Client - Highways England

Highways England (formerly the Highways Agency) is a government-owned company with responsibility for the operation, maintenance and improvement of the motorways and trunk roads in England.

The road network in England totals around 4,300 miles, representing just 2% of all roads by length, carrying a third of all traffic by mileage and two thirds of all heavy goods traffic. Across the Highways England network there can be hundreds of active maintenance and construction projects at one time delivered by an estimated 50,000 workers from many different suppliers and partners.


Highways England manages a vast supply chain across hundreds of active projects to maintain its important network of major roads to ensure they are dependable, durable and most importantly, safe for its workforce and customers.

As part of their 5-year Health and Safety Plan, Highways England has partnered with Reference Point and Mitie (the same team that delivers Network Rail’s Sentinel system) to provide the “Passport” technology and services to help make work ‘Safer, Smarter and Simpler.’ This is a momentous step towards delivering the vision ‘One Industry One Card’ as the supply chain and employees must complete the new ‘Highways Common Induction’ training, as well as use individual Passport Smartcards - a requirement to gain access to the Highways England estate.


I believe modernising the process which enables workers access to our network is the right thing to do. It will improve how we work; it will allow us to report in real time and above all shows our commitment to safety, our workforce, their families and our customers.
Simon Jones, South-East Regional Director, Highways England

The Requirement

Seriously committed to delivering its 5-year Health and Safety Plan to improve on-site safety across its entire supply chain, Highways England were looking for a managed solution with proven technology.

Specifically, they wanted:

  • To ensure that all workers were qualified and had the appropriate skills before gaining entry to site.
  • To record individuals’ training and other information in one shared system across the supply chain increasing the transferability of skills across employers and sites and reducing the amount of time spent on duplicate training or other events such as repeat Drug and Alcohol tests.
  • To provide a smartcard as ID enabling quick, effective and accurate checking of individuals and their credentials reducing the risk of counterfeit cards
  • To provide an accurate register of the personnel and the skills that are on site at all times.
  • To improve management of risks associated with fatigue.


For Highways England, the natural choice was the market-leading software, apps and technology from Reference Point, provided as a managed service by Mitie. Designed for major corporate implementations covering direct and sub-contracted workforces and visitors, it is the most comprehensive, powerful and authoritative mobile workforce solution available. The system is available off-the-shelf under the brands SkillGuard and Validate and can also be customised – such as the award-winning Sentinel system used by Network Rail and Transport for London.

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