Home Certification Standards

Risk Management

Highway Schemes (NHSS)

National Highways Sectors Schemes are bolt on schemes to ISO 9001.

National Highways Sectors Schemes: Risk Management

What are NHSS?
NHSS are bespoke integrated management schemes which supplement ISO 9001. The schemes were developed in partnership with key stakeholders of the highways industry to interpret ISO 9001 and its specific application to highways maintenance activities. 

The schemes provide the Highways Agency and local authorities responsible for the operation and maintenance of the road infrastructure in the UK with an assurance that only competent organizations are carrying out work on their behalf.

The bodies responsible for the road system include local authorities in the case of ‘local’ roads and the Highways Agency in the case of major trunk roads and motorways. They have a statutory duty to maintain the road system.

NHSS incorporates over 20 individual schemes. Each developed and managed by technical advisory committees. The membership of each committee is made up of industry representatives and other interested parties, such as local authorities, trade associations and certification bodies.



We will only use your details for this request, they will not be used for any marketing. Read our privacy policy for more information.

We won't pass your details on to third parties.

Helps you with

  • Highways Agency contractual requirements
  • Specification for Highways Works (SHW)
  • Process Control
  • Quality Control
  • Risk Management
  • Safety and Emergency Preparedness
  • Operational Efficiency 

Benefits of ISO 9001 Certification

Customer satisfaction icon

Customer satisfaction

Deliver products that consistently meet customer requirements and a service that is dependable and can be relied on.

Reduced operating costs icon

Reduced operating costs

Continual improvement of processes and resulting operational efficiencies mean money saved.

Improved stakeholder relationships icon

Improved stakeholder relationships

Improve the perception of your organization with staff, customers and suppliers.

Legal compliance icon

Legal compliance

Understand how statutory and regulatory requirements impact your organisation and its customers.

Improved risk management  icon

Improved risk management

Greater consistency and traceability of products and services means problems are easier to avoid and rectify.

Proven business credentials icon

Proven business credentials

Independent verification against a globally recognised industry standard speaks volumes.

Win more business icon

Win more business

Procurement specifications often require certification as a condition to supply, so certification and verification opens doors.

Initial certification audit (NHSS)

Stage 1 - The purpose of this visit is to confirm the readiness of the organisation for full assessment. Your assessor will:

  • confirm that the quality manual conforms to the requirements of ISO 9001 and relevant NHSS
  • confirm its implementation status
  • confirm the scope of certification
  • check legislative compliance
  • produce a report that identifies any non-compliance or potential for non-compliance and agree a corrective action plan if required
  • produce an assessment plan and confirm a date for the Stage 2 assessment visit.

Stage 2 - The purpose of this visit is to confirm that the quality management system fully conforms to the requirements of ISO 9001 and NHSS in practice. Your assessor will:

  • undertake sample audits of the processes and activities defined in the scope of assessment
  • document how the system complies with the standard
  • report any non-compliances or potential for non-compliance
  • produce a visit plan for the first surveillance visit

Why were these schemes developed?

The schemes were developed in partnership with key stakeholders of the highways industry to interpret ISO 9001 and its specific application to highways maintenance activities. They are designed to:

  • Provide industry benchmarks

  • Ensure that all processes are planned

  • Provide a basis for continuous improvement

  • Focus on quality as an objective

  • Reduce overall costs for the client and supplier

  • Provide and maintain a properly trained and competent workforce

  • Involve all sides of the industry in scheme ownership within a partnership framework

  • Ensure that Certification Bodies use auditors with technical knowledge and experience of the sector concerned

  • Promote confidence in quality management systems by provision of a robust, transparent system.

What are the specific schemes?

National Highway Sector Schemes are relevant to any contractors working under contract with the Highways Agency. We provide certification for the following Schemes:

  • Scheme 2A document for the Design and/or Supply, Installation and Repair of Fences for Infrastructure Works.

  • Scheme 2C document for the Design, Supply, Installation and Repair of Environmental Barriers

  • Scheme 6 document for Minor Structures

  • Scheme 7 document for the Application of Road Marking Materials and Road Studs to Road Surfaces

  • Scheme 8 document for the overseeing and/or Installation and/or Maintenance of Highway Electrical equipment and supporting works

  • Scheme 9A document for the Design, Assembly and/or Provision of permanent and temporary road traffic signs
  • Scheme 10A ​Manufacture of Metallic Legacy Vehicle Restraint Systems

  • Scheme 10B ​Permanent Vehicle Restraint Systems (Incorporating NHSS2B & NHSS5B)

  • Scheme 12A /12B document for static temporary traffic management on motorways and high speed dual carriageways including on-line widening schemes

  • Scheme 12C document for Mobile Lane Closure Traffic Management on Motorways and other dual carriageways

  • Scheme 12D document for Installing, Maintaining and removing Temporary Traffic Management on rural and urban roads

  • Scheme 13 document for the Supply and Application of surface treatments to road surfaces

  • Scheme 16 document for the Laying of Asphalt Mixes

  • Scheme 17/17B document for Vehicle Recovery at Highway Construction sites (17) and Vehicle Recovery and Removal on Control Roads

  • Scheme 18 document for the Natural Environment and Landscape including Ecology

  • Scheme 19A document for corrosion protection of ferrous materials by industry coatings

  • Scheme 23 Small Scale Pavement Repairs

  • Scheme 30 Installation, Maintenance and Repair of Modular Paving

Steps to Certification

  1. Step 1

    Complete a Quote Request Form so we can understand you and your business. We will then use this to personally prepare a proposal for your certification and define what is known as your 'scope of assessment'.

  2. Step 2

    We will then contact you to book your assessment with an NQA assessor. It consists of two mandatory visits that form the Initial Certification Audit. Please note that you must be able to demonstrate that your management system has been operational for a minimum of three months and has been subject to a management review and a full cycle of internal audits.

  3. Step 3

    Following a successful stage two audit, a decision is made. If positive, your certification will be issued by NQA, with both a hard and soft copy of the certificate awarded. Certification is valid for three years and maintained through surveillance audits (years one and two) and a recertification audit in year three.

See more details

PAS 43 and NHSS Toolkit

PAS 43 and NHSS Quote Request Form

Start Your Journey

Certification Journey

Download Certification Logos

Need a Consultant?

Guide to Transferring Certification

Ready to start your journey?

We'll give you a clear indication of the costs of gaining and maintaining certification.
Not ready yet? Call us on 0800 052 2424 or request a callback to discuss your certification requirements.