“Just Get on With it”


Kevin Richardson, National Training Manager, HW Martin

Abi Dove, Training Centre Coordinator, HW Martin

We spoke to Kevin Richardson and Abi Dove from HW Martin Traffic Management to learn more about how they use Passport. 

HW Martin Traffic Management ltd has 12 operation centres across the UK. With over 550 workers, this makes them currently the largest indpendent traffic management company in the country.

The company has been in traffic management for 33 years. Their role is to create safe locations for people to work on roads. They’re a 24/7 company with up to 70% of their work undertaken during nights.


To start, could you tell us a bit more about yourselves and your roles?

Kevin: I started work here on the 21st August 1991. So I’ve been here almost 30 years. I started as an operative - on the bottom rung if
you like. I then climbed up to a foreman, then a supervisor, looking after a large contract we had in Humberside. In 2002/03. I was promoted to the National Training Manager, my aim was, and still is to ensure that our workforce is trained to the highest standard, the quality of our workforce has been an essential part of the company’s success.

As our company has grown, the training team has needed to grow with it, Abi is a key member of that team along with seven assessors and
three instructors, and we also use a selected and trusted team of external trainers and providers.

Abi: I’ve worked at Martin’s for seven years as a training centre coordinator and been in Traffic Management for 9 years.

I had a year’s background in operations, supporting the operations manager and working directly with the workforce; then, I moved into training. I’ve now incorporated the Passport scheme into my role. I’m responsible for maintaining records for the company - qualifications, first aid, medicals, drug tests, a bit of everything really. 


HW Martin has more workers on the system than almost all other Tier 2s - why is this?

Kevin: We bought into it right from the very beginning.

When I first heard about it, I was excited about the impact it could have on the industry, but if it’s going to work, there will be an awful lot
needed initially.

In the early days of Passport, there was no online HCI. It was all delivered by Lantra approved instructors, and HW Martin had three who could deliver it. Having these instructors gave us a big head start.


What is the value of Passport to your organisation?

Kevin: The diversity of training that we do as an organisation is unbelievable really. From conflict training right through to first aid through to grinding wheel, it’s that diverse!

It was impossible to have all the levels of training we do on one card, but the Passport card allows us to do that now.

Remember, about 70% of the work we do is at night. If we send a crew to undertake works in a residential area they might meet some irrate
members of the public, so the site manager will want to know that they’ve completed conflict training.

Historically he’d have to ring Abi or me at night - to know he’s safe to work.

Now they can see he’s got everything - from conflict to first aid - so it’s a one-stop for all the training data. A lot fewer calls at 9 p.m. asking for certificates!


How do you find using Passport day-to-day?

Abi: I’ve found it a simple system - simple but effective

It’s user-friendly and easy to navigate. Many functions are essential for companies with as many employees as we have - things like
bulk uploads save a lot of time. It’s all more streamlined. I have had a lot of time to play around with it, but it’s a straightforward system,
even if you haven’t had your training on it yet.

Again, having a centralised point for all those qualifications is so useful.


How did you find the face-to-face induction compared with the online induction?

Kevin: I remember when we were doing HCI in conjunction with Passport, we had to order so many booklets through Lantra and then
distribute them out. The accessibility was limited - only 15 people at once. When you’ve got depots of 70+ people, that slows things down.

Operationally it was a struggle to deliver an eight-hour course.

In fact, we were getting so many requests from the industry as a whole that we could have had our three instructors running courses full-time. There probably weren’t enough Lantra approved instructors to get things rolling quickly.

The new online system has changed all of this and what used to be an eight-hour course is now an hour and a half, which is great for accessibility for the entire industry.

Of course, the lack of an instructor is a bit of a shame. I do see that. But the fact it’s more accessible far outweighs that downside. And
that’s coming from a company who were making a profit running those courses.

Abi: It’s far less disruptive to the industry online


Do you think the Passport Scheme has momentum?

Kevin: I’d say there’s definitely momentum now. The energy now is more than when it first came out!

Abi: It’s gained momentum since the release of the online HCI, and the Passport software upgrade which came at the same time. They
made changes that made it more user-friendly and added lots more functions like new reports, which are helpful to the whole supply chain, not just niche companies.

Before, it was a place to put everything; now, it’s a tool with real value.


Do you have any advice for organisations looking to implement Passport?

Abi: The best approach is to bite the bullet and just get on with it.

Uploading the data is the only way to get the best from the system, but it’s so simple and so useful. The initial realisation of how much needs to be done can be daunting, but it’s really not that bad once you get into it.

Kevin: Yes - there’s a bit of up-hill peddling at first, but then you’re freewheeling.

Abi: Exactly. And you get so much value from it. Lots of qualifications have a five-year expiry - once it’s on, it’s on for five years and the
maintenance beyond that is minimal. Now that we have everything uploaded, we only have a few new starters a week to add on, and that takes no time at all! 


Would you encourage other organisations like yours to use Passport?

Kevin: Yes. We would. My encouragement is that it’s not just beneficial to companies on their own but also to the industry. The shared
information and how much easier it’s going to make work in general - it’s about the bigger picture.