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Traffic control is an essential part of maintaining a safe work site when the work involves vehicles or moving machinery. It ensures an orderly flow of vehicles and people to minimise potential hazards. Traffic control also requires a traffic controller.

A traffic controller is a person responsible for ensuring that everyone follows the traffic control plan. However, becoming a traffic controller requires the completion of specific training. Here is a closer look at traffic control in NSW and the rest of Australia.

What Is Traffic Control?

Traffic control helps ensure a safer environment when working on roads or work sites with vehicles. The traffic control duties are carried out by a traffic controller.

Traffic controllers help direct the flow of traffic, including the movement of vehicles, machinery, and pedestrian traffic. They implement traffic control plans, set up signage, and monitor traffic volumes. Maintaining a safe road environment also requires training.

How to Become a Traffic Controller NSW

To become an NSW traffic controller, you need to obtain the Traffic Control Work Training Card. In New South Wales, Transport for NSW previously issued the traffic control cards. The RMS cards were replaced with the Traffic Control Work Training Card (TCWTC).

The card is now issued by SafeWork NSW. Obtaining the card requires the completion of an approved traffic controller course. Registered training organisations, such as AlertForce, provide training for nationally recognised units of competency, including all necessary traffic control courses.

Trainees may work toward a traffic controller qualification or the qualification for implementing traffic management plans. Both qualifications require you to complete multiple units of competency. The two available skill sets for traffic control include the following.

  • RIISS00058 (Previously RIISS00054) – Traffic Control Skill Set
  • RIISS00060 (Previously RIISS00055) – Traffic Management Skill Set

Each skill set has a separate list of units that you need to complete. These courses are also typically necessary for anyone who wants to work as a traffic controller throughout the rest of Australia.

You also need to obtain a white card, which is also known as the construction induction card. White card training allows you to enter and work in construction sites throughout Australia.

In some areas, you may also need to submit a form to the governing body in your state or territory to become an accredited traffic controller. For example, in Queensland, you must apply for traffic controller accreditation online or in person after completing the training courses and assessments.

Traffic Control Skill Set

The traffic control skill set includes the training needed to stop and start vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Individuals who complete this training can also implement temporary traffic management plans. The units of competency in this set typically include the following points.

  • RIIWHS201 – Work Safely and Follow WHS Policies
  • RIIWHS205 – Control Traffic with Stop/Slow Bat
  • RIIWHS206 – Control Traffic with Portable Traffic Control Devices
  • RIICOM201 – Communication in the Workplace
  • RIIWHS302 – Implement Traffic Management Plans

These courses cover the basics for controlling and monitoring traffic on worksites. RIIWHS205 was previously the main course needed for working as a traffic controller. It covers preparing to control traffic, operating communication devices, and directing traffic using a handheld bat and hand signals.

RIIWHS206 is a newer unit of competency dedicated to the use of portable traffic control devices and traffic signs for controlling traffic. It covers selecting and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), preparing the work site, and assessing risks. Workers must also know how to implement traffic management plans, which are covered by the RIIWHS302 unit of competency.

Traffic Management Skill Set

The traffic management skill set covers more responsibilities compared to the traffic control skill set. The units of competency in this set prepare individuals to establish temporary traffic management plans based on the road environment, weather conditions, and other factors. Common units of competency for this set include:

  • RIIWHS303 – Position and Setup Portable Traffic Control Devices
  • RIIRIS301 – Apply Risk Management Processes
  • RIIRIS402 – Carry Out the Risk Management Processes
  • RIICWD503 – Prepare Traffic Management Plans and Traffic Guidance Schemes

Along with these units, you need to complete the basic units of competency needed for working as a traffic controller. This includes RIIWHS205 (Control Traffic with a Stop/Slow Bat) and RIIWHS302 (Implement Traffic Management Plans).

How to Get into Traffic Control

Getting into traffic control may require industry experience. Many employers prefer to hire individuals with at least one year of relevant work experience.

The construction industry is the largest employer of traffic controllers. Working in construction may offer a direct path to getting into traffic control after completing the required training and assessment.

Traffic management companies are also major employers of traffic controllers. Organisations hire traffic management companies before engaging in work on roadways.

How to Get Traffic Control Ticket

Obtaining a traffic control ticket requires the completion of the required traffic control training courses in your state or territory. For example, in NSW and most other states, the minimum legislative requirements include completing RIIWHS205 (Control Traffic with a Stop/Slow Bat) and RIIWHS302 (Implement Traffic Management Plans).

After completing the training and assessment, you can apply for accreditation in the state or territory where you work. The ticket, or license, is sent to the residential address on file within several weeks. After receiving the license, you are permitted to work as a traffic controller.

How Much is a Traffic Control Course?

The cost of traffic control training varies across the country and from one training organisation to another. For example, at AlertForce, RIIWHS205E (Control Traffic with a Stop-Slow Bat) costs $347 in Canberra and $217 in Sydney.

You may also save on training by combining units of competency. A combo course that includes RIIWHS205E and RIIWHS302E (Implement Traffic Management Plans) may save a couple of hundred dollars compared to signing up for the courses separately.

How Long Is the Traffic Control Course?

Each course typically involves half a day of practical training and classroom instruction. Some training options may cover all units of competency for a skill set in one to three days.

Along with the practical training, you need to complete an assessment. The assessment requires you to demonstrate your knowledge of the training material. After passing the assessment, you receive a statement of attainment.

How Long Does Traffic Control Ticket Last?

A traffic control license is valid for two to three years in most states and territories. However, you also need to complete refresher training every two years. After completing the refresher training, you resubmit the application form for traffic controller accreditation in your state or territory. You also need to have a valid driver’s licence.


Traffic control is a vital part of workplace safety when work involves roads, vehicles, and moving machinery. Knowing how to implement traffic guidance schemes and set up temporary traffic signs requires specialised training.

If you want to work as a traffic controller, view upcoming training options from AlertForce. They offer a wide range of training courses at various locations and dates to accommodate any schedule.

Sign up for traffic control training today to start your path to becoming a traffic controller!

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