Part 1: About this Consultation
1.1 Section 126 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA), imposes an obligation on road works undertakers to ensure that at all times when work is in progress, there is at least one suitably trained operative on site and that, in most cases, the works are supervised by someone with an appropriate supervisor qualification.
Objective and Scope of Consultation
1.2 Scottish Ministers propose to introduce The Road Works (Qualifications of Operatives and Supervisors) (Scotland) Regulations 2016, the aim of which is to require trained road works operatives and supervisors who wish to re-register their qualifications to do so on the basis of having their competency successfully reassessed. At the same time we also wish to revise the qualification structure.
1.3 The Road Works (Qualifications of Supervisors and Operatives) (Scotland) Regulations 1992 describes a number of units of competency that must be completed by approved operatives or supervisors at road works. These regulations were made under Section 126 and 163(1) of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. These regulations now need updating, in particular to introduce the requirement for the reassessment of road workers qualifications every 5 years, as is the case already in England. We expect the other devolved administrations in Wales and Northern Ireland will carry out similar consultations going forward.
1.4 Road works are carried out by or on behalf of the four main utility groups, water, gas, electric and telecoms. Most utility companies are statutory undertakers (i.e. they have a statutory right to install, inspect, maintain, repair, or replace apparatus). Roads Authorities may also grant road works licences to others. Statutory undertakers and licensees are collectively referred to as undertakers.
1.5 In Scotland, the current legislation is SSI 1992 No 1675, The Road Works (Qualifications of Supervisors and Operatives) (Scotland) Regulations 1992 (“the 1992 regulations”). There are separate regulations for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but generally speaking the Devolved Administrations cooperate with the sector to ensure a level of consistency throughout the UK. A copy of the 1992 regulations can be obtained here and the basic text is also attached at Annex C for ease of reference.
1.6 The proposed regulations will improve on the 1992 regulations by:-
- Amending the list of named approved bodies to include other training organisations which successfully apply to the Scottish Ministers for recognition;
- Revising the structure of qualifications required for utility road work operatives and supervisors;
- Enhancing provisions for the registration of qualifications on the approved register (Street Works Qualification Register – SWQR, which is managed by the SQA for the whole of the UK);
- Amending the qualification requirements for trained operatives and supervisors within the new regulations to provide for reassessment;
- Prescribing that candidates applying to re-register their qualifications must do so on the basis of having successfully completed a reassessment;
- Providing for flexibility in allowing early re-registration of qualifications in certain circumstances;
- Introducing the requirement to comply with the European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2015 to allow for cross-border recognition of Scottish awarded road works qualifications.
1.7 The proposals contained in this consultation are intended to simplify and improve on existing provisions and rationalise the road works training process.
Duration of Consultation
1.8 The consultation period begins on 8 July 2016 and will run for 12 weeks until 30 September 2016. Please ensure that your response reaches us before the closing date as responses received after this date will not be considered in the analysis.
How to Respond
1.9 We recognise that there may be some additional costs to industry associated with the requirement to reassess competencies every 5 years when re-registering qualifications. Some utilities may already operate under a comparable regime for company operations undertaken in England. We would therefore welcome your help in gathering information and views from businesses and individuals on any potential financial impact by completing the Business Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) section at the end of each question. A Partial BRIA has been published with this consultation document. A full BRIA will be published along with the new regulations subject to Parliamentary consideration and approval.
1.10 Please use the link below to register your response on Citizen Space: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/partnerships-and-concessionary-travel/road-works-qualifications
1.11 Handwritten responses will be accepted, although the online method is preferable. You should use the Consultation Questionnaire Word document provided as this will aid our analysis of the responses received.
1.12 Please note that responses not using either the online Citizen Space survey or the Consultation Questionnaire Word document provided might not be considered in the analysis of this consultation.
Paper copy responses may be mailed to: -
Road Works Policy Officer
Area 2 D-North
When responding, please state whether you are responding as an individual or as a member of an organisation, in which case you should give the name of the organisation on behalf of which you are responding.
Handling your Response
1.13 We need to know how you wish your response to be handled, and in particular, whether you are happy for your response to be made public. Please complete and return the Respondent Information Form (“RIF”) which accompanies this form (or print off the RIF attached at Annex D if you prefer to submit a paper copy) with your response as this will ensure that we treat your response accordingly.
1.14 If you ask for your response not to be published we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly. All respondents should, however, be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 therefore would have to consider any request relating to responses made to this consultation exercise. If appropriate, please explain why you need to keep details of your response confidential. We will take your reasons into account if someone asks for this information under Freedom of Information legislation, however, because of the law we cannot promise that we will always be able to keep those details confidential.