frequently asked questions

 

 

 

 

Employers / Self-Employed

Yes, the Scheme is designed for all Tiers to directly join the Scheme, not just Tiers 1.

Yes, certainly. Everyone - no matter the size of the company - can join the Scheme.

There is an annual subscription fee for each worker record added to the Passport software system and service. Depending on the size of your company, Mitie will either offer credit facilities or – more usually – you simply pay online for each worker record as you add it using a credit/ debit card.

There is also a separate charge for the Highways Common Induction. The HCI provider requires payments up-front.

The Passport Scheme is an industry led scheme, endorsed by both the Supply Chain Safety Leadership Group and Highways England.

The Scheme is not mandated by Highways England, however, it is possible that Principal Contractors have it as a requirement to work on a Project or Scheme; you are advised to contact the Principal Contractor of the Project or Scheme you are working on to understand expectations.

Passport provides a shared platform between employers and contractors signed up to the Scheme, providing a single transferable record for each cardholder. As individuals move between organisations and across supply chains, their record travels with them, meaning that all their qualifications, skills, training and other details affecting their authority to work are available to you. Not only is this faster, but it ensures that you do not waste time and money on unnecessary repeat training.

You will also have visibility of your cardholders who have completed the Highways England Common Induction (HCI), avoiding having to go through the process again.

There is a simple, single annual cost of £29 + VAT per individual record on the Passport system, which includes the person’s first smartcard.

There is also a charge for the Highways Common Induction (HCI). To have access to complete the induction a token is required per person, which costs £14. A refresh of the HCI every three years is required.

The annual charge per cardholder covers the system’s usage. The only additional charge that may occur is for replacement cards if the original is lost or damaged by the cardholder. The cost of a replacement card is £6 + VAT.

Go the Passport homepage and register your company (simply by clicking the Company Registration button in the login box). Mitie will then contact you to complete the on-boarding process before providing you with your login to access the software system.

Once your company is registered, nominate a suitable person within your organisation to take responsibility for Passport within your company and then contact the MiTec helpdesk to arrange Passport Administrator training.

If you are self-employed, please contact Mitie for administrator support:

Telephone: 0330 726 0225

Email: he.validate@mitie.com 

Yes. Not only can the Administrator manage the Passport database for the organisation, but they can also train card checkers, so that individual smartcards can be consistently and regularly checked on site to help protect worker safety. 

Note: only trained and authorised staff should manage the Passport database.

All requested physical Passport smartcards are sent by Mitie to the office address chosen by the Passport Administrator at the point the card is requested. Cards are sent to a corporate address for collection or onward distribution directly to the cardholder. 

Note: During current Covid-19 restrictions it is also possible for Passport administrators to enter a home address for a cardholder and request that the physical smartcard is sent directly to the recipient.

Also don’t forget that virtual smartcards can also be requested for cardholders. These are delivered in minutes directly to the worker’s mobile phone.

Create the record on the Passport system. As soon as the record is created the system assigns a unique number that is required for the Highways Common Induction - this is to allow connection between the information in the two systems.

Note: you do not need to wait for the card to arrive to complete the HCI.

The Highways Common Induction (HCI) is been developed to a video-based induction, followed by a competency assessment by a company called Power Plus. The induction aims to promote best practice standards including Safety, Health, Wellbeing and Environment management. It raises awareness on the significant risks on the strategic road network, and to set common standards on the network. The HCI should ideally be completed before you start work on the network.

No. The concept is by undertaking the Common Induction separately sites can concentrate on just delivering the site-specific safety briefing focussed on the right risks and hazards. Such separate site-specific inductions will provide you with any additional procedures not covered in the Common Induction training.

For people who completed the previous HCI, it is not a requirement to do the new online version until your current HCI has expired. The expiry date agreed at the time will be honoured.

As an employer administrator you will need a Passport Worker record yourself to book your staff on the new induction. However you can be exempted from paying the annual charge if the only reason you have a worker record is to book inductions for your staff and you don’t need the Passport smartcard either. Please contact the Mitie helpdesk to arrange your exemption.

Once you have done this, just make sure each worker has been added to Passport (and their first year’s subscription paid). Then, you will need to visit the HCI site (https://highwaysengland.powerplusportal.com) to commence the registration process. 

Once an employer is set up in the system they can choose to pay in two ways.

Firstly, to buy credits up front which members of staff can use as they need to complete the induction, depending on the size of your company and payment preference, you can do this by credit card or invoice. Contact Power Plus for this.

Secondly to pay as you go where you would use a credit card to pay for the HCI as and when required. The HCI costs £14 + VAT per person. The Highways Common Induction is valid for 3 years.

Yes, and in the recent upgrade this functionality has been enhanced. Using our own software to poll the CSCS management service in real-time will enable CSCS (and some Partner Scheme) cards to be checked and then logged on Passport, as well as the competencies transferred across.

These competencies can then be surfaced on the worker’s Passport smartcard. Multiple cards can be stored and updated on a Passport worker record, together with the cards’ images.

The way you award a specific TBT or site event you have delivered via the app is to scan each attending worker’s card with the app (either using NFC or QR code) to confirm they have each received the TBT.

Although the Passport smartcard has no expiry date, if the NFC chip and aerial within the card itself becomes damaged the card may need replacing.

Individual competencies are valid on the card depending on their own validity / expiry periods.

The main idea of the Scheme is that cardholders can move between employers and across the supply chain and record travels with them; they retain the same card and all the previous training and qualifications history.

As part of the process when your employee leaves, your Passport administrator should “de-register” the individual on the system on their last day; this will allow a new employer to pick up the record on the system and register them from that point. This also means renewal charges from that point are covered by the new employer.

All you need to do is log the end of employment date in the worker’s record. This immediately makes this worker record available for another employer to register the card holder as an employee through a simple search on Passport.

Note: the Passport Industry Scheme rules require the employers to de-register all records as soon as the employee leaves the company.

Not at all – just leave it as awarded. One of the benefits of Passport is the portability of the worker record. Other sites will not be concerned by historic toolbox talks delivered elsewhere and if the worker returns to you it could be useful that the original site-based event you delivered is still valid.

There is a dedicated app available for free download from the Apple store for iOS devices and Google Play for devices using the Android operating system.

For IOS, search for Validate 5 QR.

For Android, search for Validate 5 or Validate 5 QR

There are two versions published for Android. If your phone supports NFC (Near Field Communication) you should download this version of the app called Validate 5 (this supports NFC and also supports QR code scanning). If your Android device does not support NFC, download the QR code version.  

On iPhone, at present the iPhone app does not support NFC scanning, but you can still scan using the QR code on each smartcard.

If not using the app but you have a tablet or laptop that you want to use, then use our Web Card Reader. Similar to the app in functionality, you don’t need to install any software on your device but you must have comms to use it (whereas the app can cache data on recently read cards). For information, go the Web Card Reader link on the Passport system homepage (https://he.validate.mitie.com).

There is also software that supports PC-connected smartcard readers and this approach works well in depots or site offices. There are a range of readers available that are compatible with the smartcards, the following readers have been tested and are recommended:

  • HID Omnikey 5021 (desktop)
  • HID Omnikey 5022 (desktop)
  • HID Omnikey 5023 (desktop)

You can choose either to download the app on an Apple or Android device, or to buy a reader.

Don’t forget that you can read virtual smartcards as well as physical using the same methods of reading (Note: Virtual smartcards do not use NFC).

Each device used to swipe individuals in / out using the app contains a record of these cardholders and their activities. On a busy site or project, teams of people will swipe in / out with different team leaders, so no single device on site will hold the record of everyone on site that shift.

However, as all swipes are uploaded to the central database, there are site or project user roles available on the main Passport browser-based application, which will display all relevant swipe activity to appropriately logged-in users. These user roles also provide a muster list showing everyone currently on site / project in the case of an emergency or evacuation.

HE Passport is a Highways England Network supply chain initiative, endorsed by both Highways England and the Supply Chain Safety Leadership Group. Following a recent major software upgrade for Passport and new agreement for the next 4 years, some detailed processes around Passport’s implementation within Highways England’s remit are still being finalised with the Steering Group, so - at present – Passport is not being promoted to local authorities. Due to the size of the project and the number of people who will be part of it, a decision was made to start as simply and easily as possible with the intention to develop the scheme and look to other opportunities, like the possibility to use HE Passport in other contracts outside our network, such as local authorities, in the future.

Companies who deliver work in the Highways England network may add the workers they choose to Passport.

You need to register your company. Go to the website (https://he.validate.mitie.com/), click on the Company Registration button. Complete and submit the online form. Mitie will then be in contact with you, after which you will be provided with Employer Admin access to Passport.

Payment of the worker subscription when the worker record is first created is not mandatory in terms of sequence, but it is strongly recommended.

Until the worker’s Passport subscription has been paid, the worker’s record is not fully available to you as the employer and no credentials can be checked on site.

Therefore, it is recommended to pay the worker’s first year Passport subscription up front, then arrange for the worker to complete the HCI (Highways England Common Induction). This means when the worker’s HCI achievement is notified into Passport automatically the worker record is already fully active and their credentials can be checked straightaway including at site level.

The annual subscription on Passport is £29 + VAT.

The HCI costs £14 + VAT (and is valid for 3 years).

The employer administrator who books (and pays for) worker inductions with Power Plus also needs a “worker” record on the Highways Passport itself. This is so that certain details can be verified between the two systems. However please note: as an employer administrator who does not need a Passport worker record for anything else and does not need a smartcard, the annual subscription charge can be exempted. Please contact the Mitie helpdesk to arrange this. 

Cardholders

Passport provides a shared platform between employers and contractors signed up to the scheme so that, when you move between companies, your record of training and qualifications moves with you (meaning you won’t need to repeat training when changing employer). It also allows shared visibility of cardholders who have completed the Highways England Common Induction (HCI), without having to go through it again. Cardholders can view a copy of their own full record.

Passport also aims to drive a consistent and common standard across sites and projects.

A group of people in the Health and Safety team are leading the conversations with each directorate to finalise the list of people who will require passport and/or the Highways Common Induction. An internal communication is being prepared.

No. At the moment Passport is not replacing any current internal processes, and not every employee in Highways England would require Passport. As mentioned above an internal communication is being prepared to specify who would require or not Passport and/or Highways Common Induction.

The information provided on Who Should be Registered on the Scheme document is the minimum requirements set for the industry. The Principal Contractor may, as is there right under CDM, ask for additional requirements over and above the minimum requirements set out by the industry guidance.

No. The passport does not replace the CSCS card. However, individuals’ CSCS competencies and an image of the card itself can be added to their Passport record.

Once you are registered on the Passport system, as you move between employers and across supply chains, your record travels with you. You retain the same card and all your previous training and qualifications history, plus other details affecting your authority to work remain in the system and are available.

When you leave a company, your employer (HE Passport Administrator) should “de-register” you on the system; this will allow your new employer to “register” you as an employee.

You should immediately report this to your Passport Administrator who will cancel the card; If you are self-employed, please contact Mitie. This prevents cardholder information being shown when the card is scanned and clearly marks the card as cancelled when scanned.

Replacement cards are normally issued 48 hours after the request.

When not cancelled, since the card can be scanned by a card-checker to confirm information for the cardholder (including any training and qualifications held), it is important that the card is kept safe in the same way as you would treat any other ID or access card. 

As soon as your card is cancelled, your administrator will also be able to order you a replacement card at the same time. Self Employed or Owner Operators should contact the Mitie helpdesk to do similar.

Please contact your employer HE Passport Administrator; If you are self-employed please contact Mitie helpdesk.

The information required is:

  • Your full name
  • National Insurance number
  • Date of birth
  • A digital photograph, which has been taken within the last 3 months, that meets the Passport photograph standards

Your NI number is used to confirm that your record is unique within the system and that no duplicate record exists for the same individual.

As the name suggests this is a virtual (or digital) version of the traditional physical Passport smartcard. Anyone who has an active Passport record and card can also have a virtual smartcard, which is stored in a special secure wallet (free to download, it’s called Vircarda) on the individual’s mobile phone. 

This means cardholders don’t need to bring the physical card to work so long as they have their mobile with them.

The virtual card can be checked by card checkers in a similar way to how QR codes are read on the physical cards.

Please ensure the photograph is in JPEG file format, and:

  • Is less than 4mb in size
  • Has been taken within the last three months
  • Is a true likeness,
  • In full colour
  • Taken against a white, or light background
  • Is in sharp focus
  • Is free from red-eye
  • Free from reflection or glare from glasses
  • Should be facing forward with eyes open and nothing covering the face
  • Have nothing covering the eyes
  • Must not be wearing tinted glasses or sunglasses
  • Must not be wearing a hat or head covering unless for medical or religious reasons

Speak to the person who employs you. They should provide you with your Passport Administrator contact details. Mitie helpdesk would not be able to provide these details.

In order to complete the HCI you will need a code from your employer to pay for it. You also need to know your Highways Passport number. This is a 10 digit number starting with 14 and is on your Passport smartcard. If you don’t yet have a Passport smartcard ask your employer for your number.

Once you have your number and your token, you can log into the system (https://highwaysengland.powerplusportal.com).

If you have not completed the online HCI before you will need to register and set up an account. This is a simple process just requiring basic details. Once registered and when you have entered your code you can log on and complete the HCI.

The HCI will take around an hour to work through. You will need to make sure you have an hour set aside of quiet time to complete this.

Following the HCI you will need to complete a multiple-choice test of 15 randomly chosen questions. These questions will be taken from the content you will cover in the course. No prior knowledge is required.

It is easy to complete the HCI and ideally you would do this prior to arriving on site on your own computer. If not, you can complete when you arrive.

The HCI can be completed on a computer, tablet or phone. Any internet enabled device. The system is web based so as long as you can get on the internet you can complete the induction.

Once you have successfully passed the Highways England Common Induction, the record will be automatically* added to the Passport database. It will then be visible to all authorised card checkers when they check your card.


*Note: you must have a record on Passport before completing the online Common Induction, as the two systems share data in order to transfer your Induction outcome to Passport as soon as you pass.


The Highways Common Induction is valid for 3 years, unless circumstance dictates otherwise.

When a card is checked using the Passport app by scanning the QR code instead of the NFC chip a copy of the cardholder’s key details are stored on the device itself so that the cardholder’s record can be checked again later in an area without mobile connectivity.

These details are stored securely on the device and can only be viewed via the dedicated mobile app. The card checker can also delete these “cached” records from their mobile phone at any time.

As a record-holder on Passport and to assist compliance with the relevant provisions of the GDPR, you have a right to access your data and you can access it at any time by logging onto your record (see instructions below).

You can also report any error in your data in this area of the system. There are strict controls on the type of information that can be seen by other people about you including card checkers on site (you can also view your own record by downloading the app and checking your own card). 

In terms of modification, your employer may modify parts of your record (and all modifications are visible to you – see below).

As a record-holder on Passport, you can self-register (once you have your card) to view your own details online at: https://he.validate.mitie.com/MySkillSafe/Account/LogOn/

Your Passport smartcard holds your information securely on the smart chip within the card itself (this is encrypted so that it can only be read using the NFC version of the Android mobile app or PC-connected card reader application).

It is also possible for authorised card checkers to view your key information by scanning the QR code on the card itself, using the dedicated mobile app (Android and iOS) or Web Card Reader. Note that your personal details (such as NI Number, Home Address, etc.) are not stored or shown when scanning your card via any of these methods, only the minimum information that’s necessary to confirm you are safe and qualified to work is shown. Your employer will have full visibility of the data recorded on the system.

Card Checkers

There are a couple of steps card checkers need to follow – principally uninstalling the old version of the app and installing the new one. Please view the Quick Guide for Card Checkers

Step 1

If you have the previous Highways England Validate app installed, please uninstall this and install the latest Validate 5 Mobile App from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

The apps are titled “Validate 5” for the dual NFC and QR supported version, and “Validate 5 QR” for the QR-only version. 

 

 

Step 2

When the app is launched for the first time, it needs to be pointed at your Validate system. This can be done in one of three ways:

  1. Scan the QR code on your physical card
  2. Manually enter the URL for the correct environment
  3. Select the Mobile App tab on your Validate system web portal and scan the QR

This will update the branding of the Validate app to represent your Validate system.

Once the branding has updated to your Validate system, you will be able to scan your card.

Important note: The first scan on a new install must be done via a physical card.

 

 

Step 3

If this is the first time you are using the mobile app on that device, you will need to complete the authentication process.

If you do have either an email address or mobile number stored in the Validate system, an authentication code can be sent using either of these by selecting the appropriate option. Enter the code that is sent to your chosen platform.

If you don’t have an email address or mobile number stored in the Validate system, select the Update Details button. This will take you to miValidate where you can log into your account or register for an account and update your contact details. For further instructions, please see the User Guide once you have logged in.

 

 

 

 

There are three versions of the app – two for Android and one for iOS.

Android

  • Validate 5 QR: this app supports the reading of supported cards via QR code only.
  • Validate 5: this app supports the reading of supported cards via both NFC and QR code.

iOS

  • Validate 5 QR: this app supports the reading of supported cards via QR code.

 

As part of security changes in the August upgrade, we need to be sure who is checking cards at all times, so the Basic Check function has been removed.

To check a Passport smartcard, card checkers can either use the app or - if using a tablet or laptop on site - the Web Card Reader approach can also be used.

As the name suggests this is a virtual (or digital) version of the traditional physical Passport smartcard. Anyone who has an active Passport record and card can also have a virtual smartcard, which is stored in a special secure wallet (free to download, it’s called Vircarda) on the individual’s mobile phone. 

This means cardholders don’t need to bring the physical card to work so long as they have their mobile with them.

The virtual card can be checked by card checkers in a similar way to how QR codes are read on the physical cards.