Ever wondered what’s it like to be a traffic controller? Becoming a traffic controller is an exciting career move that offers many opportunities. It’s important to understand the qualifications, certifications, and training required for this job before starting your journey toward becoming a qualified traffic controller.
If you have the skills and qualifications necessary for this important job, why not consider becoming a traffic controller? Your efforts could help keep drivers safe and minimize the amount of time people spend stuck in traffic.
In some states like Queensland (QLD), there are specific regulations in place governing how to become a traffic controller. This article covers the steps necessary to be certified and why enrolling in online traffic management courses can help you obtain the qualifications.
Why Traffic Control is Important?
Traffic control is essential for keeping roads and highways safe for everyone. It involves controlling the flow of traffic and ensuring that drivers, passengers, and pedestrians are aware of any risks or hazards in the area. Traffic control operations can take many forms including warning road signs, lane markings, speed limits, detours, barriers, signals, and more.
Traffic control is not just an important job for safety reasons, it is also vital on keeping traffic moving smoothly. When traffic is backed up due to a construction site or an accident scene, it can cause major delays for drivers and passengers. By having well-trained and professional traffic controllers in place, these delays can be minimized and everyone can get where they are going quicker.
The traffic control industry also has economic benefits. Well-run traffic guidance schemes and traffic management systems can help businesses move goods and services more efficiently and reduce traffic congestion. This can save businesses time and money, while also improving the overall quality of life for everyone in the community.
Why Become a Traffic Controller?
Controlling traffic is an important responsibility and becoming a traffic controller is a privilege and a great way to start a career in the traffic management industry. Also in Australia, completing high school is enough you won’t be needing a bachelor’s degree to work in this job role.
Working in the traffic control industry or in registered traffic management companies not just offers new career and travel opportunities, but also comes with great perks and comprehensive working benefits. While traffic control work may be challenging at times, it is also very rewarding to know that you are helping to keep your community safe.
Traffic controllers play a critical role in ensuring the safety of drivers and pedestrians and keeping our roads and communities secure. Without them, chaos would ensue and the potential hazards for accidents would be greatly increased.
What is a Traffic Controller?
A traffic controller is a trained and skilled professional who is responsible for managing and regulating safe and efficient traffic flow around busy urban areas, workstations, construction sites, accident scenes, and other areas where congestion can occur and safety is a concern.
Traffic controllers may be required to work early mornings, evenings, and weekends. In addition, traffic controllers often must be available on call in case of an emergency.
Traffic controllers work for state or local governments, engineering firms, traffic management companies or in the construction industry. Traffic controllers must also be able to tolerate long periods of standing and walking, as well as exposure to outdoor weather conditions.
How to Become a Traffic Controller?
If you want to know how to become a traffic controller and what traffic control companies require, there are a few things you need to know and meet first. Let’s take a look at the required traffic control training qualifications
Traffic Controller Accreditation by an approved RTO
To be accredited as a Traffic Controller in Queensland, the person must complete a Department of Transport and Main Roads Approved Traffic Controller Training Program. The program must be delivered through a registered training organisation (RTO) approved by Transport and Main Roads to deliver the training program. The program must be completed within the 12-month
period prior to the Traffic Controller accreditation application being lodged with Transport and Main Roads.
Training Program Delivery
The training program has two parts.
Off-the-job: In-class training program
The program is delivered in a classroom environment using Transport and Main Roads approved training materials and resources. It includes a simulated practical exercise conducted in a controlled environment. It is expected that the off-the-job part be delivered to trainees in eight-nine hours (nominal). This timeframe may be extended if additional training needs are identified during the training program.
On-the-job – Industry placement at roadwork site
Traffic control industry employers must be confident that accredited traffic controllers can maintain an environment that is safe for Traffic Controllers, road workers and the travelling public. Trainees must demonstrate traffic control skills in ‘real world’ traffic situations and be assessed as competent before an authority card is issued by Transport and Main Roads. Trainees must complete a minimum of 20 hours’ practical experience at a roadwork site under the direct supervision of an experienced accredited
Traffic Controller. The trainee’s experience includes a range of practical activities as specified by the RTO including a significant period of STOP / SLOW traffic control activity under close supervision.
The approved traffic controller training program includes nationally registered units of competency?
RIIWHS205E Control traffic with a stop-slow bat,
RIIWHS201D Work Safely and follow WHS policies and procedures and
RIICOM201D Communicate in the workplace.
What happens when the minimum 20 hours’ experience has been gained and verified?
When 20 hours of experience is completed and recorded, the logbook is to be returned to the RTO. The trainer will assess the experience logged taking into account feedback received from the host site manager and any reports from the supervising traffic controllers. The trainer will determine if further experience / training is required on any specific elements. The trainer will then confirm that the trainee is competent through an onsite assessment.
Certificates issued at course completion
At the completion of the full program (parts one and two) a Statement of Attainment will be issued by the RTO. You must then lodge an application with Transport and Main Roads and pay the fee. They will undertake a police check and then issue you a Traffic COntrol Industry Authority card which is valid for 3 years.
The person must have held an open or provisional driver licence (Australian or foreign) within the last 5 years. If the person is already a traffic controller and is renewing their accreditation, this requirement is not relevant.
The department may refuse to grant an accreditation to a person who has been convicted or charged with a criminal and/or traffic offence. The public put their trust in persons accredited to control traffic and expect these people to be safety conscious at all times. In light of public interest and public safety considerations, the department may take into account any charges or offences committed in any jurisdiction in deciding whether or not to issue the accreditation. Applicants who have a recent history of offences, for example, assault or drug related offences would be unlikely to be accredited as a traffic controller.
The applicant must satisfy certain medical fitness and suitability criteria. This criteria is listed on the Traffic Controller Accreditation Application form (F4115). If a disability such as poor eyesight, poor hearing or immobility is declared on the application form, the form must be signed by an appropriate medical professional to confirm the person’s suitability to undertake the role.
The person must have successfully completed an approved traffic controller training course. The training course must be delivered by an approved Registered Training Organisation (RTO).
In processing an application to become a traffic controller, TMR undertakes relevant criminal and traffic history checks. While the majority of applications can be processed within 1 – 2 weeks, traffic controller applicants should be aware that delays can occur which are out of the control of TMR. Occasionally criminal history checking will take several weeks or longer due to the nature of the national criminal history checking process.
Be Certified to Control Traffic with Upskills QLD
Enrolling in an traffic management courses is a great way to become a qualified traffic controller in the shortest possible time.
The skills necessary to become a traffic controller are not difficult to learn, and with the proper certification, you can start your career in this field with many job prospects available. The benefits of becoming a traffic controller include a stable career with good pay, opportunities for advancement, and job security.
If you are interested in upskilling, take the first and basic step today by enrolling in an approved traffic control course starting your journey toward becoming a qualified traffic controller.
Ready to get started?