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SSSTS vs SMSTS - Project Skills Solutions Blog

So you’re about to become a site supervisor or manager? Or you’re looking to take the next step in your career? Perhaps your boss has told you to go on an SSSTS or SMSTS course? How do you know which is best? Project Skills Solutions offers the SSSTS course virtually via Zoom as well as face-to-face in a classroom.

Depending on what stage of your career you are currently at, some courses will be more applicable to you than others. In this blog update, we are going to have a look at two of our training courses – SMSTS and SSSTS. CITB Logo

These are two major safety courses tailored for the construction industry, develop by CITB as part of the Site Safety Plus suite of courses. If you are working in the construction sector, these courses may be a good stepping stone into a supervisory or management role. Or perhaps to enhance your existing skills if you are already in these positions.

So, let’s have a look at SMSTS vs SSSTS.

What is Site Manager Safety Training (SMSTS)?

The CITB Site Manager Safety Training Scheme – otherwise known as SMSTS, is ideal for anyone who is involved in the management or planning of a construction site. Managers are often in charge of the administration, controlling or monitoring of the safety of the worksite too.

This course covers the law as well as regulatory requirements that are needed to ensure health and safety is met and maintained. It is aimed at supervisors, project managers and site managers. After completing the course, you’ll be able to:

  • Implement and manage health and safety, welfare and environmental legislation
  • Implement new guidance and industry best practice
  • State duties and responsibilities with regards to health and safety, welfare and the environment

The course itself is assessed via a multiple-choice questionnaire, and you are continually assessed throughout the course in terms of how interactive you are with the group and the course materials.

Once you pass, your certificate is valid for five years, at which point you can take the SMSTS refresher.

What is Site Supervisor Safety Training (SSSTS)?

The Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS) course is aimed at supervisors and first-line managers or someone who wants to progress into either of these roles.

The training is designed to raise awareness for new supervisors around good practice in regards to health and safety leadership on a construction site. Team leaders and site foremen are often required to have the SSSTS certificate.

By undertaking this training, you will:

  • Gain an understanding of health and safety, welfare and environmental issues
  • Your legal responsibilities as a first-line manager on a construction site
  • What are good and bad practices and how to respond to these
  • Carrying out risk assessments and site inductions

The course consists of training over two days and is assessed by a multiple-choice paper. You’re also expected to be interactive throughout the duration of the course too.

The SSSTS certificate is valid for five years, after which you can take the SSSTS refresher course.


CITB Health Safety Awareness Training Courses

So, which course should you take?

If you are a supervisor, foreman, team leader or line manager, then the Site Supervisor Safety Training (SSSTS) is for you. Or if that’s the kind of role you’re looking to land.

For managers such as project leaders and site managers, then the Site Manager Safety Training (SMSTS) is ideal. If you have completed the SSSTS course, many people progress onto the SMSTS course to further enhance their skills and career prospects. However, you don’t need to complete the SSSTS before you go on the SMSTS.

CITB SSSTS or SMSTS Refresher Courses

We also offer refresher courses for SSSTS or SMSTS training.

If you have undertaken either course and your certificate is about to expire, get in touch with us and take on the SMSTS Refresher Course or the SSSTS Refresher Course.

The courses cover any changes in legislation and methods since your first course and will refresh your memory and keep you compliant. You need to enrol and complete the refresher course before your five-year certificate expires as the six months grace period was removed a few years ago.

If you have any questions about either course or want to find out which one is suitable for you, then don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.

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10 Responses to “SSSTS vs SMSTS”


    Dear Sir, I am a Project Logistics Coordinator and a holder of the Global institute of Project managers Certification.
    I want to undergo the SMSTS training and certification.
    Kindly direct my procedure to achieving this aim.

    Tha nks

    • Tom Williamson

      Hello, If you would like to book an SMSTS course with us, you can call us on 0800 0213 263.
      Alternatively, you can visit to book the course online. We have options to do this course in a classroom based setting or virtually over Zoom.
      Give our team a call and they will assist and get you booked on to a course. Thanks

  2. David Knott

    Hi, My smsts runs out soon and I am thinking about doing a refresher course but I only need the sssts for the job I am doing. Can I do the sssts refresher couse instead of the smsts refresher course?
    I am due to retire in 12 months time.

    • Tom Williamson

      Hi David, you can only take the SSSTS refresher course if you already hold a valid SSSTS certificate. Your two options is to take an SMSTS refresher and renew your SMSTS certificate, or to take the SSSTS course and obtain that instead.


  3. Tom Szwejkowski

    Hi, I have booked a SSSTS refresher as it runs out in October. I have SMSTS which runs out in 6 months which I will also be going on the 2 day refresher course. Do I need both or should I just Wait for my SMSTS refresher in 6 months? Personally I’d rather do both but I’m told its a waste of time doing SSSTS if you have SMSTS?

    • Sam Barton

      Hi Tom,

      It’s hard to say, I wouldn’t say holding both certificates is a waste of time, however, depending on your role the SMSTS may be what your employer is more interested in.

      If it runs out you can get the SSSTS again with a 2 day course (rather than 1 day refresher) so you should weigh that against how much you think you’ll need the SSSTS certificate in your career over the next few years.

      Good luck whichever route you take and if you have any questions let us know.

  4. John Tindall

    I have sssts if I want smts do I have to do the full 5 day course?

    • Sam Barton

      Hi John,

      Yes, they are different courses so unfortunately there isn’t a transition course. If you want the SMSTS you’ll need to attend the full 5-day course.

      I hope that helps.


  5. Michael Mnkandhla

    Do I need to do the sssts if I need the smsts? plus can I just do the smsts using my construction management degree gained 2 years ago

    • Sam Barton

      Hi Michael,

      You don’t need to complete the SSSTS before the SMSTS, a lot of people will just hold the SMSTS. Unfortunately you can’t get the SMSTS certificate with a construction management degree, although you may find as you hold the construction management degree you might not need the SMSTS. If you’re using the SMSTS to get a job you could ask the employer if they would accept your degree instead.

      I hope that helps,


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Project Skills Solutions have been providing NRSWA training to individuals and companies since 2004. Our team are trained to give you the very best advice in your course selection and focussed on customer service.
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