What is the HS&E Test?

The CITB Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) test is an important way for construction workers to provide evidence that they can be safe on the job. It’s also a way for them to know that their fellow workers are safe on the site and not put them at risk of injury.

For employers, having workers who’ve passed the CITB HS&E test is assurance that their workforce is, and will continue to be safe at work.

The HS&E Operatives test is made up of 50 questions covering five core knowledge areas:

  • Legal and management
  • Health and welfare
  • General safety
  • High risk activities
  • Environment

Delegates will have 45 minutes to answer the 50 questions. The pass mark for the test is 45. 

Behavioural case studies are also used in the test to check a delegate’s understanding of health, safety and environmental issues, and how to behave safely on-site.

It is highly recommended that delegates complete the Level 1 Award in Health & Safety in a Construction Environment BEFORE taking the HS&E test, as the course will provide the knowledge required to pass the HS&E test.

However, there is a range of revision materials to help you prepare for the HS&E test from printed booklets that you can purchase in a bookshop, to smartphone apps that help you revise on the go.

Upon completion of the HS&E test, delegates will be immediately notified of their Pass/Fail mark. If a Pass mark is achieved, a certificate of completion will be emailed to the email address provided by the delegate on registration of the course.

The CSCS card can only be applied for once you have successfully completed both the HS&E Operatives test AND the Level 1 Award in Health & Safety in a Construction Environment. 

CSCS Test Centres

Your test will need to be taken at an approved CSCS Test centre. You will be able to find your nearest test centre at the Pearson VUE website (when you’re taken through to website, you will need to select the relevant CSCS Test, click the next button and you’ll then be able to input your post code or the name of your town/city to bring up a list of CSCS Test centres that are closest to you).

Specialist Assistance

There are several forms of specialist assistance available to you during the CSCS Test should you require them. These include:

Voice-Overs: Every CSCS Test has the option of being booked with an English or Welsh voice over if needed.

Foreign Languages: If English isn’t your first language, you will have the option of voice-assistance in the following foreign languages:

Bulgarian, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Spanish

Please note, this only applies to the CSCS Test for Operatives. If you’re taking the CSCS Managers and Professionals Test or a Specialist Test, you’ll only have access to English or Welsh.

If you request to have additional voice-over assistance in one of the languages listed above, an interpreter can be also be requested. Again, this only applies to the Operatives Test.

Sign Language: For those taking the Operatives Test, British Sign Language (BSL) is available on screen. This form of assistance does not extend to the Managers Test.

Further Help: For further information about support and assistance, call the Special Assistance booking line on 0344 994 4491. Alternatively, you can send an email to

At the Test Centre

First and foremost, you should give yourself ample time to get to the CSCS test centre, aiming to arrive 15-30 minutes before your test is due to start. Don’t forget to take your:

Booking email or letter

Proof of photographic ID which also includes your signature. A photocard driving license or passport are two such forms of acceptable ID. See the full list of acceptable forms of ID here.

Upon arrival, a member of staff at the test centre will verify your documentation. Without these documents, you won’t be able to sit the CSCS Test and a refund won’t be provided. It is vital you don’t forget to bring these with you.

Taking the CSCS Exam

CSCS tests are computer-based. If you’re uncomfortable with using computer, don’t worry as the test only requires you to click the mouse or touch the screen to answer the questions. You may want to do some basic computer practice at home prior to the test, or go to the local library if you haven’t got access to a PC at home. Prior to the start of your test, there will be a tutorial explaining how the tests works and how to navigate through the test, enabling you to get used the interface. You will then be allowed to start the CSCS exam.

During the test, there will be a countdown timer in the corner which will inform you of your progress and the time remaining until the end of your test.

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