Streetworks Training Explained
What is the NRSWA about?
The NRSWA was an idea put in place back in 1991 to safeguard those who work on the roads and highways. The idea behind the act is to educate those who wish to either supervise or carry out work on the highways to the best and safest codes of practice. As such, the act contains a set of definite guidelines and regulations that must be adhered to at all times to help ensure safety during Streetworks operations.
Now that we know what the NRSWA is for, we can start to look a little closer at how someone would be able to train up to the level of understanding that is required so that they can carry out or supervise activities on the highway.
How does a Streetworks Course work?
NRSWA courses are available over a total of 18 units, split down into 9 course topics. These are aimed at both Supervisors and Operatives with different content for each level of job role.
NRSWA courses are governed by City & Guilds. CITB levy payers should also be able to claim a percentage of the course fees from the CITB.
Can I be a supervisor and an operative?
Delegates are eligible to train in both supervisor and operative courses. To do this you must take each course separately.
Please be aware that while it is ok to swap between the operative and supervisors role at different times; if you hold these qualifications, it is not recommended that you attempt both roles at the same time, as this may compromise the health and safety of the project.
To choose which course is most relevant, there are two main distinctions:
- The operative is the person who will be completing tasks such as excavations and backfills.
- The supervisor is the person that will be overseeing the operative in these tasks.
How are the Units different?
- The Operatives courses are aimed at those who need to carry out the work on roads and streets within the UK. Operatives may be asked to work in teams completing tasks that include signing, lighting and guarding, excavations, backfills, reinstatements either hot or cold lay and of modular surface and pathways.
- The supervisor’s courses are designed for those who have experience as operatives, and have now moved to a team leader, supervisor or management role.
How are the Units broken down?
The 9 different Unit topics cover the same basic areas, but the courses aimed at Supervisor level focus on how to ensure the team is completing the work to the required standard.
- Unit 001 - Location and avoidance of underground apparatus.
- Unit 02 - Signing, lighting and guarding
- Unit 03 - Excavation in the highway.
- Unit 04 - Reinstatement and compaction of backfill materials.
- Unit 05 - Reinstatement of sub-base and road base in non-bituminous materials.
- Unit 06 - Reinstatement in cold-lay bituminous materials.
- Unit 07 - Reinstatement in hot-lay bituminous materials.
- Unit 08 - Reinstatement of concrete slabs.
- Unit 09 - Reinstatement of modular surfaces and concrete footways.
- Unit 001 - Location and avoidance of underground apparatus.
- Unit 010 - Monitoring signing, lighting and guarding (See above).
- 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
Unit 001 is shared by both levels of job role.
By combining certain sets of units, Operatives and Supervisors can qualify for a NRSWA qualification and so obtain a NRSWA card.
As an operative, if you have completed the most regular grouping of units (001-06 + 09), it would get you for the following qualifications:
- Qualification O1: Excavation in the road/ Highway (made up of units 01, 02 and 03).
- Qualification O2: Excavation, backfilling and reinstatement of cold lay (made up of 001, 02, 03, 04, 05 and 06)
- Qualification O3: Reinstatement – hot and cold lay bituminous materials (made up of 001, 02, 06 and 07)
- Qualification O4: Reinstatement of concrete slabs (made up of 001, 02 and 08)
- Qualification O5: Reinstatement of modular surfaces and concrete footways (made up of modules 001, 02 and 09)
- Qualification O6: Signing, Lighting and Guarding only requires unit 02.
- Qualification S1: Monitor excavation in the road/highway qualification (made up of 001, S10 and S11)
- Qualification S2: Monitor excavation, backfilling and reinstatement (made up of 001, 010, 011, 012, 013 and 014).
- Qualification S3: Monitor reinstatement – hot and cold lay bituminous materials (made up of 001, 010 and 014).
- Qualification S4: Monitor reinstatement of concrete slabs (made up of 001, 010 and 015).
- Qualification S5: Monitor reinstatement of modular surfaces and concrete footways (made up of 001, 010 and 016)
- Qualification S6: Monitor signing, lighting and guarding needs only unit 010.
Units 07 and 08 for operatives and unit 015 for supervisors are seen as less common and as such are offered in a reduced number of locations throughout the UK.
You will need to complete operatives’ units 07 and 08 as well as the other units if you need the following qualifications
- O3 Reinstatement – hot and cold lay bituminous materials
- O4 Reinstatement of concrete slabs
Obtaining a NRSWA Card
You do need to gain a qualification as above at either Operator or Supervisor level to get a NRSWA card (valid for 5 years). Sitting a module alone is not enough.
However, as Units 02 and 010 are now viewed as qualifications in their own right, you may gain a card with as little as one single module. Please remember though, all other qualifications require more than one module.
When it comes to renewing your card, candidates can sit re-qualification courses, which include short revision sessions and a test in exam conditions.
Accessing NRSWA courses
NRSWA training is carried out in 2 ways; as open courses at specialised training centres and dedicated courses at an organisation’s own venue, if the proposed site meets defined minimum requirements.
Where a dedicated course can be set up at the customer’s premises, this is a great way of minimising staff travelling time and expense in attending open courses. This can help by integrating training into your current work plans and will mean that you do not need to lose essential members of staff for long amounts of time.
NRSWA training courses for all skill levels can be completed over a short period of time, within some courses being only one day and others typically 5 days.
- NRSWA courses include both a theory element and a practical element.
Make sure before you book onto a course that you can read an overview of the individual course. If this is not available, send an enquiry or give the training provider a call to get comprehensive information on what is included; content, the cost and timescale of the course and also how the course is run, whether it will be distance learning or will you have to send the employees away for the duration of the course.