management, we strive to offer individuals the best chance at success within their careers. This is why we offer high-quality courses. Additionally, we offer the convenience of studying online. The flexible aspect of our live online courses mean those who wish to study while continuing to work can do so. Meanwhile, still earning an industry recognised qualification. We have a variation of site supervisory and site management courses.

We also offer many other professional courses in the construction industry. Additionally, online courses are an excellent way to gain academic qualifications without expensive university fees or travel expenses; you can continue your life as you were before, just sparing a few hours each week towards your course. You can view our full catalogue of courses here. Similarly, you can discuss any queries you may have with our team through email at