First aid requalification extensions

As you will be aware the HSE allowed an extension to first aid certificates that needed to be refreshed after 16/03/2020. This was set to 30/09/2020 in the assumption that those needing training would be able to access that training. With additional disruption the HSE have extended this timeline.

Here is what they have posted:

FAW or EFAW certificates that expired after 16 March 2020 can remain valid until 31 October 2020 or 6 months from date of expiry, whichever is later. All requalification training for these certificates should be completed by 31 March 2021.

To qualify for the extension, employers must be able to demonstrate that:

they have made every effort to arrange requalification training as soon as possible and can explain in detail why they have not been able to do so. For example, they must show evidence that staff with expired certificates are booked on to EFAW or FAW requalification courses, if requested by an inspector
they have adequate and appropriate equipment and facilities to give first aid to any employee who is injured or becomes ill at work
the level of first aid cover provided remains appropriate for their particular work environment
the level of first aid provision necessary in high risk settings is fully maintained, eg in construction, agriculture, engineering and chemicals

This guidance now applies to employers in England, Scotland and Wales.
(Full details here:

So if a learners certificate expired on 05/07/2020 they will need to requalify by 05/01/2021.
If someone’s certificate expired on 20/03/2020 they will need to requalify by 31/10/2020.
If someone’s certificate is dues to expire on 20/11/2020 they have until 31/03/2021.

Upto £7.5K Skills & Training Funding

Here is the link to this years Skill & Training Funding information – Skills-and-training-fund for SME’s

Please note: in order to manage a significant reduction in the budget available to support these funds in 2020/21, it will only be possible to support the top scoring applications each month.  In order to maximise your chance of success please read the guidance notes carefully, fully answer all questions and do not exceed your funding allowance.


Site Safety Plus Certificate Expiry

CITB Urgent Messages – Site Safety Plus:

SSP certificate expiry

During the COVID-19 crisis, CITB provided a grace period for delegates whose SMSTS/SSSTS achievement had expired after 15 March 2020. The grace period allowed delegates who were unable to access a refresher course before their certificate expired until the 30th September 2020 to join onto a SSSTS / SMSTS refresher, instead of having to sit the full course.

We have continued to review this situation and we have decided to extend this grace period to support those delegates who are unable to access the relevant refresher course due to the current high demand.

All delegates now have until 30 November 2020 to join a SSSTS/SMSTS refresher course, if their current certificate expired after the 15 March 2020.

If you have any questions, please email:

Last updated: 15 September 2020

Weekly News Update – Strategic Plan launch and Levy Proposals

Good afternoon,

Today’s email contains a summary of the key aims and initiatives set out in our new Strategic Plan 2021-25; a reminder of the deadline for completing your Levy Return; and details of the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) latest People Survey.

Yesterday evening, the Prime Minister advised the nation to return to working from home, where possible. We appreciate that a push in this direction once again, may mean more agility is required from businesses. We will continue to review and update our supporting materials for the Site Operating Procedures guidance, in line with government direction.

Addressing skills challenges for construction – Strategic Plan 2021-25

We’re sharing our new Strategic Plan 2021-25 with you today, which sets out the key skills challenges for the construction industry and what CITB will do to address them. You can watch a video about our new Strategic Plan and how this links back to our recently published Annual Review here.

We expect COVID-19 to have a lasting impact on skills provision, creating an increased demand to protect specialist skills. We have built in flexibility so that we can respond if requirements change, using our experience and conversations with industry to understand the issues.

Due to reduced income, it will be essential that we focus on a smaller number of priorities to modernise and improve productivity, with greater access to training. We’ll help employers address gaps in provision, make training accessible and target funding where it’s needed, including through the Grants Scheme.

Some of the initiatives within the plan include:

  • Support 28,000 taster experiences of construction and help potential new entrants understand the opportunities available through Go Construct
  • Create a new pathway between Further Education and employment for 8,000 learners, including 1,600 apprenticeship starts
  • Give 19,000 people onsite experience to prepare them to start work in construction
  • £500m of grants and funding (77% of Levy) into direct employer funding – to help employers invest in training to rebuild after the pandemic and subsequently to modernise and boost productivity.

Together, we can build a productive workforce equipped in high quality, transferable, core and emerging skills that will pave the way for recovery. You can read more in our Strategic Plan 2021-25.

Levy Proposals and the 2020 Levy Return

In an earlier email this month, we informed you of our latest Levy Proposals, which we are proposing should be used in the Levy Assessment to be raised in August 2021. As well as a cut in Levy rates by 50% for all employers, the proposals will also mean that an extra 5,000 small employers will no longer have to pay any CITB Levy.

These rates will be applied to the information you provide in your 2020 Levy Return (covering 6th April 2019 – 5th April 2020), which you’ll receive for completion at the end of this month. All Levy Registered Employers have a requirement to complete this and submitting your Levy Return by 30 November 2020 allows you to access our 2020/21 Grants Scheme, and ensures that any outstanding grant payments can be made.

If you have any questions on how to complete your Levy Return, please contact us on 0344 994 4455 or email You can also complete your return online here.

People Survey – Share your views

The results of the first industry-wide People Survey, carried out by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) in June and reported in Retaining Talent in Construction, helped to secure funding and support for key initiatives.

To understand the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the construction workforce, the CLC has launched a second People Survey. The information gathered from responses helps us to understand the appropriate action required, identify the right priorities and influence government support for the areas of greatest need.

Please complete the online survey which should take no longer than 10 minutes by Friday 2 October. The information provided will be confidential with no company details required.

A reminder…

CITB’s COVID-19 urgent messages page is refreshed daily and includes updates on the full range of our work. You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government.

I would like to wish you, your colleagues and family a safe and productive week ahead.

Kind wishes,

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive

CITB Levy Strategy Committee

CITB is currently looking to recruit employers and other experienced members of the Construction Industry community to join the newly formed Levy Strategy Committee (LSC). The LSC is replacing the Levy Working Party (LWP) which has worked with CITB over the last 10 years to develop and recommend Levy Proposals for the last three Levy Orders (as well as those for the 2021 Levy Order). The LSC will continue this work for the 2022 Levy Order as well as supporting a longer-term fundamental review of Levy to ensure the way Levy operates remains fit for purpose in the future.

If you, or anyone else in your network holds a senior position within a CITB registered employer (of any size) or another organisation working in the Construction Industry and you are interested in helping inform and deliver on the CITB Levy for the future then more information can be found here.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 25th September.

It is important to note that a good knowledge of the CITB Levy is needed – as stated in the Terms of Reference for the LSC. Please be aware that the focus of this group will be on how the Levy is generated, not how it is reinvested into industry.

Please get in touch if you would like more information.

Kind Regards


Julia Stevens

Partnership Manager (Training Groups)

M: +44 (0)7342 061 705



Weekly News Update – Annual Review, Updating Standards & more

Good afternoon,

I hope you’re having a good week. Today’s email announces the publication of our Annual Review showing how we supported the construction industry over 2019-20. There is a reminder about claiming for training against updated Standards, an update on the Degree Placement Work Experience Grant, and invitations to support the Construction Talent Retention Scheme and to join the Levy Strategy Committee.

 Annual Review

Our Annual Review sets out what we did to support industry in 2019-20, before COVID-19 arrived. It also outlines how work has continued during this year as part of the Skills Stability Plan launched in June.

You can read the Annual Review here.

Key highlights include; the Construction Skills Fund (CSF) hubs delivered more than 13,000 employment- and site-ready individuals in 2019-20. While CSF is being extended to 2021, we will set up new construction hubs for the next four years across the country to train thousands more people.

Similarly, in the past year a total of 26,662 individual training courses have been added to the Construction Training Directory and 337,592 short duration training achievements have been added to 263,309 learner records on the Construction Training Register, with an average of 31,000 grants processed per month.

 Updating Standards 

CITB regularly updates Standards, releasing new ones, deactivating others and creating new grant eligible training (GET) codes for those that have moved from development to full Standards. When making a grant claim it is important to use the correct code and Standard name to help get the payments to you as quickly as possible.

The Grant Codes for Short Duration standards list has the most up to date information, and all upcoming changes can be found in the Construction Training Directory section here. 

 Degree Placement Work Experience Grant update

Following the recent announcement on Degree Placement Work Experience grant, we have made some further updates regarding eligibility dates.

We are now applying the £10,000 cap to claims from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2021. All claims relating to the period before this will be paid as normal and not included in the cap. Find out more.

 Levy Strategy Committee recruitment

We’re recruiting members for the CITB Levy Strategy Committee which represent the views of industry across England, Scotland and Wales on the development of the 2022 Levy Proposals and the longer term strategy for the Levy. You can find out more here – the deadline for applications is 25 September.

 Construction Talent Retention Scheme – follow and support

The Construction Talent Retention Scheme (TRS) is growing from strength to strength with more employers and candidates signing up to the portal on a daily basis. To continue to show your support for the platform, please follow the Construction TRS on LinkedIn.

 A reminder…

CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed daily and includes updates on the full range of our work. You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government.

I would like to wish you, your colleagues and family a safe and pleasant week ahead.

Kind wishes,

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive

Weekly News Update – Levy Proposals and Strategic Plan & more

Good afternoon,

I hope you’re having a good week. Today’s email contains details about CITB’s Levy Proposals and Strategic Plan, as well as an update on the Leadership and Management Fund.

Levy proposals and Strategic Plan 2021-25

CITB has approached the Department for Education (DfE) with its latest Levy Proposals, which will include cutting 2021-22 Levy rates by 50% for all employers. In addition, by raising the Small Business Levy Exemption threshold for employers with wage bills under  £120,000, the proposals also see an extra 5,000 small employers paying no CITB Levy at all.

The proposals were formulated following conversations with industry leaders, stakeholders and a cross section of employers during the summer on what the priorities for construction are and how to fund them.

The Skills Stability Plan 2020-21, launched just over two months ago, reshaped our immediate support for employers. The Strategic Plan, to be published later in September, looks at how CITB can best support industry through to 2025 and how we will fund this. The effect COVID-19 will have in future is very uncertain, so we have built in flexibility to adapt and respond quickly if needs change.

Leadership & Management Fund Applications

 Applications for the Leadership & Management Fund, set up to support large levy registered businesses to invest in developing the leadership, management or supervisory skills of their staff, closed on 31 July 2020. We can now confirm that 38 bids valued at just over £2.2 million were provisionally approved for funding to support a full range of projects. Once we have spoken to all bidders, we will publish the full list of successful bids.

We believe this substantial investment will provide a major boost to companies as the sector emerges from the pandemic. Some of the investment will see innovative ways to extend leadership training across the business, including some assisting their supply chains develop, to support a consistent approach for companies.

All applicants are being contacted with their outcomes and information about alternative external funding provided where possible. The results of this initial one-year fund will be used to guide subsequent investment, so that more businesses of all sizes can benefit.

A reminder…

CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed daily and includes updates on the full range of our work. You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government.

I would like to wish you, your colleagues and family a safe and pleasant week ahead.

Kind wishes,

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive

Grant Scheme Update and Changes

Hi Everybody,


As part of our ongoing work to regularly assess the value provided to industry by the Grants Scheme, with Levy income reduced, it has been imperative that we apply the appropriate scrutiny to the grants that we provide, and the following three  grants to be withdrawn from the Grants Scheme, the links below provide full details of these changes and from when:

Please note:

The 20-week processing rule has been frozen; this is to allow employers to claim grants later as a result of the disruption caused by the pandemic. The deadline for grant claim applications for the 2019 / 2020 Grant Scheme Year, 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, has been extended to the end of November 2020.

We are urging employers to check their Grant Online accounts for claims which need authorising. For Grants Online, a short document outlining how to can access CITB’s Grant Online service has been created: CITB Online – Grant Online top tips.

If you or any of your members have any queries, do get in contact.

Kindest Regards,


Vanessa Gallant
Local Manager – Scotland


4 Fountain Avenue, Inchinnan Business Park,

Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, PA4 9RQ

M: +44 (0)7767844196



CITB Coronavirus Response Update 02/09/2020

Good afternoon,

 I hope you’re having a good week. Today’s email contains a reminder about setting up your interest-free direct debit; news on the opening of the National Construction Colleges (NCC); and an update on the current uptake of the Training Group GET Fund.

Direct debit guidance for Levy-paying employers

Following the announcement in June of the delay in Levy payments from May 2020 until September 2020, we proposed a reduction on the 2021/22 Levy rate, providing an overall saving of 25% across two years to help businesses with cash flow.

Additionally, we have extended the period over which regular payments can be made, offering the ability to pay instalments over a full 12 months. Direct debit instalments are usually collected in the 10 months between May and February but will now be collected over a full 12 months, starting in September 2020 and completing in August 2021.

For employers with existing direct debits, these will automatically switch to the new instalment plan. For others wanting to benefit from the extended period of interest-free direct debits, you will need to complete and return the direct debit mandate that will accompany the 2019 Levy Assessment Notice no later than 18 September 2020. The first direct debit instalment is due by 28 September 2020.

More information can be found here. If you have an estimated Levy payment or need guidance on what to do, please click here.

Opening of the National Construction Colleges (NCC)

We are pleased to announce that face-to-face training has resumed at all National Construction Colleges (NCC) across England and Scotland.

The wellbeing of delegates and teaching staff continues to be of upmost importance and we have been diligent in following all government guidelines. We are continually monitoring government advice, especially in respect of regional variations, to ensure the colleges meet the standards required to keep you and colleagues safe while training.

To meet the rising demand for remote learning, the NCC have also increased the range of courses now available through remote training, including Health & Safety Awareness, SSSTS Refresher, Temporary Works, SEATS and CDM Regs. Courses can be found here, you can book by calling: 0344 994 4433.

Training Group GET Fund

Following feedback from Training Groups, we launched the Training Group Grant Eligible Training (GET) Fund in August 2020, to support Training Group members with the challenges presented by Covid-19. These groups allow local, mainly micro and small construction employers, to join up and using their collective buying power to arrange discounted local training for their workforce.

This fund offers £25,000 to Training Groups that have not already entered into a contract for a Skills & Training Fund allocation. So far, 49 Training Groups have accessed the fund, providing over £1.2m of funding to assist members with their immediate core training requirements, many companies needing to ensure their workers skills are up to date following a recent fallow lockdown training period.

Additionally, 31 Training Groups have accessed Skills & Training Funds on behalf of their members, to deliver key training and skills development and we await applications from the remaining 8 Training Groups that have not yet applied for either funding option.

The Training Group GET Fund can support with any grant eligible training needs and is open for remaining Training Groups to apply until 31 October 2020.

A reminder…

CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed daily and includes updates on the full range of our work. You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government.

I would like to wish you, your colleagues and family a safe and pleasant week ahead.

Kind wishes,

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive

Grants Scheme Changes – Grants being adapted or withdrawn

Good afternoon,

As an employer who has previously claimed Degree-placement Work Experience Grant and/or the grant to support Additional Plant VQ Units, we wanted to make you aware of CITB Grants Scheme changes that may affect you in the near future.

Following the decision in June to cut Levy bills by 25% across the next two years – CITB has seen its income reduce by £166m. Despite this reduced income, we have accelerated Apprenticeship Grants and prioritised Apprenticeship Support and Direct Employer Funding within our Skills Stability Plan.

However, part of our ongoing work is to regularly assess the value provided to industry by the Grants Scheme. With Levy income reduced, it is imperative that we apply the appropriate scrutiny to the grants that we provide. Now more than ever we must ensure they are focussed where they are needed most and deliver significant value to the industry. These changes have been made with due consideration to impact and are balanced in terms of fairness across the grant scheme itself.

Degree-placement Work Experience Grant – £10,000 per employer cap introduced

One of the biggest barriers into the construction industry for new entrants is work experience.

The Government funded Construction Skills Fund (CSF) is part of the government’s National Retraining Scheme in England. The scheme aims to support innovative ways of training new entrants and retraining adults in areas for which public funding is not available.

Administered by CITB, it has proved highly successful with over 13,200 learners emerging employment and site-ready. We will therefore continue to invest Levy (£12.8 million) into onsite hubs to prioritise work experience, and have committed to have a number ready from the start of 2021.

We have prioritised the significant investment in the onsite hubs over long term future support to the Degree-Placement Work Experience grant. Last year, this grant was claimed by only 108 employers, with 50% of those claiming less than £10,000.

We are therefore introducing a cap of £10,000 for the Degree-Placement Work Experience Grant, for training undertaken from 1 April 2020 – 30 September 2021. £10,000 is the maximum amount an employer can claim in this period.

The continuation of the fund, at a reduced level for the next year, provides employers with the time needed to adapt to the grants eventual removal from 1 October 2021.

 How does this affect me?

  • Applications for this grant must still be submitted using the existing grant application form. However, employers are being asked to complete the new online form to provide information to help us forecast grant spend, following these changes.
  • Employers can continue to apply for Work Experience grant for training days from 1 April 2020 – 30 September 2021, up to a maximum of £10,000 per employer
  • Grants already claimed for Work Experience training days undertaken since 1 April 2020, will be included within the £10,000 cap.
  • Any applications with Work Experience days that exceed the £10,000 cap for training undertaken will be rejected.
  • Any applications with Work Experience days from 1 October 2021 onwards will be rejected.

Plant Additional Unit Achievement – Removal from 1 October 2020

Plant VQs are currently funded at £600 per achievement, with a further £300 grant available when an additional unit is achieved against an existing VQ.

Under the 2018 Grant Scheme Review the Additional Unit Grant (£300) was highlighted as requiring review however this was not undertaken at the time. Whilst the review has not been carried out, in the current climate this additional grant cannot continue to be supported and will therefore be withdrawn from 1 October 2020.

The full Plant Operations NVQs, short courses for plant related training, plus CPCS theory and practical tests continue to be eligible for grant funding, in addition to Plant Apprenticeship grants.

How does this affect me?

  • Grant applications for achievements from 1 April 2020 – 30 September 2020 will be processed up to 31 December 2020.
  • Any applications with achievements from 1 October 2020 onwards will be rejected.

What next?

While we appreciate that these decisions and the method of delivery will not be welcome, with the limited timescales available we wanted to provide as much notice as possible, to enable you to prepare for any impact these changes might have.

Should you have any specific queries in the interim, please contact:

On behalf of CITB, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your understanding around the changes we need to make to enable us to continue to meet our obligations and support our industry.

Kind wishes,

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive