The Health, Safety & Environment Test

In order to qualify for a CSCS card you will, in almost all cases, be required to successfully complete the relevant Health, Safety & Environment Test depending on the type of card you are applying for. The test is designed to examine your knowledge across a range of health and safety issues on-site. The test is conducted via a PC based touch screen at an accredited test centre or mobile testing unit.

All tests last for a maximum of 45 minutes and have 50 multiple-choice questions including 12 behavioural case study questions and 38 knowledge questions (including six specialist questions for the Specialist and Managers and Professionals test) to check your awareness of current health, safety and environment issues.

Most people complete the test easily within the time allowed and you can leave as soon as you have finished. However, you are allowed to go over your answers again and change any you have selected incorrectly so it’s advisable to use some of the time you have left to review each question. Mistakes do happen and although the test is quite easy a lot of people do fail it.

In 2012 the testing regime was updated to include a range of specialist knowledge tests for different trades and professions . There are now 3 main categories of tests:

Operative Test – including the behavioural case studies and the five core knowledge sections:

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

Specialist Test – including the behavioural case studies, five core knowledge sections (as above) and relevant specialist knowledge questions from one of the following activities:

  • Supervision
  • Demolition
  • Plumbing or gas
  • Highway works
  • Specialist work at height
  • Lifts and escalators
  • Tunneling
  • Heating and plumbing services
  • Pipefitting and welding
  • Ductwork
  • Refrigeration and air conditioning
  • Services and facilities maintenance

Managers and Professionals Test – including the behavioural case studies, five core knowledge sections (as above) and relevant specialist knowledge questions from the following activities:

  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM)
  • Demolition
  • Plumbing or gas
  • Highway works

All HS&E tests cost £17.50 and you can rebook the test if you fail. However, there will be a delay and you will have to pay the fee again – so it’s worth taking the time to prepare and ensure you pass first time.

Revision Materials

There are a range of revision aids available so you can revise for and practice the test. You can download material via the CITB website and there are books and DVD/ROMs available with all the questions and answers.

Operatives & Specialists Test

The Health, safety and environment test for operatives and specialists is available as a paperback or multimedia DVD.

This handbook includes a transcript of the video ‘Setting Out’ (the video is included with the DVD) and all the material you need to prepare for the test.

And all the questions and answers in the five core subjects as well as all the questions and answers for the specialist subjects.

Managers & Professionals Test

The Health, safety and environment test for managers & professionals also contains all the relevant material needed to complete the test including questions and answers for the core subjects and the specialist areas.

There is a DVD included which includes simulated tests and behavioural case studies.

Although it is possible to ‘wing it’ with basic test, the advanced tests do include a few questions which can catch you out if not fully prepared – so this book, or some other revision aid, is almost essential if you want to pass first time.

You can also download smartphone revision apps for both IOS and Android devices which include all the material you need..

Booking the Test

You can book your HS&E test online once you have registered your details or by phone: 0344 994 4488. If you prefer, you can download a booking form and send it by post.


If you achieved an NVQ or SVQ for the relevant occupation in the last 2 years you may not have to take the test. This is for new applications only – not renewals and in all cases you should check with your training provider.

If you already have the FAS Safepass, which is applicable in Eire (Southern Ireland), you will be exempt from the CITB test requirement.