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Ultimate Guide to SMSTS Course: Online vs. In-Person Training

Safety plays an important role in reducing the number of risks on a construction site and site managers are responsible for ensuring safe working measures are implemented from the start. 

The CITB SMSTS course is designed to give site managers the knowledge and skills they need to enforce health and safety regulations effectively.

At 3B Training, we offer both in-person and online SMSTS course training to suit the needs of different clients. In this guide, we’ll explain the benefits of taking the SMSTS course and the key differences between the two training formats helping you decide which is right for you.

What is SMSTS Training?

The CITB Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is a five day training course designed for site managers who are responsible for the planning, organising, monitoring and controlling of staff. 

SMSTS training covers a wide range of essential topics, including health and safety facts and the role of a manager, H&S law, first aid provision, asbestos, waste and risk management and mental health awareness. All of this content gives delegates the knowledge and tools needed to create and maintain a safety-conscious work environment.

Why Take this SMSTS Course?

Advance Your Career in Construction

SMSTS training acts as a stepping stone to enhance your career in the construction industry. By completing this course, you gain a competitive edge and demonstrate your commitment to safety and regulatory compliance.

It’s a valuable addition to your skill set, opening doors to better job opportunities and career progression.

Legal Responsibilities & Health and Safety Regulations

One of the primary reasons to take the SMSTS course is to understand your legal responsibilities as a site manager. The construction industry is subject to stringent health and safety laws and regulations, including the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations. 

Failure to comply with these laws can result in legal penalties and reputational damage. SMSTS training equips you with the knowledge needed to understand these laws and ensure full legal compliance.

CITB SMSTS Course Content

Day 1

On day one, we cover the facts and figures of health and safety and accident prevention. You’ll learn about the role of a site manager, their types of work, leadership styles and the legal consequences of failing to manage health and safety effectively in the workplace. 

Day 2

Day two begins with Working at Height Regulations 2005, exploring different types of scaffolding, risk assessments and the hazards associated with working at heights. We then move onto the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, looking at the key changes to regulations, the construction phase plan and duty holders.


You’ll also learn about Protective Equipment Regulations 1992, including harmful substances, how to reduce associated risks and the types of eye and skin protection to use.

The day concludes with RIDDOR, where we look at reporting injuries, and First Aid Provision, where you’ll learn about first aid equipment, first aid staff and recommendations from HSE.

Day 3

Day three looks at various legislation, including COSHH Regulations; Noise at Work Regulations, Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

We also cover Asbestos, answering the following questions; What is it? Who is at risk? What are Asbestos-related diseases?

The day finishes with risk assessments and risk management, teaching you how to evaluate risks and control measures effectively.

Day 4

Day four covers more legislation, including the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

You’ll then learn about construction hazards, such as electricity at work, underground and overhead services, excavations, confined spaces and fire precautions.

Finally, we look at occupational health, including drugs and alcohol in the workplace and mental health awareness.

Day 5

The fifth and final day is your time to show what you’ve learnt throughout the course. While you are assessed on your involvement throughout the training, on day five, you must display a presentation in front of the other group members and complete an exam in order to achieve your certificate

Benefits of the CITB SMSTS Course

Establishing a Safety-Conscious Culture

SMSTS training is important in fostering a culture of safety in the workplace. Site managers who complete this course gain the knowledge and tools to enforce safety standards and promote safety-conscious practices. This cultural shift leads to fewer accidents, a safer work environment, and improved overall well-being.

Increasing Productivity and Efficiency

By ensuring that safety regulations are not just understood but implemented effectively, SMSTS training contributes to increased productivity and efficiency on construction sites. Fewer work-related accidents and disruptions result in smoother operations, while employees who feel safe and secure tend to perform at their best, further boosting productivity.

Online vs. In-Person SMSTS Training

When it comes to SMSTS training, there are three key delivery options to choose from. Each option has its pros, and the right choice for you depends on your preferences and requirements.

In-Person SMSTS Training

In-person SMSTS training offers a traditional classroom learning experience. Delegates attend sessions physically at one of our classroom venues, where they interact with instructors and fellow delegates. This format provides face-to-face guidance and the opportunity to ask questions directly.

Online SMSTS Training

Online SMSTS training, on the other hand, is delivered via a virtual classroom through Zoom allowing you to interact with instructors and peers through webchat or video. With this option, you can access the course from your office or the comfort of your own home. 

In-House SMSTS Training

If you have a number of delegates wishing to complete the SMSTS course, we offer in-house classroom SMSTS training or in-house online SMSTS training, so your team can interact with each other and benefit from company specific examples during training.

Benefits of In-Person vs Online SMSTS Training

In-Person SMSTS Training

  • Structured Learning Environment: In-person training provides a structured and controlled learning environment.
  • Direct Interaction: Participants can directly interact with instructors, seek immediate clarification, and network with peers.

Online SMSTS Training

  • Convenience and Flexibility: Online training eliminates the need for travel, making it a convenient choice for those with busy schedules.
  • Accessible from Anywhere: You can participate in online SMSTS courses from your office, home, or any location with internet access.
  • Digital Resources: Course materials and resources are easily accessible in digital formats.

Choosing the Right SMSTS Training Format

Assess Your Lifestyle and Schedule

The first step in choosing the right SMSTS training format is to assess your lifestyle and schedule. Consider your daily commitments, work responsibilities, and personal life. Are you able to commit to a traditional classroom setting, or does the flexibility of online training better suit your busy agenda?

Evaluate Your Learning Style

Every individual has a unique learning style. Some thrive in structured classroom environments with face-to-face interaction, while others feel more relaxed in an online environment. Reflect on your preferred learning style and how it aligns with the training format.

Consider Technological Preparedness

For online SMSTS training, you need access to a computer or laptop with a camera, screen, microphone, and internet connectivity. Assess your comfort level with digital learning tools and online platforms like Zoom.

SMSTS 5 Day Course vs Day Release

At 3B Training, we understand the demanding schedules of site managers. That’s why we offer different options for taking the course, including our standard five day course as well as our day release course.

Our standard SMSTS course is delivered as a five-day block. This format is best suited for delegates who can commit to a full week of training without interruptions. Our Day Release course is delivered one day a week, for five weeks. This option better accommodates delegates who need to balance their training with ongoing work responsibilities.

SMSTS Entry Requirements and Accreditation

Before enrolling on to an SMSTS training course, it’s important that you meet the entry requirements.

Language Ability and Required Documentation

In order to take this course, you must be able to read, write and understand English well.

Photographic ID and National Insurance Number

On the first day of the SMSTS course, you must present photographic identification (ID) e.g. a passport or driving licence. You will also need to provide your national insurance number as part of the registration process.

SMSTS Course Accreditation and Certification

This SMSTS course is CITB accredited and part of the Site Safety Plus suite of courses. The Construction Industry Training Board accreditation is a mark of quality and credibility, recognised widely in the construction industry. 

Once you have completed the course, you will receive a certificate within 6-8 weeks which is valid for five years.

My SMSTS Certificate is About to Expire!

The SMSTS certificate is valid for five years and can be renewed before its expiration with the SMSTS Refresher, which is a two-day course that brings your health and safety knowledge up to date and teaches you the latest developments in the industry.

However, if your certificate has already expired, you’ll need to take the SMSTS course again to regain your certificate.

CITB Grant Claimable SMSTS Course

Companies who are CITB registered are able to claim the grant for each delegate who successfully passes the SMSTS course. 

Career Path to Becoming a Site Manager

Are you on your way to becoming a site manager? While practical experience is essential, formal education can boost your credentials and open more doors. 

SMSTS training can help prepare you to balance the responsibilities of working, delegating, communicating and keeping people safe on site. 

While it isn’t required by law, it is the most highly regarded, industry-recognised qualification across the construction sector. This means it is typically a prerequisite for anyone seeking employment as a site manager.

Book Your SMSTS Course with 3B Training

Head over to our SMSTS Course Page to see our next available course dates.

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