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Road Surfacing Operative Apprenticeship – Level 2

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About the course

Road Surfacing Operative (RSO) is a multi-disciplined role critical to the country’s infrastructure. RSOs are responsible for the surfacing, resurfacing and improvement of vast stretches of the public and privately owned highway network, covering all road types from motorways to residential streets. Approximately 20 million tonnes of asphalt is laid each year by RSOs. Operatives work in a wide range of different environments and will spend the majority of time outside.

Typical duties include: the operation of a wide range of specialist plant machinery such as planers, asphalt pavers, emulsified bitumen sprayers and compacting rollers; the removal of old/existing surfaces using a mechanical breakup process; the visual inspection and preparation of the underlying surface to receive new surfacing material; the resurfacing of the prepared area using a range of road surfacing machinery often covering vast areas; the alignment and then compaction of the new surface; and the visual inspection and testing of the new surface to ensure full compliance with the specified design.

Topics and units

  • The various road surfacing techniques including the application and use of primers, epoxy or thermoplastic resins, bituminous emulsions, and various types of aggregate including their limitations and characteristics.
  • How to work in accordance with the National Highway Sector Schemes, Industry Codes of Practice, the New Roads & Street Works Act and other guidance relevant to the occupation.
  • Responsibilities under relevant legislation including the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Provision and Use of Workplace Equipment 1998 and Manual Handling Operations regulations 1992.
  • Risk assessments, method statements and other official guidance required in order to undertake work.
  • The structure of the highway, civil engineering methods including the principles of water drainage and construction technology.
  • Plant and machinery such as planers, floating screed pavers, rollers, chippers, loading shovels and large hydraulic breakers and their correct usage.
  • Powered units and tools such as disc cutters, breakers, floor-saws, compactor plates, self propelled rollers and hand tools and their correct usage.
  • Different road categories and types and construction materials appropriate to each together with relevant working methods.
  • Drawings, plans and specifications in order to identify what works are required.
  • Traffic management systems and how to work safely within them.
  • The principles of measurement and how to apply them.

Careers and progression

Nearly all apprentices gain a permanent job upon achievement and great longer-term career prospects within the company.

Entry requirements

The Standard contains the 5 elements of every other standard being delivered by Telford College within the department Knowledge, Skills, Behaviour, End Point Assessment and the crucial development of English and Mathematics Functional Skills.

• A minimum of GCSEs at grades 3 – 9 (GCSE D or above), Functional Skills level 1 in English and Maths
• Apprentices without Level 1 in English and maths will need to achieve this level and take the test for level 2 English and maths prior to taking the end-point assessment
• Be able to work more than 30 hours per week
• Be able to provide a record of evidence

Additional information

The training is based on block release with the apprentice attending for one week every month. The training schedule comprises of three six-month terms. The first term is college based, the second term is company based and the final term college based. During the company-based training the apprentice must complete a record of evidence. This record of evidence must be completed and forwarded to the EPAO prior to the EPA being undertaken.

Telford College works with the employer to create a specific development plan to meet the apprenticeship standards which the apprentice is expected to work towards. Whilst working to the plan in the workplace the apprentice will track the journey mapping to the require
standards showing valuable knowledge, skills and practical experience gained. Alongside an off the job record highlighting all the learning that has taken place (a min of 20% of the duration of the

What to do next

If you are interested in applying for this course, please click ‘apply now‘ on this page or at the top of any page, and create an website account or sign in an account you have already created and complete the application form. 

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18 months


Haybridge Road


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