The UK Roads Liaison Group Asset Management Board, with support from the Department for Transport, the Highway Inspectors Board, the Midlands Highway Alliance and the Midlands Service Improvement Group, has produced a revised Highway Inspector Competence Framework to outline the high-level requirements for this role.
The new framework has built on previous good practice established through the IHE framework, considers subsequent guidance such as Well-managed Highway Infrastructure, and provides scope for authorities to tailor their risk-based approach to highway inspections to align with local risk appetite and needs. It also includes a degree of flexibility through the inclusion of core competences and optional competences, which individual authorities can align to the scope of their locally-defined inspector role.
The objectives behind the framework are to:
• Outline the role of the highway inspector;
• Raise the importance of the highway inspector role and provide a framework to help role progression;
• Recommend a set of competence areas and associated competences for the highway inspector role;
• Suggest evidence to demonstrate each specific competence;
• Support highway authorities in aligning the highways inspector role with the latest Code of Practice’s risk-based approach; and
• Provide a framework that can be used by professional bodies in helping to support the development of appropriate qualifications/training for highway inspectors, helping to professionalise this role.
The Highway Inspectors Board was established on behalf of UKRLG in 2011, to administer training and certification requirements for the role. The Highway Inspectors Board has subsequently overseen updates in 2017 and 2019, the latter seeing the introduction of the new Highway Inspector Competence Framework. Candidates who successfully complete the courses run by an approved centre are eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Highway Inspectors for a period of five years. Registration with the Highway Inspectors Board can contribute positively to risk management and defence of compensation or liability cases.
Where authorities adopt their own or alternative approach to training, they should engage with their risk, legal and insurance departments to ensure that the chosen approach to training and assessment of highway inspection competence is sufficiently robust for local corporate requirements, as this might need to be justified in any legal action taken against an authority.
The UKRLG Code of Practice Well-managed Highway Infrastructure and IHE’s guidance document Well Managed Highway Liability Risk will both be updated in due course to incorporate reference to the Highway Inspector Competence Framework and Asset Management Comptence Framework, with the proposed changes outlined in the document linked below.
Highway Inspector Competence Framework - Final Document - June 2019
Proposed changes to WmHI and WMHLR Guidance.pdf