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The Complete Roadmap to Construction Site Manager Qualifications in the UK

In construction, the role of a site manager is highly important. Tasked with overseeing the daily operations on construction sites, site managers ensure projects are completed safely, on time, and within budget. 

For those aspiring to step into this role, the CITB Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) course is the perfect stepping stone.

In this guide, we’re going to be exploring the SMSMS Training Course and other steps to take if you’re looking to become a construction site manager.

The Role of a Construction Site Manager

Becoming a construction site manager involves more than just overseeing construction projects. It requires a keen understanding of building processes, effective communication skills, and a strong commitment to safety protocols. 

Daily responsibilities include:

  • Liaising with the client, contractors and project designer.
  • Managing the day-to-day running of the site, including organising equipment, scheduling deliveries, coordinating contractors and monitoring materials.
  • Supervising the site team
  • Keeping the project to budget and timescales
  • Managing health and safety, ensuring compliance with CDM regulations and addressing any safety concerns or incidents on-site.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Site Manager?

There are a few ways in which you can become a site manager. You may start out as a trainee or assistant site manager to gain experience.

Gaining Work Experience to Become a Construction Site Manager

Alternatively, you may wish to start your career in a different construction role and work your way up the ranks by gaining experience.

If you work as a surveyor, building technician, estimator or site supervisor and have several years of experience, it is possible to progress to a site manager role. However, some companies may also ask that you complete a degree or relevant HNC/HND which can be completed part-time alongside your work.

You will need more qualifications in order to become a fully-fledged site manager, including the Black Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) card. 

How Do You Get a Black CSCS Card?

The Black CSCS Card, or the Black Manager’s Card, is the manager-level CSCS Card. This demonstrates that the holder is experienced and can take on a management position on a construction site.

While the card isn’t a legal requirement to become a site manager, most companies will require it. 

To obtain the Black CSCS Card, you will need to have completed:

What NVQs Do You Need to Become a Construction Site Manager?

To become a fully qualified site manager, you will need a Level 6 NVQ in Construction Site Management. This is one of the highest qualification levels going and is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.

The course is an in-depth assessment of your competency in construction site management and typically takes six months to complete.

This Level 6 NVQ covers the different aspects of Health & Safety, site set-up, environmental considerations, forward planning, resourcing, quality of work, customer satisfaction and the handover process with the client. 

The course contents include:

  • Identifying and enabling learning opportunities for given work teams
    • Establishing, controlling and monitoring environmental factors and sustainability.
    • Ensuring that work activities and resources meet the project work requirement
    • Organising, controlling and monitoring supplies of materials.

The Site Manager qualification is mostly completed remotely and your evidence is uploaded online.  You can communicate with your assessor over a video call, phone call or email and any units that need to be completed face-to-face will be arranged at your workplace for your convenience.

Please Note: You will need approx. two years of experience in the role related to this NVQ, and currently working in a relevant role.

3B Training also offer the following NVQs which allow you to apply for a Manager card on completion:

Book an SMSTS Course

SMSTS Course: Your Key to Advancement

What is SMSTS?

SMSTS Training is a five-day course designed to equip site managers with the necessary knowledge and skills to implement and maintain health and safety regulations on a construction site. This course covers a broad spectrum of topics, including Health and Safety Law, risk management, accident prevention, and much more.

Why Choose the CITB SMSTS Course?

With the knowledge and skills gained in the CITB SMSTS course, you will have the necessary tools to maintain a safety culture within your workplace. Benefits of the CITB SMSTS course include:

  • Endorsed by Build UK
  • CITB accredited
  • Part of the Site Safety Plus suite
  • Increases safety, productivity and efficiency on-site.
  • Provides you with the knowledge to fulfil your duties as site manager

What’s more, companies who are CITB registered can claim the CITB Grant for each delegate who successfully passes the course.

How is the SMSTS Course Delivered?

Public Classroom SMSTS

Our classroom-based SMSTS courses can be delivered either as a five-day block or one day a week, for five weeks in our SMSTS Day Release.

This course is delivered in a classroom environment with a CITB trainer and up to 20 delegates at our venues across the UK. 

Public Online SMSTS

We offer SMSTS as a public online course which is delivered via a virtual classroom using Zoom. A live CITB Trainer delivers the course, covering the same content that is covered in the classroom course. Delegates are able to interact with the trainer and other delegates via web chat or video, ensuring they are still benefiting from the ability to discuss the topics at hand. 

This is an ideal delivery option for busy workers who can’t easily be away from the site for five days of external training.

What’s more, the remote element means there’s no need to travel to a physical venue in order to complete the course. To join, delegates must simply log in via the link provided on a computer or laptop that has a camera and microphone.

In-House SMSTS

If your company has a number of workers looking to take the SMSTS course, we offer in-house courses which can be delivered either online or in a physical classroom at one of our venues or at a location of your choice. 

Many companies find great value in our in-house SMSTS courses, as it allows the trainer to use more company-specific examples, making the training as relevant as possible to your team.

Book an SMSTS Course

You can check out our list of next available CITB SMSTS Course dates here.

Becoming a Construction Site Manager FAQs

How can I transition from another role in construction to site management?

Start by gaining relevant qualifications, such as the CITB SMSTS certificate, and seek opportunities to manage smaller projects or aspects of larger projects. Experience and education are key.

What is the typical timeline for progressing to a site manager role?

The timeline can vary based on individual experience and qualifications. Generally, gaining a few years of on-site experience coupled with relevant certifications like SMSTS can prepare you for management roles.

How important are accreditations like CITB for becoming a site manager?

Accreditations from recognised bodies like CITB are highly valued in the construction industry. They demonstrate a standardised level of knowledge and commitment to safety and management best practices.

Can I become a site manager without a degree in construction management?

Yes, while a degree can be beneficial, it’s not always mandatory. Relevant experience, coupled with certifications such as the SMSTS, can also pave the way to becoming a site manager.

For more information about how to become a construction site manager, please check out our handy guide here. To find out more about our courses, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

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