Close
Get in touch

SSSTS vs SMSTS: Understanding the Key Differences

When it comes to construction site safety, CITB training can benefit both supervisors and managers. It is essential for workers to have the proper training and certifications in the construction industry.

Two of the most common courses for construction site supervisors and managers are the Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS) and the Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS).

While these courses may seem similar, there are some key differences between them. In this blog, we will explore the differences between the SSSTS course and the SMSTS course.

Site Manager and Site Supervisor on site.

What is the SSSTS course?

The SSSTS course is a training program designed for construction site supervisors. It covers a range of health and safety topics, including risk assessment, accident prevention and legal responsibilities. This course is accredited by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and is recognised by major contractors and clients in the construction industry.

What SSSTS courses do we have available?

  • SSSTS Course (two day course) – Acts as a standard safety course for Site Supervisors in the construction industry. You have to take this course if you haven’t completed the CITB SSSTS course previously.
  • SSSTS Refresher Course (one day course) – The refresher course is if you have previously completed the SSSTS course but the SSSTS qualification you obtained is due to expire.

Read some FAQs about the Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme.

What is the SMSTS course?

The SMSTS course is a training program designed for construction site managers. It covers a more extensive range of health and safety topics, including risk assessment, legal responsibilities and management techniques. This course is also accredited by the CITB and is recognised by major contractors and clients in the construction industry.

What SMSTS courses do we have available?

  • SMSTS Course (five day course) – This course is for site managers who are looking to gain their SMSTS qualification and haven’t previously completed the SMSTS course or the SMSTS Day Release.
  • SMSTS Day Release (five day training course) – The Day Release offers the option for the course to be delivered one day a week over five weeks. This is also for individuals who haven’t previously completed the SMSTS course.
  • SMSTS Refresher Course (two day course) – For site managers who have completed either the SMSTS course or Day Release and are looking to renew their SMSTS qualification as it’s due to expire.

CITB Training Key Similarities

Safety Emphasis:

The courses both target roles within the construction industry, so there is an overlap with some of the topics. For example, both the SSSTS and the SMSTS courses prioritise safety in the construction industry and cover essential health and safety regulations, best practices and risk management strategies.

Legal Compliance:

It is important to follow regulations within the construction industry. SSSTS and SMSTS courses provide an understanding of legal responsibilities related to health and safety on construction sites. Delegates learn about relevant legislation and regulations governing construction activities.

Risk Assessment:

The courses will include some training on how to identify, assess and manage risks in a construction environment. Participants will gain knowledge about conducting thorough risk assessments to enhance site safety. This is so you can prepare ahead for potential hazards.

Management Skills:

While SSSTS focuses on site supervision and SMSTS on site management, both courses cover fundamental management skills. Some common topics throughout the course may include communication, leadership and coordination of construction activities. Management skills are desirable when managing/supervising a group of workers.

Emergency Procedures:

Both courses usually address emergency procedures and response plans to ensure safety. This includes understanding how to handle emergencies, evacuate sites and administer first aid when necessary.

Health and Safety Culture:

The SMSTS and SSSTS courses emphasise the importance of fostering a positive health and safety culture within construction teams. The delegates learn how to promote and maintain a safe working environment.

Certification:

Both of the courses are designed by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). After successful completion of either of these courses, the delegate will receive their certification that is valid for a certain period, after which a refresher course can be completed to refresh the certification.

 

CITB Training Key Differences

Course Duration

The most significant difference between the CITB SSSTS course and the CITB SMSTS course is the duration. The SSSTS course is only two days long, while the SMSTS course is five days long. The difference in course duration can even be seen between the refresher course with the SSSTS Refresher being one day long in comparison to the SMSTS Refresher being over two days. This is because the SMSTS course covers a more extensive range of topics and goes into more depth on each subject.

Target Audience

The SSSTS course is specifically towards construction site supervisors, while the SMSTS course is designed for construction site managers. This means that each of the courses is specific to the role you’re currently in. The SSSTS course is more suitable for those who are directly responsible for supervising workers on a construction site, while the SMSTS training course is more suitable for those who are responsible for managing the entire site.

Course Content

While both courses cover similar topics, the SMSTS course goes into more depth and covers additional topics such as CDM regulations, environmental management and behavioural safety. On the last day of the SMSTS, you will display a presentation in front of the other delegates as well as complete an examination with 25 questions. Whereas, on the last day of the SSSTS, you will deliver a toolbox talk to the group and complete a multiple-choice exam with 30 questions.

Certification

Upon completion of the SSSTS course, participants will receive a CITB Site Safety Plus certificate, which is valid for five years. Upon completion of the SMSTS course, participants will receive a CITB Site Management Safety Training Scheme certificate, which is also valid for five years. However, the SMSTS certificate is considered a higher level of certification and is often required for more senior positions in the construction industry.

In summary, the SSSTS course is a two-day training program for construction site supervisors, while the SMSTS course is a five-day training program for construction site managers. The SMSTS course covers a more extensive range of topics and is considered a higher level of certification. Ultimately, the course you choose will depend on your role and responsibilities on a construction site. It may be best to consult with your employer or speak to our Customer Support team on 0330 912 0650 to determine which course is best for you.

Read our previous blog to learn about the CITB Skills and Training Fund.

Find a course

Our accreditations

  • WJA Logo
  • pasma
  • GQA logo
  • CITB Logo
  • ipaf logo
  • Highfield Logo
  • iosh-Logo
  • nebosh-logo
  • UKATA logo
  • C&G logo
  • EUSR Logo
  • ProQual logo
  • NPORS Logo
  • CISRS logo
  • Fit2Fit logo
  • CABWI logo