There’s much confusion around the outcomes of the SSSTS course. We’re frequently asked about the Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS course) and whether participants receive an SSSTS card at the end of training, if there’s a certificate awarded, a watermark placed on CSCS cards and more.

To answer all your questions about SSSTS cards and other outcomes of the SSSTS course, we’ve put together this guide. This will ensure you know what you’ll receive on completion of the course. You will also learn about what the SSSTS training program involves.

Read on for the answers to the most commonly asked questions about SSSTS cards, certificates, gold CSCS cards and more.

What is an SSSTS card?

Despite all the chatter around SSSTS cards, there is actually no such thing as an SSSTS card. When you complete the Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS course), you won’t receive an SSSTS card. However, you will receive a certificate.

Misunderstandings about the existence of SSSTS cards stem from the fact that both the SSSTS training course and the gold CSCS card for supervisors are required qualifications for roles as a site supervisor or manager in the UK.

How can I use the SSSTS to become a site supervisor?

The SSSTS course is a popular way to gain accreditation as a site supervisor. It works hand in hand with the gold CSCS card. In fact, both a gold CSCS card and an SSSTS certificate are standard requirements for those wishing to work as a site supervisor on UK building sites.

Some contractors will accept one or the other and you will, of course, need to have solid practical experience to back up your qualifications. For example, most applicants for supervisory roles will have done things like taking on extra responsibilities on site, shadowing others and showing enthusiasm for the work they do.

How do gold CSCS cards relate to the SSSTS?

Gold CSCS cards are for those:

  • already working as a supervisor
  • currently operating at a specialist level of skill on site
  • planning to work as a supervisor or at a specialist craft level.

CSCS gold cards are available to workers who have:

  • an NVQ/ SVQ Level 3 for Occupational Work Supervision or a construction-related subject at a supervisory or technical level


  • an NVQ/ SVQ Level 4 for a construction-related subject at a supervisory or technical level.

If you don’t have any of the aforementioned qualifications, the 2-day SSSTS course is part of a route taken by many working towards a gold CSCS card.


The Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme is run by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). The course can be taken at any of the CITB’s three National Construction Training Centres. These are in Norfolk, Kent or Suffolk. If there is a group of you or you’re an employer, you could arrange to have your training delivered on-site or at a location of your choice.

There are also many CITB approved trainers across the country who also deliver the Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme. However, it’s important to ensure the provider you choose is approved by the Construction Industry Training Board. You can find a list of approved training providers on the CITB website.

What does the SSSTS course cover?

The Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme lasts for two days. Over the two days of training, you’ll cover health and safety topics through a mixture of:

  • group work
  • case studies
  • classroom discussion
  • group presentations
  • individual presentations
  • self-stuudy in your own time.

Why take the SSSTS course?

Bear in mind the fact that the CSCS health and safety test necessary for a gold card is set by the CITB and you can see how the SSSTS and gold card fit together.

Taking the SSSTS course ensures you’re informed about the many health and safety responsibilities as a site supervisor. With the reduction of high rates of health and safety accidents a priority for the industry, there’s no question this is important training for any existing or would-be site supervisor.

On top of that, learning included in the course also covers valuable information you’ll need to know when you take your CSCS test.

What does the SSSTS course cover?

The SSSTS course covers:

  • health and safety laws and their relevance for site supervisors
  • responsibilities for securing safety on-site as a supervisor
  • risk assessments and the relevance of method statements
  • how to monitor site activities successfully
  • effective facilitation of site inductions, toolbox talks and method statement briefings
  • how to deliver timely intervention when bad practice is identified

How much does the SSSTS cost?

It will cost you £305 to take the SSSTS course. For assistance with health and safety training costs, talk to your employer or visit the CITB website where you can find details about a number of grants available.

How long does the SSSTS certificate last?

At the end of the course, you’ll receive a certificate of qualification. This is called a Site Safety Plus Certificate, also known as an SSSTS certificate. The certificate remains valid for 5 years. After 5 years you’ll need to take a Site Supervision Safety Training Scheme Refresher (SSSTS – R) to remain qualified.

The SSSTS-R will bring you up to date with the latest developments in industry health and safety practices, legislation and their application in the workplace. The purpose of the Site Supervision Safety Training Scheme Refresher is to ensure you can correctly implement all the most recent guidance, best practices and statutory requirements in your role as a site supervisor.

The refresher course must be taken before the SSSTS certificate expires or you will have to attend the full SSSTS course all over again.

How to get a gold CSCS card

You’ll need to apply to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) to get a gold CSCS card. Part of the application for the CSCS gold card involves an online test. The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) operates under the CITB as a measure to improve standards of health and safety practice for the UK construction industry because accident rates across the sector are extremely high.

The CSCS test

The online CSCS test is about workplace health and safety. The exam is a 45-minute test administered by the CITB at one of their many approved test centres located all over the country.

The test will quiz you on health and safety in terms of:

  • general safety at work,
  • health and welfare,
  • the environment,
  • high-risk activities,
  • legal and management responsibilities.

Over a 45 minute period, you’ll be asked 50 questions digitally. The majority of the questions are multiple-choice. You can use our practice tests to prepare for your exam and help you pass first time.

The purpose of the CSCS test is to confirm you have sufficient knowledge to work on-site in a manner which is safe for both you and your colleagues. The questions you’ll face will be about real-life issues you may encounter on site.

The certificate you’ll receive on passing the exam remains valid for two years. If you don’t pass the test you can retake it which is helpful to know. However, if you revise, there’s no reason why you won’t pass first time. Once you’ve passed your CSCS test you can apply for your gold CSCS card.

Applying for your gold card

  1. Before taking the CSCS test, enter your qualifications into the card finder tool on the CSCS website. The car finder tool enables you to check you have all you need to qualify for the gold card. You may even find you qualify for a card at a higher level so it’s important to check which card is right for you before you apply.
  1. Book and take your CSCS test. All organisation for the test takes place via the CITB website. You’ll need to open up the Pearson Vue page to book your test. Once you’ve successfully completed your CSCS test, you’ll immediately receive a CSCS pass certificate which gives you the go-ahead to apply for your gold card.
  1. You can apply for your gold card online on the CSCS website or over the telephone. Find out about all you need to have ready to share during your card application.

The CSCS says it’s best to apply online because it’s quicker and you’ll get your card sooner. However, if you do want to apply over the phone, the option is there.

  1. You can expect your new CSCS card to arrive within 3-10 working days through the post. To use your card immediately, download the My CSCS app once you’ve finished your application. There, you’ll find a digital version of your card ready to use.

Learn more about CSCS cards and how to apply or take a free CSCS mock test.