Head of Construction Health & Safety

Department for Education
Remote working (anywhere in the UK)
£65,355 (national), £68,744 (London)
Closing date
25 Feb 2024


Department for Education is looking for a dynamic and motivated individual to lead the Construction Health and Safety team in Capital Directorate. You will be responsible for writing policies and strategies to ensure our construction sites safely deliver high-quality buildings for future generations.  You will need to have extensive experience of managing construction health and safety on major construction projects and programmes. 

Please note this is a remote working post and you will be attached to your nearest office as your base for HR purposes.  You will travel to DfE construction sites on a regular basis.


The Head of Construction Health and Safety sits within the Building Safety Team of the Technical Standards Division in Capital Directorate.  The role’s overarching aims are to ensure the department fulfils its legal duties as a major construction client and delivers our projects safety to the end users.  

You will lead a team which ensures high standards are being set and maintained across our construction sites.  You will ensure best practices are being showcased and innovative approaches are being adopted where appropriate.

The Capital Directorate is a dynamic environment, delivering multi-billion-pound construction programmes. We are one of the largest public sector construction clients in England, with a capital budget of £23.5bn to 2020-21, and over 600 school building projects. 

We deliver new schools, rebuilds and refurbishments of existing schools to improve the condition of the whole school estate.

Job Description

As Head of Construction Health and Safety you will ensure the department meets its legal duties as a client under the CDM Regulations and other legislation relevant to its construction activities.  You will report to DfE Capital’s senior leadership team on statutory compliance.

You will provide professional construction advice, training and support across our construction programmes.  You will lead and develop our suppliers through a process of coaching, education and professional challenge with the ability to robustly defend the client requirements.

You will write and maintain our standards and specification for construction activities and will frequently visit sites and manufacturing facilities to monitor against these standards. You can expect to travel to sites on average two to three times per week although exact numbers of visits will vary depending on operational need and construction programmes.

You will be the point of contact for delivery project teams who require advice on specific health and safety matters. You will develop and deliver training to delivery colleagues to ensure our staff act safely on site.

You will provide health and safety input to future contractor and consultant frameworks to ensure the department is receiving sufficiently detailed and high-quality advice from our technical advisors and contractors.

Main Responsibilities

  • Take ownership of and lead the delivery of the DfE Health and Safety strategy. 
  • Provide leadership, support, guidance and professional expertise to the Health and Safety team and across DfE Capital to improve knowledge and compliance of CDM and health and safety matters.
  • Craft relationships with our contractors and other suppliers across our construction programmes to effectively deliver the client CDM requirements.
  • Develop and implement strategies to improve site compliance and management to reduce incidents and failures associated with health and safety. 
  • Develop, implement and maintain the reactive and proactive programmes of work that identify and improve leading and lagging health and safety indicators.
  • Develop and deliver internal health and safety training programmes.

Essential requirements

  • A detailed understanding of relevant construction legislation (including, but not limited to, CDM 2015 Regulations).
  • Experience of leading health and safety management on large construction projects or programmes either from a main contractor or client-side role (minimum of 5 years).
  • Experience of setting, monitoring and maintaining health and safety standards on large construction projects or programmes.
  • Experience delivering proactive and reactive work programmes to reduce accidents, incidents and near misses on large construction programmes.
  • Experience of changing health and safety culture in an organisation through identifying areas for improvement and implementing appropriate measures to make necessary change.


Chartered membership of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (CMIOSH or preferably CFIOSH).


NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety or equivalent Evidence of construction training or NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety or equivalent


£65,355 (national), £68,744 (London)


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