How to be a construction manager – what you need to know

How to be a construction manager – what you need to know

If you are ready for the next step in your construction career, then getting into management will be something you have considered. Well if you have, you have probably heard of the term SMSTS.

What is a construction manager

Construction managers are coordinators, queuing each person to do their job. The tell equipment operators when to arrive and what their responsibilities are. And make sure there will be enough workers on site to get the work done and stick to the schedule.

In addition to scheduling and training and motivating workers, supervisors keep records to keep track of progress and keep the project on budget.

What is SMSTS

SMSTS stands for Site Management Safety Training Scheme and is a must have qualification for anyone who wishes to pursue a career in construction site supervisor or management positions especially in the United Kingdom. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that having a SMSTS Certificate is a requirement if you want to work in construction.

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme courses help educate people in all areas of health and safety. These courses are tailored to teach responsibility for other individuals, the environment and some legal aspects of construction.

This qualification is listed in the aproved code of practice by CDM, the code of Construction Design and Management to prove competence. Ensuring individuals understand health and safety in all areas of construction.

Here are 12 focus areas of SMSTS:

  • Risk assessments/method statements
  • Occupational health management
  • Behavioral safety
  • CDM (Construction Design and Management) Regulations
  • Recent changes in accepted working practices
  • Confined spaces
  • Scaffolding
  • Electricity
  • Demolition
  • Working at height
  • Excavations


These courses range in prices but can be as much as £600. So you are going to want to make sure that it is the right time for you to make the plunge into the course. Passing though can mean a nice promotion! I found a course for only £485 ex VAT here.


The course is full time and lasts for 5 days. You will need to cover all 12 subjects in 5 days. This means that you will go through 2-3 subjects a day, you will need to do your homework before the course starts and continue to study during the course. It will make it worth it. You don’t want to fail and have to pay for the course again.

Ask Questions

Make sure you turn up with your paper and a pen, you will want to take notes during your course. When you get home, read them over again and again. If you ask questions and participate, the lecturers will be more likely to tell you extra information. Information which could be helpful while you study or it might stick in your head and help you out during your exam.

Do I need qualification for SMSTS?

No, this is a public course and you do not need any prior qualifications or certificates.

You must be able to read, write and understand English to a good level.

You will need to provide a valid ID on the first day of the course, such as a copy of your passport or driving licence.

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