Road safety professionals in Scotland can take advantage of a unique industry standard qualification - the first of its kind in the UK - being launched by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
Aimed at individuals with a professional interest or direct involvement in road casualty reduction in Scotland, the SQA Road Safety Course will equip current and new road safety professionals with the specialist knowledge, delivery skills and analytical capabilities needed to reduce road deaths.
RoSPA, which has been at the heart of accident prevention in the UK and around the world for nearly 100 years, has tailored the course and qualification for Scotland’s road safety professionals, on behalf of Transport Scotland.
The qualification, which was officially launched today (Thursday, June 19) during the Royal Highland Show at the RHS Showground, Edinburgh, has been approved by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) at level 7 (advanced higher/A Level), and will recognise the skills and professionalism of road safety practitioners across the country.
Sandy Allan, RoSPA’s road safety manager in Scotland, said: “For a number of years, the skills of road safety professionals have not been fully recognised, and after researching the core skills required of a road safety officer, we have devised a unique and relevant programme.
“Approval through the SQA will make this qualification, which is unique in the United Kingdom at this level, the industry standard.
“Road safety today is far more than just teaching children to cross the road. The learning outcomes from this programme will equip all successful candidates with the skills necessary to reduce casualties on our roads.”
He added: “Road safety has been delivered by professionals for a great number of years, yet there has, until now, never been a recognised industry standard qualification.
“The introduction of this training programme is the ideal opportunity for those now assuming responsibility for road safety in Scotland to equip their staff with the necessary skills.”
With five core units covering topics such as priority road users, road casualty profile, and evaluation, the skills delivered through the distance learning modular programme - which is also aimed at people with specialist roles within local authorities, emergency services, relevant third sector organisations and other public bodies - will allow candidates to create the correct road safety intervention for at-risk groups on the roads.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “I welcome the launch of this new SQA-accredited road safety qualification, which will improve the professional standing of our road safety officers and help ensure consistent good practice in road safety education across Scotland.
“One life lost on Scotland’s roads is one too many and the Scottish Government will continue to work with our road safety partners to ensure everyone plays their part when it comes to making our roads safer.”
George Cairns, road safety manager for Glasgow City Council, added: "Since taking over the team, I have put in place a number of training programmes to provide staff with a more comprehensive understanding of road safety, but this new qualification is just perfect and takes the pressure off me. I now have access to a structured programme of learning for my team, covering every aspect of their day-to-day job and more.
“Glasgow's road casualties are now at their lowest since records began and this new qualification will equip my staff with the necessary skills to allow them to target new areas where I know I can make a difference, such as vulnerable road users and those who drive for work.
“I would like to commend RoSPA and Transport Scotland for pulling this together and my team look forward to being some of the first professionals in Scotland to achieve the qualification."