Under the New Roads and Street Works Act (1991) (NRSWA), the installation, renewal, maintenance and inspection of underground apparatus in any street or road must be undertaken by competent people. The Street Works scheme provides the mechanism for recognising competence in excavation and reinstatement in the highway.

The Street Works scheme

All street works sites must be supervised by a qualified street works supervisor, and a qualified operative must be on site at all times during work undertaken in the highway. One person may not cover the operative and supervisor roles for a site at the same time.

Anyone acting as a qualified supervisor or operative must hold the correct Street Works qualifications for the activities that they cover. There are sixteen units of competence in total; nine units apply to operatives and eight to supervisors. One of these units (Location and avoidance of underground apparatus) applies to both groups. Please note: With effect from April 2017, different CABWI codes apply to Street Works units taken in England from those taken in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Street Works scheme is delivered through recognised assessment centres. Contact details for all current CABWI centres can be found on the Centres page, where you can search for centres by qualification or subject area. If your organisation wishes to apply to become a CABWI centre for Street Works qualifications, please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

The Street Works qualifications register

Anyone wishing to be a current recognised operative or supervisor for Street Works must gain the relevant Street Works qualification(s) and must register their certificates with the Street Works Qualifications Register (SWQR), under Sections 67 and 126 of the New Roads and Street Works Act.

CABWI works with SWQR to ensure that each qualified operative or supervisor is issued with an ID card which they may be required to produce on site to confirm their status. Street Works cards must be renewed every five years.

Street Works reassessment

With effect from 6 April 2011, all operatives and supervisors wishing to renew their SWQR cards will need to be reassessed. Reassessment will be delivered through approved assessment centres, and is covered through a knowledge test. For details of how to become a CABWI approved centre for Street Works reassessment, please contact us.