Last updated on December 7th, 2020
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?
- Booking a test
- Preparing for the CITB Test
- How can I increase my chances of success?
- What’s in the revision mobile apps?
- What’s in the revision PC DVDs and PC downloads?
- Where can I buy the revision material?
- Where can I find more information on your supporting publications?
- What is the Site Safety Plus Scheme?
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:-
These include behavioural case study questions and questions on these five core knowledge areas:
- Legal and management
- Health and welfare
- General safety
- High-risk activities
This includes the behavioural case study questions, the core knowledge areas and questions from one of the following specialisms:
- Plumbing or gas
- Highway works
- Specialist work at height
- Lifts and escalators
- 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
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
- 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 CSCS 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.
Booking a test
The easiest way to book your test is either online or by telephone. You will be given the date and time of your test immediately and offered information about/the opportunity to buy revision material (for example: the book, PC DVD, PC download or mobile app). You should be able to book a test at your preferred location within two weeks.
To book the test you can:
- go online at www.citb.co.uk/hsandetest
- telephone 0344 994 4488
lines open Monday to Friday 8 am to 8 pm, and Saturday 8 am to noon
- post in an application form (application forms are available from the website and the telephone number listed above).
When booking your test you will be able to choose whether to receive a confirmation by email or by letter. It is important that you check the details (including the type of test, the location, the date and time) and follow any instructions it gives regarding the test.
You can also choose to receive an SMS text message or email reminder 24 hours before your test.
For those instances where a test is required at short notice, it may be possible to turn up at a centre and take a test on the day (subject to available spaces). It’s strongly advised that you do not rely on this option.
What do you need to have to book a CITB test?
To book a test you will need to have the following ready.
- Which test you need to take
- If you need any special assistance
- Payment (debit or credit card details)
- Details of your Address
- Lastly, you will need your CITB registration number (if you have to take a test before you will have this, or applied for certain card schemes including CSCS, CPCS, CISRS etc.).
Where do I take the test?
To sit a Health, safety and environment test you have to go to a CITB approved test centre. Here are the 3 types of centres you can visit.
- A Centre operated by our provider. To find your nearest test centre visit www.citb.co.uk/hsandetest. These test centres will be able to offer tests from Monday to Saturday, but local opening times will vary. Normal opening hours are Monday to Friday 8 am to 8 pm and Saturdays 8 am to noon.
- An ITC (for example as operated by a college, training provider or commercial organisation). Please contact these test centres directly for further information and in order to book a test.
- A corporate testing unit which can be established at a suitable venue for a group of candidates. For further information on this service, there is a dedicated booking line 0344 994 4492.
Is there any special assistance available when taking the test?
Voice-over assistance: All of the exams can be booked your choice of English or Welsh voice overs.
Foreign language assistance.
- The operatives test can be booked with voice-overs languages.
- If requested an interpreter can be used if assistance is required in other languages.
- For the specialist test, you can book an interpreter but there will be no pre-recorded voice-overs.
- The managers and professional test do not allow foreign language assistance because a basic command of English or Welsh is required in order to pass the test.
Sign language assistance: the operatives test can be booked with British Sign Language (BSL) on screen. If you need assistance in the other tests a signer can be provided.
Further assistance: if you need any other assistance this can be provided to you but you will need to phone up and booked these using this number 0344 994 4491.
What services are there for Welsh Speakers?
- All tests can be booked with Welsh voice-overs.
- The revision PC DVDs, PC Downloads†, and mobile apps† all include Welsh voice-overs.
- There is a dedicated Welsh booking line: 0344 994 4490.
† Active internet connection required.
How do I cancel or postpone my test?
To cancel or reschedule your test you should go online or call the booking number at least 72 hours (three working days) before your test. There will be no charge for cancelling or rescheduling the test online at www.citb.co.uk/testingservices outside the 72 hour period. Reschedules and cancellations made via the telephone booking line will incur an administration fee.
What if I do not receive a confirmation email/letter?
If you do not receive a confirmation email or letter within the time specified please call the booking line to check your booking has been made.
We cannot take responsibility for postal delays. If you miss your test event, you will, unfortunately, forfeit your fee.
Preparing for the CITB Test
Preparing for a test
There are a number of ways you can prepare for your test.
- Watch the film Setting out
- View the film in this product
- View the film for free at www.citb.co.uk/settingout
- Read the appropriate question and answer book
- HS&E test for operatives and specialists – All the questions and answers (GT 100) – also applicable to supervisors
- HS&E test for managers and professionals – All the questions and answers (GT 200)
- Use the appropriate mobile revision app
- HS&E test for operatives and specialists – mobile app (GT 100 AN / GT 100 IOS) – also applicable to supervisors
- HS&E test for managers and professionals – mobile app (GT 200 AN / GT 200 IOS)
- Use the appropriate revision PC download
- HS&E test for operatives and specialists – download (GT 100 DL) – also applicable to supervisors
- HS&E test for managers and professionals – download (GT 200 DL)
- Use the appropriate revision PC DVD
- HS&E test for operatives and specialists – DVD (GT 100 DVD) – also applicable to supervisors
- HS&E test for managers and professionals – DVD (GT 200 DVD)
- Read the appropriate supporting knowledge material
- Operatives — Safe start (GE 707)
- Specialists — Safe start (GE 707) plus sector-recommended supporting material
- Supervisors — Site supervision simplified (GE 706)
- Managers and professionals — Construction site safety (GE 700)
- Complete an appropriate training course
- Operatives — Site safety plus: one-day Health and safety awareness course
- Specialists — Contact your industry body for recommendations
- Supervisors — Site safety plus: two-day Site supervisors safety training scheme
- Managers and professionals — Site safety plus: five-day Site managers safety training scheme
For information about how to purchase supporting products see the Where can I buy the revision material? Section.
How can I increase my chances of success?
- Prepare using the recommended revision materials, working through all the knowledge questions.
- Watch the Setting out film to prepare for the behavioural case study questions.
- Complete a recommended training course.
- Book your test when you are confident with your topics and questions.
- Complete a timed simulated test a few days before (available in the PC DVD, PC download and mobile apps).
What’s in the revision mobile apps?
The mobile apps provide an interactive package that includes:
- a link to the film Setting out in English.
- a sample behavioural case study
- all the knowledge questions and answers in an interactive practice format
- voice-overs in English and Welsh for all questions
- a progress monitor, allowing you to gauge test readiness
- a test centre finder to help you locate your nearest available test centre
- a test-date tracker, showing you how much revision time you have left
- for the operative test, the question and answer voice-overs are available in additional languages.
What’s in the revision PC DVDs and PC downloads?
The DVDs and downloads contain an interactive package (for Windows PCs) that includes:
- the Setting out film in English, English Subtitled, Welsh and British Sign Language (BSL)†
- a sample behavioural case study
- all the knowledge questions and answers in both book and practice formats
- the real test tutorial
- a test simulator – all the functionality of the test with the real question bank
- voice-overs in English and Welsh for all questions and answers†
- for the operative test, question and answer voice-overs and Setting out are available in other languages.
† Active broadband internet connection required for playback (in languages other than English) for the download products.
Where can I buy the revision material?
CITB has developed a range of revision material, including question and answer books, PC DVDs, PC downloads and mobile apps that will help you to prepare for the test.
For further information and to buy these products you can:
- go online at shop.citb.co.uk
- visit iTunes or Google Play for mobile apps
- telephone 0344 994 4488 (lines open Monday to Friday 8 am to 8 pm, and Saturday 8 am to noon)
- visit a good bookshop, either on the high street or online for books and DVDs
Where can I find more information on your supporting publications?
CITB has developed a range of publications that present a detailed and comprehensive guide to the full range of topics covered in the test. They can be used to build awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding health and safety on a construction site. They provide the context for the questions that are asked.
The range of products includes: Safe start (GE 707), Site supervision simplified (GE 706) and Construction site safety (GE 700)
For further information and to buy these products you can:
- go online at shop.citb.co.uk
- telephone 0344 994 4122 (lines open Monday to Thursday 9 am to 5 pm and Friday 9 am to 4 pm).
What is the Site Safety Plus Scheme?
The CITB Site Safety Plus (SSP) framework provides the construction industry with the infrastructure to deliver health, safety and environmental training solutions and career development to help maintain a safe workforce and safe working environment. It is aimed at all levels of the workforce. The framework recognises a natural progression from those first entering the industry to those responsible for supervising, managing and directing construction work.
A suite of products (schemes) has been developed within the SSP framework. These include a Health and Safety Awareness course which also supports those requiring the knowledge to obtain their CSCS Labourer Card, to enable them to work on the site without having specific trade experience.
Further opportunities include the Site managers safety training scheme (SMSTS) course which in turn supports those requiring the knowledge to sit the managers and professionals’ Health, safety and environment test.
The Site Safety Plus Directors’ course aims to provide knowledge through training those within an organisation who have overall responsibility for the safety, health and environmental aspects of the business.