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Overview of the role

Supervising the installation and servicing of electrical equipment and systems on roads and motorways

Highways electrician / service operative

Reference Number: ST0052

Details of standard

The funding band for this standard has been reviewed as part of the apprenticeship funding band review. The new funding band is £12000 and will be implemented for all new starts on 1 July 2019. Please note the increase will be reflected on find apprenticeship training from 8 July 2019.

Items that should appear in all Apprenticeship standards are in black type and those that are optional depending on the occupation and circumstances are in blue type.

The following standard reflects employers’ requirements for the skills, knowledge and behaviours expected from someone to be competent in this occupation.

1. Occupation(s)

  • The occupations covered by this Apprenticeship standard are Highways Electrician / Service Operative.
  • The standard is wider than just street lighting and is to be particularised for the specialist highway electrical sub-sector(s) concerned – e.g. street lighting, traffic signals, safety cameras, highway communications.

2. Occupational profile

The main duties and tasks of someone who is a competent Highways Electrician / Service Operative within the relevant sub-sector(s) are to:

  • Install, maintain (including fault diagnosis and repairs), inspect and test low voltage highway electrical equipment and systems (e.g. street lighting, traffic signals, safety cameras)
  • Carry out emergency attendance and emergency works (e.g. where a car has hit a streetlight)
  • Ensure appropriate Health, Safety & Environmental procedures including the requirements of the Highway Electrical Registration Scheme (HERS) (see www.thehea.org.uk) are applied
  • Ensure work is carried out efficiently, effectively and safely
  • Maintain effective working relationships
  • Work on their own initiative and also in teams and supervise the work of other team members
  • Optionally: Commission highway electrical equipment and systems (e.g. setting timings for traffic signal operation)

3. Requirements: Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours

This is the core of the Apprenticeship standard. The knowledge and skills that are required by employers for competent Highways Electricians / Service Operatives are shown below with Core elements shown as black text on a white background and Option(s) as blue text on a blue background.

Knowledge  and Skills

What is required

Health, Safety and Environmental

Understanding the requirements of their employer and industry as a whole to ensure the health and safety of employees and others affected by any work carried out and how to minimise harming the environment and to apply these before starting work and during the works both for themselves and those they are responsible for

Highway Electrical Equipment and Systems

Understanding and identifying the different types of equipment and systems used in the highway electrical sector, the principles of operation, and how they are installed and maintained; Understanding electrical principles and practices and applying these to highway electrical equipment and systems.

Planning, preparing and organising works

Understanding the requirements of the employer and industry and applying these to safely and efficiently plan, prepare and organise works on site including obtaining the necessary plant, tools, materials and competent people; allocating resources; setting  individual responsibilities and ensuring the scope of work is understood

Installation Techniques

Understanding how to install, and actually installing and connecting a range of highway electrical equipment and components (e.g. cables, fuses, distribution boards); understanding and dealing with varying site conditions; Understanding and carrying out the relevant electrical and functional tests  for installed equipment and completing records (e.g. job sheets and electrical test certificates)

Maintenance Techniques

Understanding the principles and practices of routine (e.g. cleaning and bulk relamping) and reactive (e.g. responding to lights or signals that are out or out of timing) maintenance including the safety and technical implications, the  diagnosis and correction of faults and the tests for equipment being maintained; applying these in practice

Inspection and Testing principles and practices

Understanding the principles, practices and requirements of electrical and where applicable structural inspection and testing of highway electrical equipment and systems; Understanding how to verify and record the results; Carrying out electrical and where applicable visual structural inspection and testing on highway electrical equipment, recording the results and verifying whether the system complies with the industry standards and is safe, and the actions to take if this is not the case.

Emergency Attendance & Emergency Works

Understanding the requirements and procedures of the employer and industry  and applying these to emergencies such as a road traffic incident where a vehicle impacts a street light or traffic signal, to assess the site, determine what action is required, call for appropriate additional technical back up and ensure the site is left safe and relevant reports are completed


Effective communication

Understanding of how to communicate effectively and how to develop and maintain effective working relationships and applying this understanding in practice so as to ensure productive working relationships; ensuring communication is clear, appropriate and understood;  promoting a professional image

Effective supervisory techniques

Understanding the responsibilities and requirements of supervisors; Understanding the principles of effective supervision; Allocating duties and responsibilities and coordinating activities to ensure work is carried out safely, cost-effectively and within the programme of work

Commissioning principles and practices

Understanding the scope, purpose and procedures associated with commissioning inspection and tests, handover and recording of results; planning and carrying out the commissioning (e.g. for ensuring traffic signal installations are safe and the specification of equipment, the installation and the timings are in accordance with the customers’ requirements)



What is required

Health, Safety & Environment

Promoting a positive Health, Safety and Environmental culture through situational awareness and by personal example; taking appropriate actions if others are acting unsafely

Accepting responsibility

Taking responsibility for own and others judgements, actions and standards of work.

Being aware of the limits of their own competence and taking the initiative for ensuring that their competence is maintained, developed and up to date


Allocation of work tasks and monitoring performance to ensure appropriate standards of safety, workmanship and commercial performance / business needs are met and maintained

. Duration

The typical duration of this Apprenticeship is 24 months

5. Entry requirements

Individual employers will set the entry requirements for this apprenticeship but typically candidates will have completed the Level 2 Highway Electrical Maintenance & Installation operative apprenticeship.

6. Qualifications

This is a Level 3 Apprenticeship and will result at the end of the Apprenticeship, in gaining a Level 3 Certificate and a Level 3 NVQ Diploma

7. Link to professional registration

Completion of this Apprenticeship meets the requirements for registration to the Highway Electrical Registration Scheme (HERS), a licence to practise evidenced by the issuing of an ECS HERS Card; registration as Technician Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (with the designatory letters (TMIET); and is designed to meet the registration requirements of the Engineering Council for Engineering Technician (with the designatory letters EngTech)

8. Review date

This apprenticeship standard should be reviewed no more than two years after approval of the standard

Regulated Standard

This is a Regulated occupation.

Regulator Body:

Highway Electrical Association

Training provider must be approved by regulator body

EPAO must be approved by regulator body

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Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 3
Reference: ST0052
Version: 2
Date updated: 01/07/2019
Approved for delivery: 19 August 2016
Route: Construction
Typical duration to gateway : 24 months months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £12000
Regulated Standard
Regulated Body

Highway Electrical Association

Training provider must be approved by regulator body

EPAO must be approved by regulator body

Trailblazer contact(s): gjarvis@etl.ltd
Employers involved in creating the standard: Balfour Beatty, AK Lighting & Signs, Amey, Anderson & Heeley Ltd, Bouygues Energies & Services, Cable Test Limited, Carillion, CG Group Ltd, Connect Plus, E-on, Electrical Testing, G M Briton (Public Works) Ltd, Herefordshire Council, Highway Electrical Association, Imtech, Interserve, Kenniford Tarmacadam Ltd, , SSE Contracting, South West Highways Ltd, VolkerWessels, Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Chartered Management Institute, The Institution of Engineering & Technology and Herefordshire Council

Find an apprenticeship

Version log

Version Date updated Change Previous version
2 01/07/2019 The funding band for this standard has been reviewed as part of the apprenticeship funding band review. The new funding band is £12000 and will be implemented for all new starts on 1 July 2019.

Not available

2 31/10/2018 Assessment plan revised. There has been an update to the grading system and to make it more robust due to the safety critical nature of the standard. Previous version
1 19/08/2016 Assessment plan and funding band published - standard now approved for delivery

Not available

1 12/11/2014 Standard first published

Not available

1 01/03/2014 Initial creation

Not available