Temporary traffic management training designed to last

Richard Hayes

Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) chief executive Richard Hayes discusses its new temporary traffic management (TTM) training course and sector engagement programme, which have helped change the sector's understanding of this vital area.

The IHE combined with Virtus Limited and Aston University have established a qualification for professionals engaged in the practice of Temporary Traffic Management Engineering. The aim is to helped this specialism achieve greater professional and industry recognition to ensure TTM is designed and managed so that safety is maximised and impact on the highway network minimised

Concerns were also raised by the Health and Safety Executive following as series of incidents with workers engaged in undertaking TTM duties or within areas contained within temporary layouts

A steering group was set up, which included industry representatives to oversee the training and assessment arrangements for individuals undertaking the course and work towards ensuring that the Professional Certificate (NQF level 3/4) and Diploma (NQF level 5/6) are both academically appropriate and of sufficient practical relevance for it to become recognised nationally as the appropriate competency standard.

Temporary Traffic Management Engineering is a key function for those persons, businesses or authorities that are involved in:

  • managing the expeditious movement and safety of traffic on their clients' highway networks
  • the development and planning of highway maintenance and improvement construction activities
  • the design and implementation of highway improvement schemes on the highway network including the motorway and trunk road network on behalf of clients
  • the planning of temporary traffic schemes for events and other non-construction related changes to the highway network.

TTM involves the detailed engineering assessment of network user demands and existing highway features to ensure that safety is maximised for the workforce and the highway user during maintenance, inspection and improvement works, while also maintaining acceptable traffic flows during those activities.

The increasing use of the UK network outside of traditional peak hours has made the implementation and removal of TTM more challenging, this has driven industry demand for competent individuals who can make engineering decisions.

As the environment in which the industry operates has rapidly changed, changes in industry standards and working practices have accompanied this such that organisations are no longer able to rely on prescriptive time-based network interruptions.

Demand has increased for competent engineers within planning and design teams, who are capable of exercising engineering judgement to manage risk and maintain safety at road work when planning TTM.

The overall certificate is designed for staff responsible for TTM engineering and safety primarily in highway authorities, consultants and contractors.

To date, over 150 people have undertaken the training and assessment at Certificate level, with some 30 going onto the advanced Diploma level.

The key objective of the qualification is to raise the level of competence within the sectors and to ensure that the general public can have confidence in its layout, restrictions and timing and that the minimum of disruption has been encountered. Of course the safety of the workforce undertaking the activity is always top priority.

The qualification standard Section U.2.7.5 of Chapter 8, The Traffic Signs Manual (2016) includes:

Practitioners and employers are encouraged to consider relevant professional certificates or third-party accreditation e.g. IHE professional certificate. These provide a benchmarked and transferrable assessment of competence.

Therefore the expectation already exists that competent individuals are undertaking the activities.

The qualification supports the National Highway Sector Scheme 12 and builds on the best efforts of the skills and activities contained within the scheme.

The IHE Professional Certificate and Diploma in TTM provides the ability to achieve the appropriate level of competence required with Chapter 8 and should be the requirement for all highway authorities and their supply chain.

Full details on how to apply for the training and assessment are available HERE on the IHE website 

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