By Steve Burley and Robert Hudlestone
The Training and Accreditation working Group (TAG) is undertaking a large amount of work at the moment and you may be interested to hear of its current activities.
The group had anecdotal feedback about issues with the current set-up of the street works training and decided substantial improvements are needed to improve training in the industry. They successfully applied for a Lane Rental Funding to allow us to appoint industry experts to do a variety of key tasks.
1) re-draft the assessment strategy document
2) combining the assessment and re-assessment strategy into one document, and
3) revise the question banks to ensure full compliance with all current legislation and codes
At the end of the review, it is hoped that those in the industry will be content that the courses for initial assessment are of a suitably high standard, and equally happy that those taking re-assessment will be able to gain suitable refreshment in without the need to put them through the initial assessment again. It is also essential that a more robust system for accrediting competent Supervisors and Operatives is required to allow the industry is to drive up standards.
In addition to this, the funding is hoped to support the drafting of new assessment strategies and create question banks to allow the creation of HAUC approved Inspector and Street Works Administration qualifications. It is believed an Inspector qualification would be welcome by most local authorities as there has never been a recognised qualification for a Street Works Inspector to hold. Currently Inspectors often attend the Supervisors course and whilst helpful, a specific qualification would help correct the imbalance we have in the industry.
In terms of Street Works Administration, there used to be a City and Guilds accreditation that could be obtained, but this was never updated once EToNs 4, 5 and 6 were implemented. This has become a clear gap in industry training. We work in an environment where a mistake by the back office can cost many thousands of pounds. As such it is vital that those raising Permits and Notices have a good knowledge of what is required of them and equally, those from local authorities who are coordinating works can gain accredited qualification that can assist the recognition of professionalism in this area of the industry.
The group is currently in the process of allocating the work to industry experts and with luck, 2017 will see much or all of this work completed. We aim to make big strides in training for the industry and hope the results will speak for themselves.
Robert Hudlestone of Network Rail and Steve Burley of Anglian Water are the joint Chairs of TAG.