Essential qualifications for site managers, a useful list!

5 essential qualifications for site managers. Let’s face it, working in the Construction industry can be confusing. This certificate, that certificate, this card, that card. How do we know which ones to choose and pay for? Many freelance or agency workers haven’t got the money to just keep throwing at courses. We hope it may give us the competitive edge over other gig economy workers. So here’s a quick guide for you. These are the qualifications construction contractors find useful when looking at our transient work forces.

The Top 5

  1. The SMSTS – Site Managers Safety Training Scheme. – Certificate (5 Day Course)
  2. CSCS Black Card – Level 6 or 7 NVQ in Site Management
  3. First Aid at Work – Certificate (3 Day Course)
  4. IPAF – Card (Preferably 3a & 3b)
  5. PASMA – Card (1 Day Course)

1. The SMSTS certificate

The SMSTS Site management safety training scheme. This is a 5 day course that teaches you how to manage a project SAFELY. NOT how to manage a project in terms of skill/trade. Why do you need it? You need it because most large contracting firms see it as a minimum standard. But only in terms of safety. Think about it, if you get your NVQ level 2 in Carpentry, that’s great! But what says you know how to oversee the safety of a group of carpenters? That’s where the SMSTS certificate helps, it teaches you how to manage contractors before they even arrive on your site. Well planned work and thorough inductions prevent accidents. The SMSTS gives you Health and Safety skills. Once you have completed the course, you get a certificate, not a card.

2. The Black CSCS Card

CSCS Black Card – Many people think sitting the SMSTS gets you a black CSCS card. The bad news is, it doesn’t. The GOOD news is, that this is now the industry standard for professional and occupational competence on building sites. Once you achieve this, it’s in the “Letters after your name” category (Once you become registered with CIOB). Some people find it pretentious, however, letters after your name (On your CV) quickly tells recruiters you are qualified. Once you complete a level 6 or 7 in Site Management, you can apply for the black CSCS card.

3. The First Aid at Work Certificate

First Aid at Work – The first aid at work qualification is an essential site manager qualification. Especially if you travel to lots of sites, these days we are often working with multiple companies and people on a regular basis. This however, is not advised if you’re not great in emergencies. The reason we advise the first aid, is because often sub-contractors MUST provide their own first aider within their teams.. this is more often than not the site manager or supervisor, maybe essential is the wrong word… desirable is probably a better category for first aid courses.

4. The IPAF 3a & b Card

IPAF – Powered Access Licence – Even if you don’t plan to be working off of cherry pickers (booms) or scissor lifts, the IPAF 3a & b licence is a definite must have. Why? Well, because it’s very likely you will be overseeing a lot of labourers working at height. It helps 100% to know how to use the equipment and check it in terms of safety. Falling from height and being struck by vehicles on site are the leading cause of fatalities.. having your licence will assist in you over seeing high risk working at height, with competence. Another advantage of taking the IPAF courses, is plant and PUWER inspections and checklists, it can give you a good general overview of the kinds of checks all equipment needs on site.

5. The PASMA Card

5 – PASMA Basic mobile tower erection is an essential qualification for site managers once again, it’s a good idea to know the basics of overseeing working at height access in terms of towers. Even if you don’t plan on building the towers yourself, you can make sure they are built correctly and do the weekly checks and tags when necessary.

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