In February 2012, the United Kingdom Contractors Group (UKCG) launched a health and safety training standard which stipulates the level of training required by construction directors, managers, supervisors and operatives on UKCG sites.

The goals of the standard are to ensure that construction workers:

  • Have sufficient health and safety knowledge, and
  • Have undergone training on behavioural issues, leadership and effective intervention.

The standard and the associated frequently asked questions (FAQ) are available to view at

The UKCG health and safety standard has been endorsed by the health and safety executive (HSE).

The UKCG have confirmed that lone workers do not need to be qualified supervisors but there is an outstanding issue surrounding the supervisor to operative ratio. The UKCG has stated that this will remain based on risk assessment and negotiation with the main contractor.

Minimum Training Requirements

The courses written into the standards as the minimum requirements for each roll level are listed below. Companies and trade associations who have developed their own courses that meet or exceed the content of these courses can request that they be recognised by the UKCG.


  • IOSH Directing Safely (1 Day), or
  • IOSH Managing Safely for Executives (1 Days)


  • SMSTS (5 Days), or
  • IOSH Managing Safely in Construction (4 Days)


  • SSSTS (2 Days)


  • ConstructionSkills Health and Safety Awareness Course (1 Day)

Operatives on a supervised training programme such as an apprenticeship are excluded from the requirements of the standard if health and safety training is delivered as part of the programme.

The UKCG is committed to the standard and to allow time for the implementation of the standard to be tested, It is voluntary for at least the remainder of 2012.