Weekly News Update – Site Operating Procedures, expiry of SSP certificates & more

Today’s email contains an update on the latest Site Operating Procedures; news on the expiry of Site Safety Plus certificates; details of how to access a communications toolkit to support the Construction Talent Retention Scheme; and finally, an extension to the consultation on Training Group funding.

Following the announcements last week of further lockdowns across England, Scotland and Wales, we now know that these are likely to stay in place for all of the UK until at least the end of the month, if not longer. However, construction remains operational, and the Business Secretary has emphasised the industry’s pivotal role in the economic recovery in a recent open letter. For this reason, it’s even more important that workers follow guidelines and understand how to safely operate during these difficult times.

Staying safe from COVID on-site

In accordance with the latest Government guidance in England, the Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedures have been updated. The changes in Version 7 are minor, including updated guidance on self-isolation and shielding. However, with a more contagious variant of COVID-19 rapidly spreading, it’s essential that workers have a clear understanding of how they can apply the guidance in practice to maintain the highest possible standards on-site. Therefore, CITB’s COVID-19 – Site safety checklists and forms are currently being updated. Please follow our social channels and Urgent Messages page for the latest information.

Site Safety Plus certificate expiry

In response to various feedback, I can confirm the introduction of a revised grace period to Site Safety Plus certificates. This will provide support to delegates who are unable to access a Site Safety Plus refresher course, due to the new lockdown measures.

All delegates now have until 30 April 2021 to join a SSSTS/SMSTS refresher course, if their current certificate expires after 1 October 2020. Any delegate whose certificate expired before the 1 October 2020 and does not attend a refresher course before 31 January 2021, will be required to join a full SSSTS/SMSTS course, rather than the refresher equivalent. Find the centres delivering remote refresher training here.

Construction Talent Retention Scheme communications toolkit

The Construction Talent Retention Scheme, designed to match individuals seeking both redeployment and new employment in construction with businesses in need of their skills, now has its own communications toolkit. With a range of downloadable materials, text and graphics, the toolkit can be used to promote the scheme in your organisation’s communications and play an important role in assisting an employer or skilled worker. The toolkit will be frequently added to, refreshed and updated, so it’s important that you check back regularly to receive the latest information.

Training Group consultation

In a previous update, I informed you of the funding CITB provides to a network of Training Groups, and invited your views on the best ways to help employers’ access training at a local level. Following requests from several organisations, we have extended the industry consultation on Training Group funding, to ensure as many employers and interested parties have time to submit their feedback. Therefore, you now have until 5pm on 29 January 2021. More information and a link to the survey can be found here.

Celebrating apprentices

With national apprenticeship weeks coming up shortly in England and Wales and then in Scotland, we are very keen to celebrate the contribution that apprentices are making to our industry and to society. If you have examples of exceptional apprentices, particularly if they have been working on-site during the COVID-19 period, please contact press.office@citb.co.uk.

A reminder…

CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed regularly 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.

Best wishes and stay safe everyone,

Sarah Beale

Chief Executive