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CITB SSSTS Explained - How to Become a Site Supervisor

Table of Contents

What is CITB?
What is a CITB SSSTS course?
What are the main roles of a construction site supervisor?
How much do construction site supervisors typically earn?
What does the CITB SSSTS course cover?
Is the SSSTS course difficult?
How Much Does the SSSTS course typically cost?
How long is a SSSTS qualification valid For?
What CSCS Card Can I Get by Completing a SSSTS course?
Is it worth completing the CITB SSSTS course?
What is a CITB SSSTS refresher course?
What are SMSTS and SMSTS-R Courses?
SMSTS vs SSSTS - What’s the difference?
Where can I book a SSSTS course?
Why choose PIP Services for your construction training and certification?
What Our Customers Say



If you are in search of a qualification that puts you in a strong position for a site supervisor role in the construction industry, the CITB SSSTS training could be for you. In this post, we look at the ins and outs of this training and what it would mean for your career.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about CITB SSSTS.


What is CITB?

CITB stands for Construction Industry Training Board. It is the industry training board for the construction sector in England, Scotland and Wales. They help the construction industry attract talent and support skills development to build a competent and inclusive workforce.

CITB aims to:

  1. Inform and enable the right people into construction.
  2. Develop a system of training and skills to meet current and future needs.
  3. Support the sector to train and develop its workforce.

What is a CITB SSSTS Course?

SSSTS stands for Site Supervision Safety Training Scheme. The CITB SSSTS 2-day Course is aimed at workers who have, or are about to have, supervisor responsibilities in a construction setting. Designed and accredited by CITB, it is a qualification that is recognised across the nation by employers in construction and related industries.

If you complete a SSSTS course, you will learn about a range of health, safety and environmental issues, equipping you with essential knowledge such as:

  • Your responsibilities on-site.
  • Reasons why your duties are important.
  • Your role in contributing to a safe workplace.

Once completed, you will have the necessary skills to conduct a risk assessment and control measures to keep your workers safe.


What Are the Main Roles of a Construction Site Supervisor?

A construction site supervisor has a range of roles and responsibilities on a construction site. No two workplaces are the same, so site supervisors must oversee the day-to-day work of their staff. For some, this means being assigned to a specific team or task within the wider construction project.

Supervisors typically act under the guidance of a site manager. However, the responsibilities of a supervisor are still important, as they ensure that work is being done:

  1. On time.
  2. On-budget.
  3. To the standards expected by the company.
  4. In compliance with the relevant health and safety legislation.

The most important part of a site supervisor’s duties is to ensure the workers they are in charge of are safe and healthy. It is their job to maintain a safe working environment and to monitor staff to ensure they work within health and safety law. Regular inspections of the working environment are often required to look for potential safety hazards.

You can learn more about health and safety in construction in our informative article Construction Site Health & Safety Explained.

How Much do Construction Site Supervisors Typically Earn?

According to, the average construction site supervisor salary in the UK is £40,000 per year or £20.51 per hour. For entry level positions, the starting salary is a little under £33,000 per year, while the most experienced supervisors can earn up to £61,000 per year.


What Does the CITB SSSTS Course Cover?

The course content of the SSSTS course is as follows:

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act.
  • Specific site issues that supervisors must face in their daily responsibilities.
  • Effective toolbox talks.
  • Supervision of occupational health.
  • Behavioural safety.

It is a highly interactive course taught via case studies, classroom discussions, group work, and individual/group presentations. Some self-study will be necessary outside the course, and it is assessed via continuous assessment over the 15 hours and a multiple-choice test.

Is the SSSTS Course Difficult?

The exam you must take at the end of the training takes 30 minutes and consists of 25 questions, 22 of which are multiple choice, with the other 3 involving short written answers. Learners must get a score of at least 80% in order to pass their exam, and you may be able to resit if you scored over 70%.

There is also a trainer-reviewed case study exercise. The assessments are not designed to trick learners – everything you need to pass the assessments will be given to you whilst you attend the course. As long as you engage well with the teaching, you should have no problem passing.

How Much Does the SSSTS Course Typically Cost?

The typical cost of the SSSTS course is up to £350 depending on whether its delivered in a classroom or online, and it can be taken over 2 days as a 15-hour course. The fee covers the cost of the training and assessment, and there are grants and funding available for eligible employers.

We offer the CITB SSSTS 2 Day course for £249.00 + VAT. Please get in touch here if you would like to book a course with us.

How Long is a SSSTS Qualification Valid For?

Once obtained, the SSSTS certificate remains valid for 5 years. There are refresher courses available to renew your qualification, but it must be completed before the current qualification expires.

What CSCS Card Can I Get by Completing a SSSTS Course?

There is no specific SSSTS card. But, once you complete the course, you will receive a certificate as evidence of your training. This certificate will be added to your CSCS card checker, so you will be able to prove your qualification via your existing CSCS card.

You can learn more about CSCS cards in our helpful article CSCS Cards - Everything You Need to Know.

We also offer a free CSCS card checking service and can help you understand what training and qualifications you will need to apply for the CSCS card you wish to obtain. 

If you would like to use our free CSCS card checker service and get expert advice from our friendly team, please get in touch using the button below.


Is it Worth Completing the CITB SSSTS Course?

The CITB SSSTS course is endorsed by several major entities in the industry, including BUILDUK. This is composed of the largest construction companies in the UK, and all individuals in a supervisory role must demonstrate their competency.

Successful completion of the SSSTS course is an effective way to demonstrate expertise. It only takes two days to complete, and the qualification gives you a new skill set and builds your competencies.

Overall, it is definitely worth completing the course if you are seeking to advance your career and become a site supervisor.

What is a CITB SSSTS refresher course?

The CITB SSSTS Refresher Course is a condensed version of the SSSTS course. It is designed to update the knowledge of people who have previously completed SSSTS. It can be completed in a single day, and can renew your current qualification. You must take the refresher before your SSSTS qualification expires or you will be required to retake the full SSSTS to stay qualified.


What are SMSTS and SMSTS-R courses?

SMSTS stands for Site Manager Safety Training Scheme. The CITB SMSTS Course is very similar to the SSSTS course. It teaches managers about their responsibilities and liabilities with regards to health and safety, and it teaches them to apply the best safety practices on-site using things like:

  • Risk assessments.
  • Effective communication.

The CITB SMSTS-R Course is a 2-day refresher course for the SMSTS.


SMSTS vs SSSTS – What’s the Difference?

There are a lot of similarities between SSSTS and SMSTS because they both teach legislation and health along with information about how these things influence the duties of site supervisors and managers. However, the SMSTS course focuses primarily on the role of the manager, covering additional content that is not as applicable to site supervisors.

Managers have additional responsibility because of their role, so they must have a higher degree of understanding than that of a site supervisor when it comes to health and safety legislation. This is why the SMSTS course lasts for 5 days, while the SSSTS course lasts only 2 days.


Where Can I Book a SSSTS or SMSTS Course?

SSSTS and SMSTS courses can be carried out in a classroom, online or a mixture of both. There are training centres all around the UK, so you will need to seek out your nearest CITB training centre. You can do this by looking at local listings or by searching “CITB training centres near me” on Google or other search engines.

Always choose an accredited CITB training provider and be sure to read through their reviews before you embark on training with them.


Why choose PIP Services for your construction training and certification?

We’re an accredited CITB training provider as well as a ProQual approved NVQ centre.

We specialise in delivering CITB SSSTS and CITB SMSTS courses as well as refresher courses. We also offer construction related NVQs from Level 1 to Level 7, covering trades such as bricklaying, plastering and tiling all the way up to senior management qualification such as the Level 7 NVQ Diploma in Construction Senior Management.

Since launching in 2005 we have rapidly progressed with thousands of clients coming through our training centre in the heart of Dagenham each year, as well as providing online options where available. We have helped countless people advance their career in construction and hope to do the same for you.

If you would like to speak to us about your construction training needs, please get in touch using the button below.


What Our Customers Say

We are rated 4.9/5 on Trustpilot and you can read all our reviews here.

“Did a 5 day SMSTS course with PIP and my tutor was a gentleman named Billy. This is one of the most engaging courses I’ve been able to attend. The tutors attention to details is worth mentioning”
Trustpilot | 23rd February 2024

"Done a two day refresher SMSTS course. Absolutely spot on and the trainer Billy absolutely bang on. He kept it very fresh and not like other courses I've done. He is very positive and without fail knew what he was doing with regards to the training and information he was giving to us as a classroom throughout the two day's. It's definitely well worth doing training here at PIP Services. And also Parking is good as well, no permits or charges."
Trustpilot | 20th February 2024

“Fantastic SMSTS refresher training course presented by Billy. Billy managed to present it very efficiently and entertainingly. I can definitely recommend this provider to everyone”
Trustpilot | 21st March 2024



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