Acronyms are widely used in every walk of life and can be extremely useful particularly when producing a written document but sometimes we forget that not everybody will understand what they represent.  You can just imagine a keen 16 year old turning up at a building site and asking a foreman:

“Do you have any jobs going?”

Foreman’s response:  “Have you completed your CITB HSA course? and do you have a CSCS Labourer (green) card?”

I don’t know about you but at the age of sixteen (and if I’m honest a lot older) that would have left me scratching my head.  So what do these acronyms stand for:

CITB:  Construction Industry Training Board

The CITB are the construction industry training board and a major partner in the sector skills council.  They work with the construction industry to encourage training and develop a safe, professional and fully qualified workforce.

CITB HSA:  CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

Construction sites can be dangerous places for individuals that have little experience of working or operating in the sector.  Therefore, it is only sensible that everybody who intends to work on site undergoes some formal training to provide for their own safety and the safety of the individuals they may be working alongside.   The CITB HSA course is a one-day course that provides the necessary training to operate on a construction site and once completed individuals can then start to think about applying for their CSCS Labourer (Green) Card. The card helps to inform prospective employers that the holder has met a minimum standard of experience and training and it also enables them to check their credentials via the CSCS system (more on that later).  Whilst there is no specific legal requirement to hold the CSCS Labourer (Green) Card many construction sites within the UK mandate their use.

CITB SSSTS:  CITB Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme

As individuals develop their expertise there is a natural tendency for them to take on more responsibility particularly with regard to younger workers and as a result many go on to adopt supervisory duties.  The CITB Site Supervisors Safety Training (SSSTS) course is a two-day course that teaches individuals (or simply brings them up to date) about their legal responsibilities regarding health, safety, welfare and environmental issues.  Once completed the award must be renewed at the five-year period (or before as if your certificate expires you will need to sit the full course again) by taking the CITB SSSTS refresher course.

CITB SMSTS: CITB Site Management Safety Training Scheme

The CITB SMSTS course provides individuals with an enhanced understanding of their health, safety, welfare and environmental duties and responsibilities on a construction site.  The course is focused upon those individuals who have direct responsibility for workers on site or who are planning to adopt a role with such responsibilities.  The CITB SMSTS course is therefore suitable for: project/site managers, managers and supervisors, business owners and clients alike.  Once completed the award must be renewed at the five-year period (or before as if your certificate expires you will need to sit the full course again) by taking the CITB SMSTS refresher course.

CITB SSP:  CITB Site Safety Plus

The CITB Site Safety Plus (SSP) scheme is a suite of health and safety courses that assist in the development of the health and safety knowledge of individuals that operate within the construction industry. Therefore, the scheme not only aids to maintain a safe workforce but also assists in the career development of individuals.

The courses detailed above are designed to provide for a wide range of individuals undertaking various roles on site giving everyone from labourer/operative to senior manager the skills they need to develop their careers within the industry.

From the CITB Health and Safety Awareness (HSA) course, a fundamental step in acquiring the CSCS Labourer (Green) Card, to the CITB Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS), the courses are designed to ensure that both individuals and employers benefit from them and most importantly that construction sites are operated as safely as they possibly could be.

Government policies, austerity measures and even Brexit are having a continuing impact upon business and with budgets becoming stretched it is without doubt becoming more difficult to ensure that your organisation is not only capable of delivering success today but is also prepared for the future – NEBOSH training can have an impact here.

Most large businesses have grasped the impact that a good health and safety management strategy has upon their ‘bottom line’ and in assisting them in meeting their corporate social responsibilities, even if they are found wanting on occasion.

However, sadly there are still many (particularly small and medium sized organisations) that fail to understand the importance of such a strategy and the benefits it can bring.

Developing a good health and safety strategy and effectively managing workplace risk not only demonstrates to your employees that their well-being and welfare is of importance to you. It also highlights to potential customers that as an organisation you take your responsibilities to the community in which you operate and the greater environment seriously.

It should of course also be remembered that many organisations will now only contract with other like-minded organisations i.e those that can demonstrate that they follow specific standards, of which Health and safety is generally of key importance.

A poorly managed company that is willing to take risks in such an area is not generally considered to make for a good business partner and puts you at risk both financially and reputationally.

As you move forward and implement your strategy you will begin to realise the benefits generated from implementing best practices not only in reducing accidents but also in; developing your employees, engendering trust, building in both efficiency and accountability, all of which will support your drive to increase productivity.  Additionally, it will aid to build your reputation within the industry/business sector in which you operate, not only earning you the respect of your peers but more importantly potential customers.

Selecting the correct training framework for your; line managers, team leaders, supervisors and staff with health and safety related responsibilities, will be key to your success in this regard and there is no better place to start than with NEBOSH training qualifications.

The National Examination Board for Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) is recognised globally and is the most frequently demanded qualification by employers seeking to employ individuals with health and safety responsibilities.  NEBOSH qualifications are also recognised professionally by a number of institutes such as: the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM).

The NEBOSH organisation does not in itself deliver training but focuses on the development of appropriate course content/syllabuses and assessment methods.  The actual training courses are delivered by organisations such as Goldcross Training who have been fully accredited by NEBOSH to deliver the courses they provide giving assurance to organisations and individuals that they have met specific criteria.

An effective starting point is to determine who within your organisation fulfils health and safety responsibilities (not forgetting yourself of course) and booking them on a NEBOSH General Certificate training course.

This will enable you to begin building your own internal network of health and safety specialists who can then in turn provide you with the advice and support you require to drive your strategy forward.

If you think NEBOSH is the route for you in developing your organisation strategy or you are seeking to develop your own career, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  We understand that training of any form comes at a cost and we will happily discuss our commitment to you in order to ensure that you receive value as a result of your commitment.