What is the National Highways Sector Scheme?

National Highways Sector Schemes are quality management systems, designed for organisations working on UK Road  Networks, to have a trained and competent workforce. The scheme aims to ensure that all work carried out meets the industry benchmarks; demonstrating competency and working towards continually improving standards.  The Scheme has a strong emphasis on health, safety and the environment for both road users and operators.

The National Highways Sector Scheme

National Highways Sector Schemes are made up of more than 20 individual schemes, covering activities ranging from traffic management, fencing, roadside landscaping and road resurfacing and markings. Each of these schemes is developed and managed by a team of technical advisories; including industry representatives, local authorities, trade associations and certification bodies.

Sector Schemes are developed within an ISO 9001 framework in partnership with key organisations in the highways industry, ensuring every business associated with the NHSS is properly trained and has a competent workforce. 

Who needs to be NHSS certified?

The National Highways Sector Scheme is relevant to your organisation if:

  • You are the main contractors or subcontractors who work on the motorway or trunk road network.

  • You are the contractors or subcontractors that work on or beside roads; including landscaping.

  • You are a manufacturer, installer and repairer of products which are covered by a scheme.

  • You are highway designers and consultants.

If your business subcontracts work, you do not necessarily need to be NHSS certified however the subcontractors you employ need to be. The Specification for Highways Works does not allow subcontractors to provide work for a scheme under another company's NHSS certification.

Why Is National Highway Sector Scheme Training Needed?

National Highway Sector Scheme registration is mandatory for Highway England contract work which is specified in accordance with the Specification for Highway Works (SHW). Existing suppliers should demonstrate compliance with the requirements of ISO 9001 and the sector scheme document as part of their continuous improvement within their ISO 9001 registration. For the Sector Scheme to achieve its objectives it is essential that clients; either directly or via an agency, comply with the requirements of the scheme document. 

According to National Highways, there are numerous advantages to being NHSS registered:

  • A competitive edge - If you're already NHSS registered when tendering for work, you may have an advantage over competitors who aren't

  • Enhanced business credentials - through independent verification of your processes against recognised quality standards

  • A better understanding of risk, and how to manage it - The NHSS assessment process can help you pinpoint areas of risk in your operations

  • New opportunities - If you currently work only on non-national road networks, NHSS registration clears the way toward you taking on contracts for the national strategic road network

  • Greater visibility to contracting bodies - You'll be automatically registered on the UKAS Certcheck database by your UKAS-accredited certification body. You may be required to provide information to your certification body to enable it to register your company correctly. (This service is only available to organisations that are registered by a UKAS-accredited certification body for defined management systems. It's not open to organisations that have been registered by certification bodies accredited by other national accreditation bodies.)

  • Access to expertise and support - Some trade associations will only accept new members who are NHSS-registered

What LANTRA Highways Sector Scheme Courses Does Skills Training Centre Provide?

Skills Training Centre offers the LANTRA Highways Sector Scheme which consists of a range of specialised training and assessment packages for Traffic Management; specifically designed to meet industry and national standards. All of the training courses are based on modern instruction methods, group and individual working and several practical on-site assessments. 

All of the training courses take either half a day to 2 days to complete, with the majority ending in either a written test or practical assessments.

See the full list of training courses in our Lantra Highways Sector Scheme 12 D brochure and in one of our recent articles What Training Courses are Required to Become a: Traffic Management Operative

How to re-qualify for Sector Scheme Qualifications

Sector Scheme 12D Qualifications are valid for 5 years*. From 6 months prior to the date of expiry and up to 6 months after the date of expiry, qualifications can be renewed by attending the standard training (T1 – T7) sessions again. Once candidates are more than 6 months past the expiry date, the only way to re-qualify is to retake in full.

The courses we provide are designed to be relevant and cost-effective and are delivered to high standards. Our instructors are professional and experienced in their respective fields and are highly skilled at taking into account the needs of individuals with different skills, abilities and experience. 

*TTMBC as a stand-alone course is valid for 6 months from the date the course was taken.

If you wish to gain further insight into our range of Sector Scheme training courses and what Skills Training Centre can provide for you, please get in touch.

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