What You Need to Know About NRSWA

Understanding the Importance of NRSWA Street Works Training Courses

For professionals involved in roadworks and street works, understanding and adhering to the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA) is crucial. This legislation governs all street and highway works carried out by utilities companies and their contractors, ensuring safety and minimizing disruption to the public. To meet these requirements, various NRSWA street works training courses are offered to equip workers with the necessary skills and knowledge.

Overview of NRSWA Street Works Training

The NRSWA street works training courses are designed to ensure that all operatives and supervisors working on the highways are compliant with the latest safety standards and regulations. These courses not only cover practical skills necessary for safe and efficient street works but also emphasize the importance of understanding and implementing the legal requirements stipulated by the 1991 Act.

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Who Should Attend NRSWA Training?

These courses are essential for anyone involved in excavation, backfilling, and reinstatement of various materials on public highways. Specifically, two main groups can benefit:

  • Operatives: These are the workers on the ground, performing the physical tasks involved in street works.
  • Supervisors: Individuals responsible for overseeing and ensuring the quality and safety of the work being carried out in accordance with statutory requirements.

Key NRSWA Street Works Training Courses

There are several specific courses under the NRSWA training umbrella, each targeting different aspects of street works:

1. NRSWA Operatives and Supervisors Course

This five-day course is foundational for operatives and supervisors. It covers everything from selecting the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to understanding how to safeguard oneself and others during the works. Supervisors receive additional training on monitoring and managing operatives to ensure compliance with the NRSWA.

2. Sign Lighting and Guarding

Another critical area of training is the Sign Lighting and Guarding course, which is particularly useful for those involved in setting up safety measures around street works. The course, which lasts one day, teaches participants about the proper layout of signs, barriers, lamps, and warning notices. It also covers the identification of conditions that may require special measures.

3. Location and Avoidance of Underground Apparatus

Given the potential dangers associated with excavation, this one-day course is crucial. It focuses on the skills needed to identify and avoid underground utilities, such as gas lines and cables, to prevent accidents. Participants learn how to interpret utility drawings and use detection tools to locate buried apparatus effectively.

Reassessment and Renewal

For those who already hold an SWQR card — a certification proving completion of NRSWA streetworks training courses — keeping this qualification up to date is essential. The reassessment course, taking place over two days, allows seasoned professionals to renew their certification, ensuring they remain compliant with any new regulations or practices.

The Importance of NRSWA Training

Completing NRSWA streetworks training courses not only fulfills legal obligations but also ensures that work is carried out safely and efficiently. The training helps minimize the potential for accidents, improves the quality of workmanship, and ensures public inconvenience is reduced during street works. Additionally, holding a valid SWQR card enhances employability, providing proof of a professional’s qualifications and commitment to safety standards.

The importance of the New Roads and Street Works Act (NRSWA) training cannot be overstated in ensuring that street works are conducted safely and effectively. Compliance with NRSWA is not only a legal requirement but also a critical measure to protect workers and the public from potential hazards associated with road works. The training provided under NRSWA equips workers with the necessary skills to handle complex situations that may arise during excavation and construction activities on public thoroughfares.

Furthermore, NRSWA training promotes a standardized approach to street works, ensuring that all personnel involved are familiar with the best practices and current regulations. This standardization helps in reducing confusion and errors on the job, leading to quicker completion times and reduced disruption to the public. Additionally, well-trained workers contribute to the longevity and quality of the infrastructure work performed, ultimately saving public money by reducing the need for frequent repairs and maintenance.


Whether you are new to the field of street works or a seasoned professional, participating in NRSWA training is beneficial. With a range of courses designed to cover various aspects of the work involved, these training modules play a crucial role in enhancing the skills and knowledge of those responsible for maintaining and improving our roadways. As legislation and techniques evolve, ongoing training remains a key component in ensuring that all street works are carried out to the highest standards of safety and compliance.


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