What is Safe Pass?
Safe Pass is a mandatory safety awareness training programme for construction workers. It is a one-day programme that allows you to work on construction sites without being a risk to yourself or others. Employers must make sure that employees on construction sites carry Safe Pass cards. As a result, employers must ensure that all employees are properly trained.
SOLAS run and manage the Safe Pass programme. It aims to:
- Raise the standard of safety awareness in the construction industry
- Make sure that all construction site workers do basic health and safety awareness training to prevent accidents and avoid health hazards
- Keep a register of employees who have completed the Safe Pass course
- Provide all Safe Pass participants with a Safe Pass registration card to confirm they completed the course
Who must do the Safe Pass course?
All workers in the construction sector must get safety awareness training and have a Safe Pass registration card before they can work on construction sites. This includes apprentices, trainees and on-site security workers.
Every contractor (or other person working on their behalf) must make sure that everyone under their direct control on a construction site has completed Safe Pass training and has a current Safe Pass registration card.
Under health and safety legislation, employers must allow you paid time off to attend safety awareness training.
Read FAQs about the Safe Pass programme on the Health and Safety Authority website.
What does the course involve?
The training modules in the Safe Pass course are:
- Site safety, site safety legislation and site accident reporting
- Introduction to risk assessment
- Risk assessment for working at height, working with electricity and when excavating
- General site safety, including the use of construction equipment and the safe use of vehicles
- Personal safety, using personal protective equipment, working with noise and vibrations, manual handling and personal health and welfare
Getting your Safe Pass card
You will get a Safe Pass registration card when you have completed the one-day Safe Pass training course.
Your card lasts for 4 years from the date of the training course. If you leave your workplace, you can keep your registration card, once it is in date. When it expires, you must then do another Safe Pass training course.
If your card has been lost, stolen or damaged you can apply online for a replacement card. You can find details on how to get a replacement card on the SOLAS website.
It is illegal to forge or alter a registration card, or to make any other
card that resembles a registration card. All the personal details on your
registration card must be accurate. It is illegal for you to provide false
information to SOLAS.
Paying for the course
Generally, your employer pays for the one-day Safe Pass course. Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005, employers must allow you paid time off for safety awareness training.
You are not required to refund your employer for the cost of the course if you leave your job. The only exception is if there is something in your contract stating you will refund any training fees before you have a certain period of service.
If you are unemployed, and
have been offered a job on a construction site but need to have a Safe Pass
card before you start work, your local Intreo
centre may be able to help with the fee for the training. Read more about
How to apply for Safe Pass
Employers, trainers or individuals who want to participate in the Safe Pass course can apply by contacting an approved Safe Pass tutor on the Safe Pass Accredited Tutors register.
How to become a Safe Pass tutor
If you want to become a Safe Pass tutor, you must have a recognised training or education qualification and meet certain criteria. Priority will be given to candidates who show they can deliver the Safe Pass programme regularly. You should email email@example.com to get an application form.
How to renew your Safe Pass
From February 2023, you now have the option to sit a 45-minute computer-based test which is made up of 50 questions. You must sit the test in one of the designated test centres (see 'Where can I sit the test' below). The cost of the renewal test is €93.84 and it can be booked online.
If you don't want to renew through this test, you can still renew your safe pass through the full day tutor-led classroom programme.
How can I apply?
To apply for a renewal test, you need to create a SOLAS account. You can register for a SOLAS account through the SOLAS website or through the SOLAS Construction Courses website. Once you have created an account, you can apply for a Safe Pass Renewal Test. You will also have access to revision material.
Where can I sit the test?
You can sit the test at one of the 30 designated test centres. This list may be updated regularly, so you can find an up-to-date list of centres through your online SOLAS account.
You can get more information on the Safe Pass Renewal test in the SOLAS FAQ document (docx).