Help, Information, Revision and Mock Tests about the CSCS Card Test

CITB Health Safety and Environment Test

Last Updated 2th May 2017

The CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test has been developed to make sure that construction workers on building sites have a basic knowledge of health and safety as well as environmental matters relevant to their work. The test replaces the CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) test with a more detailed and updated syllabus which includes the environmental elements.

What is the significance of CITB Health, Safety & Environment test?

A lot of risks and accidents can be associated when working in a construction industry. In fact, a lot of industrial accidents take place which results in personal grief, financial costs and negative publicity. By taking the HS&E test and passing it can help increase one’s working knowledge on areas concerning health and safety standards. The person who passed will be granted a CSCS card which can also be used as a form of identification when entering and leaving the construction site.

Who will take the test?

The test is intended to make sure essential knowledge of health, safety and environment matters among workers on building sites. Construction workers wanting to apply for a CSCS card will need to have taken the test within the previous two years, with exceptions for those who have studied and achieved a relevant NVQ or SVQ in the same period.

What is the HS&E Test?

The HS&E Test is a test taken in order to raise the standards across the construction industry and at the same time, ensure that its workers have a minimum level of health, safety and environmental awareness before performing their work. The test can also be used by the employers and its workforce as a stepping stone to develop further knowledge of the industry. Therefore, there is a need to pass the test in order to obtain a construction industry competency card.

HS&E test may be booked online or via telephone. When booking for the test, specify what type of test to take, chosen method of payment, address details and registration number.

The Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines 

Aside from the purposes mentioned above, the EHS Guidelines also contains various information regarding cross-cutting environmental, health and safety issues that can be applicable to all industry sectors. The guidelines cover 4 major topics with corresponding subtopics under it –

  • Environmental – air emissions and ambient air quality, wastewater and ambient water quality, water conservation, hazardous materials management, waste management, energy conservation, noise and contaminated land.;
  • Occupational Health and Safety – physical, chemical, biological & radiological hazards, general facility design & operation, special hazards environment, communication & training, etc.;
  • Community Health and Safety –  water quality & availability, life & fire safety, disease prevention, emergency preparedness & response, etc;
  • Construction and Decommissioning – environment, occupational health & safety and community health & safety.

The EHS Guidelines should be used by other industry sectors in relation to the relevant sector guidelines it belongs to.

What does the CITB Health Safety and Environment test involve?

The test is a multiple choice questionnaire which is usually taken online. Forty-five minutes are allowed to complete the 50 questions and those wishing to acquire a CSCS card will need to get 47 out of the 50 correct.

The test includes 12 behavioural case study questions about behaviour on a building site and 38 knowledge questions. The knowledge questions include 6 specialist questions for the Specialist and Managers and Professionals test.

The three available tests are as follows :-

The Operative test

These includes behavioural case study questions and questions on these five core knowledge areas:

  • Legal and management
  • Health and welfare
  • General safety
  • High risk activities
  • Environment

Specialist test

This includes the behavioural case study questions, the core knowledge areas and questions from one of the following specialisms:

  • Supervisory
  • Demolition
  • Plumbing or gas
  • Highway works
  • Specialist work at height
  • Lifts and escalators
  • Tunnelling
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
  • Heating and plumbing services
  • HVAC Pipe fitting and welding
  • HVAC Duct work
  • HVAC Refrigeration and air conditioning
  • HVAC Services and facilities maintenance

Managers and professionals test

This includes the behavioural case study questions, five core knowledge sections and relevant specialist knowledge questions in the following activities:

  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations
  • Demolition
  • Plumbing or gas
  • Highway works

Take note that there is a corresponding fee on all HS&E tests.

Studying for the CITB Health Safety and Environment test

Students can prepare for the test by referring to learning materials produced by the CITB, available for purchase at bookshops and online, with various booklets relevant to specific study areas.
In addition to written material, there is also a film which can be downloaded from the CITB website. This looks at what employers are expected to do in order to ensure a safe working environment and how workers can also maintain and promote the same. This video should be watched before taking the test in order to understand and answer the behavioural case study questions. There are also timed practice tests available online.

A number of health and safety training organisations offer training courses for construction workers who wish to take the CITB test.

How should one prepare for the HS&E test?

When preparing for the test, one should gather all the relevant revision materials/books related to health, safety and environment. There are various reference materials such as DVDs, mobile apps and question and answer books which can be downloaded or bought online. One can also refer to the sample questions with answers which one can use when preparing for the test. Reading supporting publications and completing a training course can also be useful to help answer the HS&E test. Further, watching the Setting Out film, a free video presentation which features safety preparations on the construction site, will be beneficial since most behavioural case studies questions will be based on the film.

Where can the test be taken?

There are 3 different test centres where one can take the test –

  • Test centre operated by the delivery provider to whom the test was booked; or
  • An independent Internet Test Centre (ITC) operated by colleges, training providers, or commercial organisations; or
  • A corporate test event that can be arranged by the organisation at a suitable location for a group of candidates not less than 16.

When taking the test in any of the test centres, be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the test and bring the confirmation letter or email sent and proper identification documents.

The CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test

There will always be a need for a constant check-up to determine whether each industry is properly complying with the guidelines prescribed by their respective sectors. Again, it is important for whatever industry to ensure its workers level of health, safety and environmental awareness before going to the site. As a result of this concern, the Health, Safety & Environment Test or the HS&E Test was introduced.