South Wales Trunk Road Agent - Highway Safety Inspection Programme

South Wales Trunk Road Agent has been a client of Skills Training Centre for numerous years. Our Highway Inspection course is operated by the City & Guilds 6033 qualification, which gives candidates the ability to undertake highway safety inspections in accordance with national and local standards.

See how Skills Training Centre helped the South Wales Trunk Road Agent achieve their Highway Safety Inspection training courses.

Case study brief:

Client Background

The South Wales Trunk Road Agent (SWTRA) is responsible for managing, maintaining and improving the strategic road network in South Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government.

The four key areas are Network Management, Asset Management, Area Operations and Business Management and the service covers 436 kilometres of trunk road and 178 kilometres of motorway.

The Requirement

Highway safety inspections and safety patrols are carried out in accordance with the Welsh Government Trunk Road Maintenance Manual and it was agreed with the Welsh Government that all SWTRA staff undertaking these inspections should hold a recognised qualification of competence that would offer confidence and credibility to the inspections, particularly when it comes to third party claims.

This training is mandatory for the following members of staff:

  • Highway inspectors

  • Traffic Officers

  • Route Stewards

  • Technicians


The training was first undertaken in 2010 and staff had to be available for 5 days with another ½ day for a one-to-one assessment, this was particularly challenging due to the high number of staff involved, the different shift patterns and keeping the service running.

There were also logistical issues due to the training being at a fixed centre and staff having to travel from various locations across the network. Forward planning was so important to overcome this, along with a strict timetable and commitment from managers and staff which made the process a lot more manageable.

An unprecedented challenge presented itself during the pandemic when on one occasion the training was provided virtually via Teams as social distancing rules prevented any face-to-face theory training. With the available technology, input and commitment from both Skills Training and SWTRA the course was successfully completed.

Many of the staff undergoing the training do not have a highway inspection background, so again this could prove quite challenging. Also with the high-speed nature of the South Wales network, assessments are carried out at a local road level and therefore it’s difficult to truly get a feel of what the inspection entails. 

Action taken:

Skills Training Centre have worked with SWTRA for over 10 years and have continued to deliver a tailored Highway Safety Inspection programme based on their systems and procedures; ensuring all inspectors are consistently trained and assessed.

Initially, trying to accommodate staff from across the SWTRA network was challenging. The success of the programme delivery over the years has been achieved through a collaboration between ourselves and all the key stakeholders. A degree of flexibility when scheduling programmes was needed to ensure as many delegates could be accommodated or even trained from afar as was the case during the pandemic period. 

By ensuring a quality product offering alongside efficient service delivery,  we were able to successfully structure the training programmes with our capable sales team for SWTRA. Providing a detailed course delivery with our experienced trainers and our hands-on operational teams. The needs of SWTRA are always at the forefront of our interactions and we continue to identify ways in which to add value for them.

The tailored Highway Safety Inspection training has the following programme format:

Desktop Review -  This is the pre-course preparation day that our trainers do to read through a client’s safety inspection processes and procedures so they can build these into the training and assessment programme.

Pre-Visit Day - The morning is spent interacting with the client, going through their processes and procedures and gaining clarification on anything required. Here the training and assessment day and assessment processes are explained and how the client’s processes and procedures will be included within the training and assessment programme. This session is intended for those with the greatest knowledge about the policy and who can provide decisions.

The afternoon is then spent walking and identifying the best possible training and assessment sites within the local area.

301 Training - The Highway Inspector 301 training course is carried out in the morning and then there is a  test session with delegates, plus additional assessor feedback time.

311 Training - A three-day training programme which can be LANTRA Certificated (optional) to ensure that your staff are aware of their systems/procedures/local HAMP and the requirements of the CoPfHMM.

311 Assessments - All delegates will sit a 1-hour theory test which is then marked and feedback is given immediately. Each delegate on the course will then carry out their walked 1:1 assessment with our assessor.

The results:

The Highway Safety Inspection training gives a full and comprehensive insight into all risks involved in undertaking highway inspections and also a good understanding of the rationale behind defect assessment and prioritisation. Having a team of staff that are all trained to the same level and hold a relevant highway inspection qualification gives credibility to an organisation. The legal content of the course is beneficial when it comes to defending an organisation or business against liability from third-party claims. 

Highly experienced instructors deliver the training and there is a good level of interaction between the trainer and delegates. Training is conducted in a fairly informal environment where people feel relaxed and happy to engage.  

If you wish to gain further insight into our Highway Inspection Training courses and what Skills Training Centre can provide for you, please get in touch.

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