Traffic Management Training – where do I start?

Many people (I included) fall into the Temporary Traffic Management (TTM) industry without understanding the huge opportunity there is for personal growth and to build a professional career.

Many companies involved in the industry need well trained, professional temporary traffic management experts who can keep their worksites safe and efficiency high. There are many different industries that work out on the road and need different levels of TTM training.  

 I have been an NZTA registered Traffic Control Trainer for over 4 years now, and at the start of each course I ask everyone in the room why they are attending the training. Here is a list of common industries (in my experience) that use Traffic Control courses to train their crews: 

  •  – Utilities (Power, Gas, Water, telecommunications) 
  • – Roading companies (Asphalting, road maintenance, line marking) 
  • – Film and Events industry 
  •  Special events (marathons and cycle races) 
  • – Road controlling authorities (Auckland Transport, NZTA) 
  • – Civil construction 

The type of work these industries provide varies, but they will all require people to be trained in planning, coordination, supervising and implementation of Temporary Traffic Management for their work. It is in these key roles that good training is vital to get a safe, compliant, and efficiently run worksite. On the more complex jobs or projects, there are also temporary traffic management consultants that specialize in delivering jobs.  

 For the different roles above, there are different routes to becoming qualified. There are generally two sides of the industry; those who work out on the road and others like TMP planners and consultants who are office based. A good knowledge of both sides is always best. That knowledge can be gained in part by completing some of the courses below.

 The courses workers can attend to gain qualifications in the industry are: 


The TTM worker learning pack was rolled out to TTM Mentors in late 2019. Now that the unit standard documentation has been finalised I encourage all those new to the TTM industry to start with this foundational workshop. 

How? Find a TTM Mentor and attend TTM worker training with them. This training consists of approximately 2 hours of classroom or handbook learning, and 6 hours hands-on practice and assessment with the mentor. The mentor will adapt the mentoring sessions to suit the worker’s learning style.

The practice and assessment will include time on a live network, and this will occur once you and your mentor are confident in your abilities.

You will complete the required tasks listed in the TTM worker assessment document while the mentor observes and records your achievements. This official assessment paperwork is then sent to an assessor for sign off and awarding of the unit standard (note that your mentor may also be an assessor).

In the near future, the TTM worker unit standard will become a pre-requisite for anyone attending a TC workshop. This unit standard also forms part of the Certificate in Temporary Traffic Worksite Management.

The Level 1 Traffic Controller course is where others will start their training. This course may be the first introduction to the Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management (CoPTTM) for some, and it teaches the attendees where to find the rules when working on the road. Anyone who wants to be an STMS in the future needs to complete this course. A traffic controller was originally a course designed to allow someone to look after a worksite while STMS was away from the site, so if you need that qualification the TC course will be for you. 

The next level of training after the Level 1 Traffic Controller course, is the L1 STMS (Site Traffic Management Supervisor) course (prerequisite being the L1 TC). This course is designed for anybody who will supervise the TTM on site. They will be able to take charge of a worksite to supervise the setup, maintain the site and manage the day to day running of worksites. For level 2 and 3 roads they would also need to complete the more advanced STMS courses (L2/3 NP or L2/3P). The information gained on these courses is also very useful for site construction managers, engineers and anybody involved in the planning of the worksites. Quite commonly the methodology of construction or event management will change due to Traffic Control and the local road authorities’ rules and regulations. If the STMS is going to train others (like traffic controllers) it is also recommended that they complete the TTM Mentors course. 

The TTM Mentors workshop is a half day course which gives someone the skills to teach others practical skills out on site. Very useful for any level of STMS that want to help others like TCs improve out on site. 

After deciding on the construction or event methodology, a Traffic Management planner will need to develop a Traffic Management Plan to submit to the local road authority. This person would have needed to attend a L1 TC course, L1 STMS (2/3NP STMS for level 2/3 roads) and from December 2020 they will also need to attend the TTMP workshop and complete an assignment to become qualified to submit plans for approval

These qualifications can lead to opportunities in many different types of companies, roles such as: 

  • – TMP designers 
  • – Corridor Access Request managers/ TMP approvers 
  • – Traffic management coordinators for local councils 
  • – Traffic management auditors 
  • – TC and STMS course trainers 

One thing I have learnt in the 7 years I have been involved with TTM, is that working in a dangerous environment means that rules will change, meaning good training is a must. New Zealand, unfortunately, has many deaths out on the road and until that number becomes zero then there is always a risk. Training is an integral part of keeping workers safe out on the road.