SMSTS Online or Classroom? Making the Right Choice

SMSTS Classroom training


In today's fast-paced world, acquiring new skills and certifications is essential for career advancement, and the Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is no exception. However, prospective participants often find themselves at a crossroads when deciding between SMSTS online or classroom training. This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed choice.

Understanding SMSTS

What is SMSTS?

SMSTS stands for Site Management Safety Training Scheme, a widely recognized certification in the construction industry and is accredited by the CITB. It aims to ensure that site managers and supervisors possess the necessary knowledge to maintain a safe and secure working environment.

Importance of SMSTS

  1. Legal Compliance: SMSTS certification is often a legal requirement on construction sites, demonstrating that a site manager is competent in health and safety regulations.
  2. Safety Enhancement: It equips managers with the skills to identify and mitigate potential hazards, reducing the risk of accidents.
  3. Career Advancement: Having SMSTS certification can open doors to better job opportunities and higher salaries.

SMSTS Classroom Training


  1. Face-to-Face Interaction: Classroom training allows participants to interact better with instructors and other delegates, facilitating a better understanding of the material.
  2. Flexible Learning: The course is delivered in a structured manner, but it's easier in person for the trainer to be more flexible, ensuring that participants receive a more bespoke experience.
  3. Networking Opportunities: Classroom settings enable networking with industry professionals, which can be valuable for career growth.


  1. Time-Consuming: Classroom training and online training typically spans several days, but the travel time for classroom training may be challenging for those with busy schedules.
  2. Travel and Accommodation Costs: Participants may incur expenses related to travel and accommodation.

SMSTS Online Training


  1. Travel: Online courses offer no more flexibility with the lessons, but do 100% reduce the travel time, and the logistics of public transport and/ore car parking issues.
  2. Cost-Efficiency: No travel or accommodation costs are associated with online training, making it a more budget-friendly option.
  3. Accessible Resources: Online courses often provide a wealth of resources, including videos, quizzes, and reference materials.


  1. Limited Interaction: Online training uses a virtual classroom (EG MS Teams) and a live trainer, but lacks more personal interaction, which can hinder some participants' learning experience.
  2. Focus: Success in online training requires self-discipline and motivation. It's easier to be distracted in the home environment.

Making the Right Choice

Choosing between SMSTS online or classroom training ultimately depends on your individual preferences and circumstances. Consider the following factors:

  1. Learning Style: If you thrive in an instructor-led environment, with peer interaction, classroom training may be your preference. However, if you are a self-motivated learner, online training could suit you better.
  2. Time Constraints: Evaluate your schedule and determine whether you can commit to attending classroom sessions or if the flexibility of online training is more suitable.
  3. Budget: Consider your financial constraints. Online training may be more cost-effective, especially when factoring in travel and accommodation expenses for classroom training.
  4. Networking: If building professional relationships is a priority, classroom training provides ample networking opportunities.


In the debate of SMSTS online or classroom training, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Both options have their merits, and the choice should align with your learning style, schedule, and budget. Regardless of the path you choose, SMSTS certification remains a valuable asset in the construction industry, enhancing your career prospects.


1. Is SMSTS certification mandatory for all site managers?

No, but proof that you are safe is a legal requirement on many construction sites, and SMSTS is a recognised qualification by most construction sites. However, it's essential to check local regulations and the specific requirements of your job.

2. How long does SMSTS certification last?

SMSTS certification is valid for five years. During this period, you must undertake a refresher course to maintain your certification.

3. Can I switch from online to classroom training or vice versa?

Not once the course has started. However, if you are outside of the cancelation policy timings, you can switch between the two options if your circumstances change. See our Course Cancellation terms.

4. Are there any prerequisites for SMSTS training?

Generally, there are no specific prerequisites for SMSTS training. However, some prior knowledge of health and safety in the construction industry can be beneficial.

5. Can I take SMSTS training internationally?

Yes, SMSTS certification is internationally recognized. However, it's a good practice to verify with your employer in the country where you plan to work.