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

SMSTS - FAQ | College of Contract Management UK


SMSTS – Frequently Asked Questions

SMSTS stands for Site Management Safety Training Scheme. These site management safety training courses are designed to help you become a better site manager. They’re offered to give you the knowledge and skills you need to plan, organise, monitor, control and manage groups of workers on construction sites in an effective, efficient and safe way. Developed by the CITB, these courses aim to create a clear industry standard for the health and safety of construction sites.


Who are the 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.


What does the SMSTS course involve?

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 long does SMSTS last?

The SMSTS course lasts for 5 years after you’ve completed it. This is to make sure you stay up to date with the latest health and safety rules and regulations as they change over time. That means there’s no excuse for bad health and safety practices since you have to do the refresher every five years. If you’ve already taken the course, you can use this time to get an SMSTS certification if you want to move up the ranks as a site manager.


Do you need CSCS if you have SMSTS

It is recommended for all onsite workers at a construction site to hold a valid CSCS card. This includes those who have an SMSTS certification or qualifications relevant to becoming a site manager. SMSTS certification is separate to a CSCS card. You would ideally need both if you wish to work onsite as a site manager. Your SMSTS certification can be added onto your CSCS card as proof of your experience and qualifications.

Do you need SMSTS to run a site?

There’s no legal requirement for site managers to have an SMSTS qualification. However, most construction sites will not hire a site manager (or promote someone to site manager) without an SMSTS qualification.


Is SMSTS hard to pass?

If you attend all the days and engage with the training then you should have no problem passing your SMSTS course.

At the end of your fifth day on the course you will be asked to sit a written exam consisting of 25 questions (18 multiple-choice, 7 short written answers). This exam only takes 35 minutes and requires an 81% mark to pass.



As well as SMSTS, you could also look into CITB Site Supervision Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS). While both courses cover many of the same topics and skills, SSSTS focuses more on the requirements of supervisors as opposed to managers.

Ultimately it will down to you and your employers to decide which of these courses would suit your responsibilities. The SMSTS course offers more advanced and detailed knowledge, but it may be unnecessary for those without managerial responsibilities. Find out more about becoming a site supervisor by reading our blog ‘How to Become a Site Supervisor

Like SMSTS, certificates for SSSTS courses are valid for 5 years, at which point a CITB Site Management Safety Training Scheme – Refresher (SMSTS-R) will need to be completed.


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 following completion of 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.


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. 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 means that 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