About National Highway Sector Schemes
National Highway Sector Schemes (NHSS) are quality management systems for companies working on the UK road network.
They are based on, and supplement, ISO 9001 with additional requirements specific to highways work. Any organisation working with the Highways Agency and local authorities needs to be certified to the relevant NHSS scheme to show that are competent to carry out the required works.
The schemes fall into four main categories; fencing, landscaping and vehicle safety restraints; road surfacing and marking; lighting, electronics and corrosion protection; and traffic management.
They were designed to provide an industry benchmark, to to make sure that work is carried out to the highest standards of professionalism, using properly trained staff and with a strong emphasis on health and safety.
Registration to NHSS is generally considered to be mandatory, or at the very least best practice, for all highways works. Companies sub-contracting work do not have to be registered, but any sub-contractors must be.
If your company supplies services to the Highways Agency under the Specification for Highways Works (SHW), you must be certified under all the relevant schemes for the work you are carrying out.
Specifically NHSS certification will:
- provide access to new business through procurement specifications requiring certification as a condition to supply
- improve processes resulting in efficiencies and reduced costs
- ensure compliance with current legislation and regulation
- prove business credentials
- provide independent verification by auditors with technical knowledge and experience in the sector.