Providing the correct levels of supervision in the Construction and Built Environment (CBE) are critical to ensure that the correct levels of Health and Safety (H&S) are maintained, projects and programmes are delivered on time, to quality and cost overruns are avoided.  The Occupational Work Supervision (OWS) qualification, the first rung on the Supervisory and Management ladder, enables employees, with a background in construction and its allied trades and professions to demonstrate their initial competence in the area of supervision.

When the qualification was first introduced there was a need for the OWS employee to have a single focus on the area that they were deemed competent to supervise and a series of endorsements were introduced to demonstrate just that.  In consultation with industry and current working practises this need has changed over the years, therefore OWS employees are now required, in some instances, to supervise multi trades. Due to this, the National Working Group (NWG) for OWS has been in consultation with CITB and a proposal to remove the requirement for any endorsements to be listed within the qualification is being planned.  This decision means that:

  • Employers are responsible for ensuring that somebody holding an OWS qualification is deemed, by the employer, to be competent to supervise the area(s) that they are asking the person to oversee.
  • Employers will better be able to plan career progression for their staff.
  • It will allow employers to better utilise their workforce across different areas of the business.
  • Awarding Bodies will no longer be required to endorse an OWS qualification by the issuance of an endorsement or side letter to the award.
  • Card schemes may no longer have a requirement to show endorsements on cards which should reduce the processes required to obtain a card.

There will be no changes to the entry requirements of the qualification, enforced by Awarding Bodies in that any candidate who registers will need to evidence some form of competence within CBE or its allied trades and professions, which can be demonstrated in several different ways.

In order to collate any further views from industry, CITB would welcome feedback by completing the ‘have your say’ form by clicking here.  The comments for this will close on 31st March 2021.

When this is implemented employers will be responsible for ensuring occupational work supervisors, gangers, team leader and/or forepersons hold the required qualifications and have a verifiable background in the occupation or occupations they are supervising.  Don’t get caught it’s easy to make the necessary checks on CSCS cards using GoSmart: