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Imagine this: It’s 4:30 am and you are cruelly woken up by the blare of your alarm clock. You roll over to hit ‘snooze’ but you’re suddenly struck by the realisation that you have an important site induction this morning! After trudging through your morning routine, you arrive at the office bang on 5:30 am just in time for the induction to start. As you look around, you see the same blank faces and dreary eye’s that you saw in the mirror this morning. Thankfully everyone gets their first caffeine hit of the day, kindly provided by catering staff, and you get stuck into the class-based induction. You get the training under your belt quickly, and pass the assessment at the end, and leave the induction legally qualified to enter and work on the new building site.
The scenario above is familiar to anyone who works in the construction industry. It’s well known that people develop their skills in a lot of different ways. Practical training, workplace programmes, and on-the-job learning have always had an important role in how people gain experience and develop their skill set in this industry. Despite this, and now more than ever, it’s vital that the practical side of the job is underpinned by solid theoretical knowledge, so that safety requirements are well understood and adhered to regardless of the setting – and the classroom where this knowledge is first developed.
It’s crucial to acknowledge the changing roles and responsibilities of traffic management in New Zealand, and that classroom training for all Traffic Controllers and Site Traffic Management Supervisors (STMS) is just an all-around good idea for building safe and compliant on-road practitioners. Current courses are designed to educate, improve, and assess, every candidate’s knowledge of the key principles of the NZTA’s Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management (CoPTTM), which is the industry guideline for gold-standard traffic management.
When we look through the Level 1 Basic Traffic Controller (TC) course material, we can see that this one-day training module has been designed to cover the core foundations of what Temporary Traffic Management (TTM) is. This basic introduction covers section’s A to D of the CoPTTM, with some reference to section E; and prepares you on how to use the ‘on-site-record’ and gives you an understanding of full-form Traffic Management Plans (TMP), and ‘Traffic Management Diagrams’ (TMD). Passing the ‘Level 1 Basic Traffic Controller’ course means that you are legally able to work for any TTM contractor in New Zealand. There is still more to learn though, and most TTM contractors will not have their new trainee’s running sites on their own. ‘Newbies’ will be placed in a position where they can work alongside more experienced traffic controllers and site supervisors (STMS), so they can develop their understanding and confidence with their new skill-set.
If you’re looking to up-skill within the industry, then the Level 1 STMS course is the way to do it. This is a more intensive, two-day training course. On day one, you will cover sections A to F of the CoPTTM and students will be equipped with a deeper understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a Level 1 STMS. Day two includes several stimulating theory-based challenges to help improve your new skills. You will need to develop your own ‘Traffic Management Plan’ and ‘Traffic Management Diagram’ that accounts for specific real-world circumstances that you may encounter out on the road. This training is an important stepping stone for prospective STMS’ as they can combine their understanding of the CoPTTM with their on-the-job experience to expand their skillset and manage worksites to a higher standard than before.