Empentis Training Solutions > Highways Maintenance > Road Surfacing Operative

Road Surfacing Operative

Road Surfacing Operative (RSO) are responsible for surfacing, resurfacing and the improvement of the public and privately owned highway network. RSOs cover all road types from motorways to residential areas.

Road Surfacing

What are the key responsibilities of a Road Surfacing Operative?

RSOs will work as part of a team, between 8 and 14 people, and directed by a foreman or supervisor. Operatives will perform various roles including but not limited to: machine driver, machine operator, roller driver, planer driver, and planer operator. RSOs must be team players and develop a safety-first attitude by learning how to carry out works without risk to themselves, their team, the public, or the environment. They must also be prepared for working outside and a variety of shift patterns in order to minimise road disruption.

What duties will an operative perform?

  • Operation of a wide range of specialist machinery such as planers, asphalt pavers, emulsified bitumen sprayers and compacting rollers.
  • Removal of old and existing surfaces using a mechanical breakup process.
  • Visual inspection and preparation of the underlying surface to receive new surfacing material.
  • Resurfacing of the area using road surfacing machinery.
  • Alignment and compaction of the new surface.
  • Visual inspection and testing of the new surface to ensure full compliance.


  • On-The-Job training
  • Off-The-Job training

Learners will spend 20% of their time on the course completing Off-The-Job training.

How will learners be assessed?

  • Workplace observation.
  • Professional discussion.

Learners without Level 1 Maths and English will need to achieve this level and take the test for Level 2 prior to the end point assessment.

Learners will receive Road Surfacing Operative Level 2 certificate.

The apprenticeship will take 15 to 18 months to complete.

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