Highways England seeks more passport sign-ups. - but questions still remain

Following last weeks Safer Highways “Lunch and Learn“ Session around the Passport scheme Highways England is proactively seeking more sign ups.

Following last Monday’s exclusive Safwr Highways “Lunch and Learn“ webinar around the Passport Scheme, Highways England, the client on the strategic road network, have issued a rallying call to the supply chain to sign upto the scheme.

In an interview with Highways Magazine Mark Byard, Health and Safety Director at the government owned company said,

‘The Highways England Passport Scheme is all about ensuring consistency in training and competencies, making things more efficient and supporting our suppliers in the long term.

‘The passport itself, a simple smartcard, provides proof of competencies and demonstrates that the holder has completed the Highways Common Induction. We are encouraging all our suppliers to register for their passport.’

The scheme will now be written into all future contracts - thus meaning those tendering can factor in any associated costs and has now been recognised as the approved competency barometer for the supply chain by both the Highways England Executive Safety Committee and thre Supply Chain Safety Leadership Group (SCSLG).

However, at the same time in the webinar Mr Byard acknowledged that should a contractor be able to demonstrate competency using an alternative scheme then there would be “a conversation to be had.”

Almost 600 companies have already signed up for the scheme, ‘which delivers a more efficient and consistent approach to safety and training across all sites’ - thus the scheme offers a credible route for those without a system currently in place, chiefly the tier 2 and 3 contractors.

Next week we hear from Claire Morby, Health and Safety Manager at Clearview intelligence about the difference the HE passport has made to monitoring competencies in her business

Click here to view the FAQ section around passport

The webinar, held on Monday 21st September was attended by in excess of 1,000 people and despite representation from the client, the company behind the software and indeed the supply chain, left many questions were left unanswered.

However, that said the system does offer the lower tiers of our supply chain an approved system of monitoring competency.

Watch the Webinar in full

Speaking about the Supply Chain Safety Leaderdship Groups support of both the system and indeed the HE led scheme Phil Clifton, chair of the SCSLG, said,

It takes all of us to create the environment for a positive safety culture and I encourage everyone to register for their passport.’

Highways England said the improved ‘Highways Common Induction’ is now being developed online and covers the common risks faced when working on Highways England sites in just over 1.5 hours - although exact details are yet to be announced.

‘This means those who have registered and done the training only need to focus on site specific safety briefings when they visit a site.

But still the scheme remains shrouded in mystery with little clarity for the supply chain about who needs a passport, what the penalties for not taking up the scheme will be and indeed what are the alternatives for organisation.


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