The ECS Health & Safety Assessment – Change to Exemptions

It is important to note that from the first of July 2017, any IOSH Working Safely Certificate that has been taken on line in e-assessment will no longer be accepted as an exemption to the ECS Health & Safety Assessment.


We have recently become aware that it’s possible and people are taking the ‘IOSH Working Safely’ exam online.  This method of taking the examination involves it being taken with no supervision with the attendant compromise that represents.   It is necessary, so that the integrity of the exemptions accepted for ECS card applications is upheld, that invigilated exams are taken so that the applicant and exam taker can demonstrate reliably that they have met a minimum level of health, safety practice as well as environmental awareness.

CSCS have already announced of the IOSH Working Safely certificate through e-learning assessment is to be suspended and not considered a qualifier for the ‘green Labourer card’.

The decision was taken not to recognise the e-learning Working Safely certificate after the IOSH training course was reviewed. CSCS discovered, during that review that this course that can be taken on line without conditions that are invigilated.

The CSCS website reported Gordon Jenkins, Director of Operations at CSCS as saying:

When CSCS approved IOSH Working Safely as a route to the green Labourer card it was based on the understanding that the end of course assessment would be completed in a classroom environment under invigilated conditions. On discovery that the end assessment was available online we had no choice but to suspend recognition of the e-learning version of this certificate. CSCS’s aim is to ensure the card remains a valuable and credible tool in ensuring workers have the necessary training and qualifications to carry out their jobs. Completing the IOSH Working Safely assessment online without invigilation introduces a security risk. What guarantees do we have that the individual completed the assessment without assistance? The industry is united in achieving a qualified workforce and improving safety on UK construction sites. Completing the IOSH Working Safely final assessment online could put the safety of site workers at risk and falls below the expected training standards of the industry.”

Those who have been assessed by an online testing method with that being their only assessment and with no qualified assessor or any quality assurance cannot be accepted for a CSCS card.

The JIB has worked with CSCS in tackling this issue so that the best solution can be found in respect of applications for cards.


Until the end of June 2017, the JIB will be accepting ECS applications that are supported by the e-learning IOSH Working Safely certificate.  This will accommodate those who have completed the assessment online recently assessment, and who thought it would be an acceptable ECS exemption. For applications that are received on or after the 1st of July 2017, the IOSH Working Safely Certificate taken in an online assessment will no longer be accepted.


I suppose the bottom line is that it is important that where professionals are certificated, the credibility of that qualification can be relied upon.