A review of developments in the NRSWA scheme - how the changes effect you and your business.
The New Roads and Street Works Act of 1991 introduced legislation on traffic control within the UK. This act affects all those working within construction and maintenance of roads and streets, meaning that they are required to hold the relevant NRSWA
The NRSWA scheme consists of 12 possible qualifications. It is split into two levels – operator and supervisor, with 6 of the qualifications being available to each group. Each qualification is made up of a selection of units specific to the operator and supervisor roles.
The qualifications for operatives are O1: Excavation in the road/highway, O2: Excavation, backfilling and reinstatement – cold lay, O3: Reinstatement – hot and cold lay bituminous materials, O4: Reinstatement of concrete slabs, O5: Reinstatement of modular surfaces and concrete footways and O6: Signing, lighting and guarding.
While the supervisors qualifications are aimed at developing their monitoring skills and include: S1: Monitor excavation in the road/highway, S2: Monitor excavation, backfilling and reinstatement - construction layers, S3: Monitor reinstatement – hot and cold lay bituminous materials, S4: Monitor reinstatement of concrete slabs, S5: Monitor reinstatement of modular surfaces and concrete footways and S6: Monitor signing, lighting and guarding.
To achieve an operatives or supervisor qualification, delegates must attend a NRSWA
course at an accredited centre. This is the first of the recent changes in the NRSWA
scheme. The option to request that a trainer come to your own site and deliver the course is no longer available. Luckily there are accredited sites throughout the UK. If you are having trouble finding one in a location suitable for you, why not contact an online search facility. They can save you hours of trawling the internet and calling round training providers, and you can also check you are getting the most cost effective course available.
The other changes to the NRSWA
scheme include the introduction of the NRSWA
reassessment. The reassessment means that qualified operative and supervisors whose original cards are nearing expiry, can completed a shorter, refresher style course to renew their qualification.
Similar in style to the SMSTS refresher, the shorter NRSWA course was originally being run as a one day course. However, training providers have been changing this to a minimum of a two days. Course providers have found that the pass rate increases when running the reassessment over two days, as it provides more time for revision before the exam. It is worth noting that reassessment is awarded based solely on the results of the test, which is conducted in exam conditions.
Most reassessments cover the most popular units for supervisors (1, 10-14 +16) or operatives (1-6+9). The rarer units such as 7, 8 and 15 are available as reassessments on request.
The last change in the NRSWA scheme is related to qualifications. Previously it has only been possible to gain a street works card, if you held operative qualification 1-5 or supervisor qualifications 1-5, known as O1-5 or S1-5, respectively. It is now possible to be awarded a street works card on any of the available qualifications O1-O6 and S1- S6. O1, Signing, lighting and guarding and S6, Monitor signing, lighting and guarding had been excluded from the card scheme, as they only required the completion of a single module (002 Signing, lighting and guarding for operators and 010 Monitoring of signing, lighting and guarding for supervisors).