Ensure you have the right Streetworks Qualification
If you are new to working on the roads, then you’ll need to complete a Streetworks course to ensure you are legally qualified in your job role. Current legislation states that all Streetworks must have at least one qualified operative and supervisor on site at all times, and this cannot be the same person holding both qualifications.
Also known as NRSWA courses, these are designed for candidates working on roads and highways within the UK. The aim is to promote good working practices and the safety of the delegate and those around them, including road users.
Candidates on a NRSWA course will also cover what The Street Works Acts requires of them and how to select suitable PPE and safety equipment suitable for street works.
What is NRSWA?
NRSWA stands for the New Road and Street Works Act of 1991, specifically sections 67 and 126. This is where the Department for Transport lay down the legal requirement for workers on the roads.
NRSWA/Streetworks training is accredited by three different bodies: City and Guilds (C&G), the Certification and Assessment Board for the Water Industry (CABWI) and the Scottish Qualifications Authority. As an accredited course, the content is standardised, which guarantees the quality of the delivery throughout the UK.
NRSWA are what we call “modular courses”, which means that individuals or companies can tailor the training to their specific needs. They are divided into units and qualifications tailored to two different job levels, with a group of units counting as a qualification.
Supervisor / Operative level
As above, NRSWA courses are split into two skill levels, which each level tailored towards that particular job role. These are the roles of the Supervisor and the Operative.
With that in mind, the first decision to make is which level of training to book for. The way to discern this is based on your role.
- Are you actually doing the jobs such as excavation, signing and lighting or reinstatement? If so then you are classed as an operative.
- If, however you are overseeing a team that is doing these tasks and not actually doing them yourself, you are classed as a supervisor.
Some delegates swap between roles. If this is the case for you, you will need to sit both an operator and a supervisor course at separate times, and remember, you cannot be the only person on a site holding both of these qualifications!
Once you have established whether you are an operative or a supervisor, the next task is to select the correct NRSWA training units to do.
Units & Qualifications
Each competence level offers different units, with 6 qualifications available made up from a combination of these. Some delegates, depending on their needs, choose to complete all of the units whilst others pick and choose the ones they require. Most delegates make the decision based on their employers’ requirements and which units will maximise their potential to gain full NRSWA qualifications.
The units only needed to be completed once, and then can be used for more than one qualification at a time, until their validity expires.
There are nine Operative units available:
- Unit 001 - Location and avoidance of underground apparatus.
- Unit 002 - Signing, lighting and guarding.
- Unit 003 - Excavation in the highway.
- Unit 004 - Reinstatement and compaction of backfill materials.
- Unit 005 - Reinstatement of sub-base and road base in non-bituminous materials.
- Unit 006 - Reinstatement in cold-lay bituminous materials.
- Unit 007 - Reinstatement in hot-lay bituminous materials.
- Unit 008 - Reinstatement of concrete slabs.
- Unit 009 - Reinstatement of modular surfaces and concrete footways.
Operatives can choose from these which combinations to sit to achieve the right Qualifications they need to fulfil their legal requirements on a site.
- Qualification O1: Excavation in the road/highway - Units 001, 002 and 003
- Qualification 02: Excavation, backfilling and reinstatement – cold lay - Units 001, 002, 003, 004, 005 and 006
- Qualification 03: Reinstatement – hot and cold lay bituminous materials - Units 001, 002, 006 and 007
- Qualification 04: Reinstatement of concrete slabs - Units 001, 002 and 008
- Qualification O5: Reinstatement of modular surfaces and concrete footways - Units 001, 002 and 009
- Qualification 06: Signing, lighting and guarding - Unit 002
Supervisor units cover the same topics for supervisors and operatives, but the Supervisors’ units are focused around how to monitor their team perform the tasks.
You can tell if it is a supervisors’ unit as it begins with a single zero, while the operatives’ units start with a double zero.
The exception to this is Unit 001 (Location and avoidance of underground apparatus). This is open to both supervisors and operatives as no one wants to burst a water main or worse while they’re digging!
There are 8 Supervisor units available:
- Unit 001 - Location and avoidance of underground apparatus.
- Unit 010 - Monitoring signing, lighting and guarding.
- Unit 011 - Monitoring excavation in the highway.
- Unit 012 - Monitoring reinstatement and compaction of backfill materials.
- Unit 013 - Monitoring reinstatement of sub-base and road base in non-bituminous materials.
- Unit 014 - Monitoring reinstatement in bituminous materials.
- Unit 015 - Monitoring reinstatement of concrete slabs.
- Unit 016 - Monitoring reinstatement of modular surfaces and concrete footways.
Supervisors can choose from these which combinations to sit to achieve the right Qualifications they need to fulfil their legal requirements on a site.
- Qualification S1: Monitor excavation in the road/highway - Units 001, 010 and 011
- Qualification S2: Monitor excavation, backfilling and reinstatement - construction layers - Units 001, 010, 011, 012, 013 and 014
- Qualification S3: Monitor reinstatement – hot and cold lay bituminous materials - Units 001, 010 and 014,
- Qualification S4: Monitor reinstatement of concrete slabs - Units 001, 010 and 015, Qualification S5: Monitor reinstatement of modular surfaces and concrete footways - Units 001, 010 and 016
- Qualification S6: Monitor signing, lighting and guarding - Unit 010.
Successful completion of the Units required to make up either an Operative or Supervisor qualification will result in an NRSWA card (valid for 5 years) which states which Qualification(s) the individual holds. Sitting Units alone will not qualify, except for Unit 002 (Operatives) and Unit 010 (Supervisors), which result in Qualifications 06 and S6 respectively.
Once your NRSWA card is close to expiry, it is possible to sit a re-qualification course at their Operative and Supervisor level as opposed to starting from scratch. The re-qualification courses include a short formal revision session, and then a test in exam conditions.