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Street Works

Street Work’s (NRSWA) Training FAQ’s

   10 January 2024         Blogs

Since 2011, anyone working on English highways is subject to street works training under the New Roads and Streetworks Acts 1991 (NRSWA).

NRSWA legislation also requires operatives and supervisors to be re-assessed every 5 years to ensure they maintain their level of skill and understanding since they registered or last re-registered.

Here are the top FAQ’s we receive about street works training and re-assessments:

1. What is a NRSWA course?

NRSWA (street works) training courses are designed for Supervisors and Operatives who work on the highways and are required to carry out their duties to the standards prescribed by an Awarding Body in-line with the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA), current legislation, and any applicable Approved Codes of Practice (ACOP’s).

2. How do I get a NRSWA card (ticket)?

In order for operatives and supervisors to work legally on the highways, they must register with the Streetworks Qualification Register (SWQR) . To do so they need to hold the up to date Streetworks qualification.

When the individual has successfully completed their training and assessment (s) the Training Provider will notify the Awarding Body who will then issue certificates for the units or qualifications they have successfully completed.

Once the certificates are issued, the Training Provider will apply on the individuals’ behalf to the Street Works Qualifications Register (SWQR) for their ID Card.

To keep qualifications and NRSWA cards (tickets) up to date individuals must be reassessed every five years to show that they are professionally competent to work on English highways.

Develop Training offer a number of NRSWA training courses including, those for Operatives, Supervisors, Inspectors & Auditors, as well as re-assessment training.

View the full range here: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/training/utilities/street-works/

Individuals must ensure that they apply to renew their qualification(s) no less than 3 months prior to the expiry date. If they do not register in time, they will need to retake the full unit, which will result in additional time spent away from work and extra cost.

3. How much does a street works ticket cost?

In the industry, street works cards or SWQR cards are commonly known as ‘tickets’.

Streetworks courses vary in length, depending on the requirements of the learner. Courses range from 1-5 days and therefore vary in price. Question 4 of this blog post outlines the minimum requirements to obtain a streetworks card (or ticket) – therefore, these courses would form the minimum cost of a street works ticket.

4. What are the minimum qualifications required to get on the SWQR and get a Street Works ID card?

For Operatives:

LA – Location and Avoidance of Underground Apparatus

or

O1 – Signing, Lighting and Guarding

LA can be held in its own right, as can O1, however, both are required if you wish to progress on to further units.

For Supervisors:

LA – Location and Avoidance of Underground Apparatus

or

S1 – Monitoring, Signing, Lighting and Guarding

LA can be held in its own right, as can S1, but both are required if you choose to obtain further certificates.

Key Street Works (NRSWA) Units in Wales and Northern Ireland are:

For Operatives:

Certificates for LA, O1 and O2 must be held if you work in Wales and/or Northern Ireland.

LA – Location and Avoidance of Underground Apparatus

O1 – Signing, Lighting and Guarding

O2 – Excavation in the road/highway

For Supervisors:

LA – Location and Avoidance of Underground Apparatus

S1 – Monitoring, Signing, Lighting and Guarding

S2 – Monitoring Excavation in the Road/Highway

 

Note: In Northern Ireland and Wales, O1-Signing, Lighting and Guarding and S1-Monitoring Signing, Lighting and Guarding cannot be issued alone on an SWQR card. You must hold at least one of the above combinations in order to be issued with a valid ID card.

5. Which Units do I need to obtain a full Street Works card?

For Operatives:

LA – Location and Avoidance of Underground Apparatus. Find out more here.

O1 – Signing, Lighting and Guarding. Find out more here.

LA can be held in its own right, as can O1, however, both are required if you wish to progress on to further units.

O2 – Excavation in the Highway. Any operative who is performing excavations will need this unit to be able to dig down to reach buried utilities. Find out more here.

O3 – Reinstatement and compaction of backfill materials. Any operative working within a reinstatement team would need this unit to be able to reinstate the road after the utilities have been installed, however this only covers up to back fill level.

O4 – Reinstatement of sub-base and base in non-bituminous materials. This unit comes in after the backfill level (Unit O3) and allows operatives to reinstate up to base level, including sub-base and base.

O5 – Reinstatement in cold lay bituminous materials. This unit is about the reinstatement of cold lay to cover the excavation.

O6 – Reinstatement in hot-lay bituminous materials. This unit is about the reinstatement of hot lay.

O8 – Reinstatement of modular surfaces & concrete footways. This unit covers concreting in the footways, such as laying block paving and slabs. A reinstatement team would need this if working with concrete footways or modular footways and roads.

 

For Supervisors:

LA – Location and Avoidance of Underground Apparatus. Find out more here.

S1 – Monitoring, Signing, Lighting and Guarding. Find out more here.

LA can be held in its own right, as can S1, but both are required if you choose to obtain further certificates.

S2 – Monitoring excavation in the highway. This unit covers the supervisory role of excavations. Find out more here.

S3 – Monitoring reinstatement and compaction of backfill materials. This unit covers the supervisory role of backfill.

S4 – Monitoring reinstatement of sub-base and base in non-bituminous materials. This unit covers the supervisory role of base and sub-base.

S5 – Monitoring reinstatement in bituminous materials. This unit covers the supervisory role of all bituminous material regardless of whether it is cold or hot lay.

S7 – Monitoring reinstatement of  modular surfaces and concrete footways. This unit covers the supervisory role of concrete in the footways and modular surfaces in the road and footways.

Download our handy pdf guide that shows which NRSWA courses are available for Operatives and Supervisors, and the courses that are offered by Develop Training: https://resources.developtraining.co.uk/develop-guide-to-streetworks-training

Develop Training offer a 5 day training course that covers all these units for Operatives and/or Supervisors. Further information can be found here: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/courses/streetworks/operatives-and-supervisors/nrswa-reinstatement-of-highway/

6. Why do I need streetworks (NRSWA) refresher training?

Undertaking a street works (NRSWA) re-assessment ensures that operatives and supervisors work legally, safely and efficiently on the highways, maintaining their level of skills and understanding. Refresher training helps operatives and supervisors to understand the latest NRSWA legislation, and any changes to practices on the highway that may have occurred since their last training.

7. What are the pre-requisites for individuals looking to undergo Streetworks Refresher Training?

Streetworks Refresher Training can only be taken in units that the operative or supervisor already holds. For new areas of work, the individual must attend the full streetworks (NRSWA) training course for the units they wish to complete, before they can register with SWQR.

Reassessment takes the form of multiple choice questions on each unit the candidate wishes to renew. These are completely electronically and are timed under exam conditions.

Develop currently offers two NRSWA re-asessment courses:

A 1 day course for individuals who need to be re-assessed to renew their SWQR Streetworks card for LA + O1, O2 / S1, S2 (Units 1, 2, 3, 10, 11). Find out more here.

A 1 day course for individuals who need to be re-assessed to renew their SWQR Streetworks card for O3 – O8 / S3 – S7 (Units 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16). Find out more here.

8. How can I obtain a copy of my NRSWA certificate?

If you undertook your street works (NRSWA) training with Develop Training at one of our training centres in Derby, York, Swindon, Manchester, Brentwood, Linlithgow (Scotland), Birmingham, or Norwich then you can contact our Customer Service team on 0800 876 6708 or enquiries@developtraining.co.uk and request a copy of your certificate (certificate charges may apply). This also applies to any training that was undertaken on-site but run by Develop Training.

For all other certificates, you must contact the training provider at which you completed the training.

9. Which Awarding Organisation does Develop Training use?

Following successful completion of a written and practical assessment for each unit/qualification, learners will receive a CABWI certificate in recognition of their achievement.

10. Where does Develop run NRSWA training courses?

Develop has eight dedicated training centres and NRSWA training courses can be run from the majority of them, including Derby, York, Birmingham, Norwich, Swindon, Linlithgow (Scotland), Brentwood, and Manchester. We may also be able to provide a training course on a site or location of your choice. Find out more about our training centres here.

11. What’s the difference between streetworks and roadworks?

Street works are those completed by utility companies to install, repair and maintain their services. Road works are works completed by the highway authorities.

At Develop Training we’ve streetworks courses to meet the training needs of every streetworks discipline; from signing, lighting and guarding, to reinstating the highways, dropping a kerb, and locating and avoiding underground apparatus. We deliver NRSWA training at centres across the UK including: Derby, Swindon, York, Brentwood (Essex), Manchester, Norwich, Birmingham & Linlithgow in Scotland. We can also deliver onsite training if required.

View our full range of streetworks training courses here: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/training/utilities/street-works

Download our handy pdf guide that shows which NRSWA courses are available for Operatives and Supervisors, and the courses that are offered by Develop Training: https://resources.developtraining.co.uk/develop-guide-to-streetworks-training

Unsure which course you need? Our flowchart will help you work out which training course you require to safely & competently carry out specific aspects of street works: https://resources.developtraining.co.uk/develop-streetworks-flowchart

Contact us

Contact us today on 0800 876 6708 or enquiries@developtraining.co.uk to book a place on a street works (NRSWA) training course or enquire about a bespoke course at a location of your choice.

About the Author

Ben Blessett, Street Works (NRSWA) Trainer

Ben Blessett has two years of experience as a Street Works (NRSWA) trainer, following a diverse career across various industries. He says "the best thing about my job is getting to impart my knowledge on to the next generation of tradespeople."

Street Works

Preparing for street works: ensuring safety and compliance

   11 September 2023         Blogs

Undertaking work on roadways and public pavements involves inherent risks that can impact both the public and workers. Proper management and precautions are crucial to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Failure to manage street works effectively can lead to serious road traffic collisions, endanger pedestrians, and cause damage to underground services. 

The consequences of these factors can be fatal, especially when working on busier roads where the risk is heightened. The obstruction of highways poses significant risks, leading to specific legislation governing street works and rigorous enforcement measures. Moreover, workers are exposed to additional hazards stemming from the use of machinery, chemicals, hot bitumen, and other elements, requiring utmost caution and adherence to safety protocols.

This blog post explores potential problems during street works and highlights the necessary precautions that contractors should take.

A Costly Incident: A Prominent Telecommunications Company’s Street Works Breach

A real-world case involving a leading telecommunications company’s subcontractor serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of mismanaged street works. The failure to properly signpost and guard the work area and inappropriate traffic management methods resulted in significant risks to pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists. Despite numerous requests to address the issues, the company’s slow response led to prosecution by Transport for London (TfL). The company pleaded guilty to operating unsafe street works, resulting in a record-breaking fine and emphasised the importance of better communication and compliance.

Steps to Ensure Safe Street Works

All organisation’s that arrange street works, play a crucial role in ensuring safety and compliance. By taking proactive measures and working with competent contractors, organisation’s can mitigate risks and contribute to a safer working environment.

Here are some essential steps to consider:

Tip 1: Verify Contractor Competence

Before hiring a contractor, ensure they will have a qualified street works operative present on-site at all times during the project. Additionally, verify that the company has a qualified street works supervisor overseeing the works. These qualifications demonstrate the contractor’s commitment to safety and professionalism.

Tip 2: Request a Comprehensive Traffic Management Plan

Prior to commencing the work, request a traffic management plan from your contractor. This plan should be based on the Chapter 8 Traffic Signs Manual, which outlines best practices for managing traffic during street works. If your project is significant, consider involving a separate designer specialising in traffic management for larger scale works.

Tip 3: Review Risk Assessments and Method Statements

Thoroughly review the risk assessment and method statement provided by your contractor. These documents should address all potential hazards and outline specific measures to mitigate them. Ensure that the contractor has a solid plan to handle risks related to machinery, chemicals, hot bitumen, and other critical factors.

Conclusion: Prioritising Safety in Street Works

In conclusion, street works present significant challenges and risks that demand diligent management and adherence to safety guidelines. As a client, your role in choosing competent contractors and ensuring proper safety measures are in place is crucial.

By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can contribute to a safer and more compliant street works project.

Always remember that safety should be the top priority for any work involving public spaces.

New Roads & Street Works (NRSWA) training

To view Develop’s full range of New Roads and Street Works (NRSWA) training please visit: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/training/utilities/street-works/

Training with a difference – attend a street works training course at our York centre and you’ll carry out your practical training & assessment on a fully-to-scale artificial street. Find out more here: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/training-terrace-receives-rave-reviews-from-delegates/

Further resources

Visit our Resource Centre for a range of materials to help you plan and manage your street works training.

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