Highways Maintenance Supervisor

Occupation overview

This occupation has responsibility for the design, planning and supervising of those engaged in the maintenance and repair of the highway network. Supervisors work in various locations in all weathers and spend time in an office environment attending meetings with clients reviewing contractual obligations within the business. Your role as a supervisor includes interpreting contract details to ensure works are carried out to the highest standard, taking into account health, safety, welfare and environmental considerations. You will oversee, inspect and monitor the progress of the works, assign duties to team members; whilst ensuring a fully qualified and trained workforce is on site to satisfy contractual requirements. Understanding how to measure and value the works and keep track of the costs for the project is vital for a highways supervisor. You will be the on-site representative who ensures the overall quality of the finished contract in order to guarantee the works during the varied seasons of the year. In the autumn/winter months you could be directing workers in snow removal and ice control, clearing fallen trees from the highway. Whilst during spring/summer supervising grass cutting, surface dressing of the highways and footpaths using a variety of different solutions, micro asphalting of carriageways and slurry sealing of footpaths to prohibit water ingress. Throughout the year you would supervise the maintenance and repair of the highway network, the erection and maintenance of temporary traffic control devices and barriers, clearing of rubbish from roadsides, clearing hedgerows, felling trees and disposing of dead animals to comply with environmental and safety guidelines.


  • Assist in the management of the productivity of the works so that works are completed on time using a variety of management skills and administrative systems. Understand how to motivate, engage and put employees to work and supervise their performance to ensure the works are carried out to the standards required. Be able to effectively manage and supervise specialist contractors and ensure work is conducted in a safe manner. Supervise the safety of the team. Be able to carry out a personal development review of team members on a regular basis and effectively provide feedback.
  • To plan and programme work in order to direct operatives ensuring compliance to legislative control and company expectations. To control cost and waste whilst protecting the environment. An understanding of the varied occupations within the sector and resource available is essential. Work to programme and control quality in order to ensure works undertaken can be guaranteed. Identify and rectify common defects.
  • Prepare method statements and risk assessments to reduce risks, avoid injuries and poor working practices. Be able to carry out health and safety briefings to the workforce to ensure they undertake their roles in a safe manner. Make sure contracts comply with legal requirements. Actively promote organisational values and beliefs whilst ensuring the company’s health and safety policy and legislation is strictly adhered to. Develop and promote a positive health, safety and environmental culture with team members. Implement company policies that reduce employee injury and the associated costs and delays caused by time off work. Assess the sustainability and environmental impact of projects.
  • Carry out initial surveys and environmental impact assessments to assess whether highway maintenance plans are workable. Set out and investigate site conditions in advance of carrying out works to ensure the appropriate equipment, materials & tools are available when required
  • Be able to exercise independent engineering judgement, research, take responsibility for actions and decisions and operate within the constraints of own skills and knowledge. Schedule material and equipment purchases and deliveries. Ensure projects are run smoothly and works are completed within budget and on time. Think creatively to resolve practical planning and development problems. Be able to work to a high degree of accuracy to avoid delays and keep within budget. Use initiative to provide solutions to problems whilst continuously reviewing the contract and take corrective actions where appropriate.



  • Understand the principles of highway maintenance, civil engineering methods and construction technology to establish a plan and programme of works taking in to account influencing factors that may affect the progress of work including the environment and/or weather. Ensure works must comply with current legislation, official guidance including National Highway Sector Schemes, Codes of Practice, Client requirements and contractual obligations.
  • Understand the requirements of the employer and industry to ensure the health safety and environmental control of employees and others. Understand how to prepare method statements and risk assessments to reduce risks, avoid injuries and poor working practices. Understand occupational safety and health practices which can be implemented to prevent punitive and compensatory effects of law. A clear knowledge of environmental regulations is essential.
  • Know how to control, plan and supervise the organisation of all works. Be able to interpret designs, order and source materials; prepare a valuation of the costs taking into account construction processes and methods of work to be adopted. A clear understanding of temporary traffic management is essential. Control work to ensure the necessary equipment and materials are available to meet programme timescales which will result in effective and efficient working practices being adhered to.
  • Know how to carry out a survey using a combination of traditional instruments and digital technology.
  • Know how to prepare tenders including an understanding of the method of measurement, the tender process. Be able to prepare a budget, review costs of carrying out the works. Understand the importance of systems that control costs, how they are incurred and the impact of any changes where there is a need to deviate from the original plan/programme.
  • Understand systems that control quality, including contracts, variation orders and all control measures associated with the contract to define the level of quality required.
  • Be aware of how costs are incurred, monitored and controlled to understand the implication of changes in activities or resources if required. Understand contractual, financial and legal constraints, measure and record progress against budget. Understand how value is derived and how the supplier is paid for the works delivered and to comply with specification requirements.



  • Be able to work within own level of competence and know when to seek advice from others. Identify own development needs and take action to meet those needs. Use own knowledge and expertise to help others within your team. Keep up to date with new and emerging technology. Keep accurate records of continuing professional development for yourself and your team members.
  • Be able to contribute to effective meetings and present information in a variety of ways. Deliver on site inductions and tool box talks in order to improve the knowledge of others. Read and comprehend complex/simple instructions in one-on-one and small group situations with an ability to pass information on effectively to others. Strong communication, negotiation and presentation skills are required. Be able to communication at all levels, lead and manage employees.
  • Develop effective communication and social skills so it is possible to allocate work and manage others to work effectively through a process of continuous improvement, using tact and diplomacy to defuse situations/avoid conflict when supervising sub-contract, direct labour force members or dealing with clients or the public. Good team working skills are required as is the ability to prioritise and plan work effectively. Be responsible for your own work and that of others.


Entry Requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements when selecting candidates. However the preferred entry requirement for this apprenticeship is to have completed an apprenticeship as an operative at Level 2 in a craft construction or highway maintenance qualification, GCSE’s at Grade A-C or a minimum of key functional skills at level 1.



The typical duration of this Level 3 apprenticeship is 24 months and equivalent to two A levels.


Professional Qualifications / Recognition

On completion the apprentice will be eligible to apply for entry level membership of the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation, Institute of Highway Engineers or The Chartered Management Institute


Staff wishing to work on a highway network must complete and gain the following technical & functional qualifications and statutory licences to work on the Highway: Supervisor qualifications in Temporary Traffic Management, New Roads & Street Works, Winter Service and Highway Maintenance. Together with a Construction Industry Certification Scheme Skilled, Supervisor Competency Card at Level 3 (Construction Skills Certification Scheme Card), Safety Supervisors Training Certificate (CITB Site Safety Plus Site Supervisors Certificate) and Optional - Large Good Vehicle Licence (LGV). Apprentices without English or Maths at Level 2 must achieve this Standard prior to the completion of the Apprenticeship.

Originally published on Gov.uk, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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