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Department of Transport and Main Roads

Traffic Management Registration Scheme

The Traffic Management Registration Scheme is a significant initiative to improve the safety of road workers on Queensland roads.

Traffic management is a high risk activity and deviation from safety standards can lead to death or serious injury to motorists or road workers, including the traffic controllers themselves. There are very significant costs to the community and public health arising out of road accidents and associated injuries.

The scheme requires traffic management companies to demonstrate safety, quality and consistency in delivering traffic management services on state-controlled roads.

What are the objectives of the scheme?

The objectives of the scheme are:

  • improved safety for road workers and for traffic controllers
  • increased consistency of road signage and traffic management at roadwork sites
  • reduced complacency in the industry and increased professionalism
  • improved road safety awareness at roadwork sites, leading to greater compliance by motorists to traffic controller directions and signage.

Why was the scheme created?

In September 2009, the Queensland Workplace Rights Ombudsman, Don Brown, released his report into the Contract Traffic Control Industry in Queensland. The report highlighted the need to introduce significant traffic management industry reforms; improve industry standards and improve motorist compliance to traffic signage around roadworks.

The Ombudsman recommended that:

“The government introduce a licensing regime for business operators providing the services of traffic controllers to third parties under contract”

“Users of contract traffic controllers including Government departments, local authorities, civil and building contractors, play their part in the promotion of professionalism among traffic employers by regularly monitoring and auditing the undertakings given by principal contractors and traffic control companies to abide by relevant (industrial) laws.”

These recommendations were strongly supported by industry employers and industry groups such as the Traffic Management Association of Queensland and RACQ.

The scheme was developed in close association with industry as a response to the Ombudsman’s recommendations, and to complement the department’s efforts to improve the quality of traffic management state-wide.

The scheme was introduced in June 2010 and became fully operational on state-controlled roads on 1 February 2011. The scheme is strongly supported by industry groups.

Who does the scheme apply to?

The scheme is applicable to organisations that provide ‘traffic control services’ on, or for, state-controlled roads. The registration requirement is in addition to the existing requirement for individual traffic controllers to be accredited.

For the purposes of this scheme, ’traffic control services’ includes:

  • the provision of traffic management around roadwork sites including the setting up of road signage and devices on roads
  • operational traffic control (managing the flow of traffic around roadwork sites and other road sites)
  • the design, auditing and provision of traffic management plans and traffic guidance schemes (this includes organisations that provide traffic management plans, designs or drawings to principal contractors; to third parties; or to traffic management companies). 

What is the focus of registered traffic management organisations?

Registered traffic management organisations are focused on:

Does the scheme only impact state-controlled roads?

Although companies must be registered in the scheme if they provide traffic management services on state-controlled roads, the scheme effectively drives traffic management standards and practices across the entire road network of Queensland.

Many traffic management companies operate on both state-controlled and local government roads. Often a project will involve work on both state and local roads.

A company registered under the scheme must comply with strict safety and quality standards. That means the benefits are applicable to all roads in which the registered company operates.

Local governments often choose to contract registered traffic management companies because of the high standards they must adhere to. Many local governments are also registered in the scheme so there is an expectation of high quality traffic management services on their local controlled road networks as well as on the state-controlled roads that the local government is contracted to maintain.

Which traffic management organisations are registered?

All registered traffic management organisations are listed on the department’s Register of Traffic Management Organisations. 

There are 3 levels of registration:

Registration (i.e. full / unconditional registration)

  • applies to organisations that meet all relevant scheme pre-requisites
  • normally issued for 3 years

Provisional Registration

  • applies to local governments that do not meet all scheme pre-requisites
  • normally issued for periods of 18 months

Conditional Registration

  • applies to non-government organisations
  • issued where the organisation has an expectation of achieving all relevant scheme elements within a short period and is working towards that goal
  • normally issued for periods of 2 to 6 months.

Are registered traffic management organisations audited?

Registered traffic management organisations are expected to comply with all relevant scheme standards throughout the period of their registration, not just at the time of registration and at the time of audit.

Compliance to scheme standards is assessed through audits and on-the-spot checks on site. Organisations that fail to meet quality standards face deregistration.

All registered traffic management organisations are subject to audit.

Does the scheme specify particular industrial awards?

Registered organisations should determine the appropriate industrial award relevant to the specific type of traffic control business they conduct, and pay staff under that award, or under an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) that reflects the relevant award.

Registered traffic management organisations are expected to meet their industrial relations obligations. While information is included in the scheme application form about two relevant industrial awards (the Security Services Industry Award 2010 and the Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010), the scheme does not specify which industrial award is appropriate for the particular organisation.

Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010 applies to traffic management in, or in connection with, civil construction work - being the construction, repair, maintenance or demolition of civil and/or mechanical engineering projects. ‘Traffic management’ means duties in, or in connection with, the directing and controlling of traffic.

Security Services Industry Award 2010 applies to traffic control when it is incidental to, or associated with patrolling, protecting, screening, watching or guarding any people and/or property; crowd, event or venue control; loss prevention; body guarding or close personal protection.

The Commonwealth Fair Work Ombudsman deals with complaints about industrial issues, including industrial awards and pay rates.

Who do I complain to about traffic control at roadwork sites?

Members of the public may occasionally wish to make a complaint about the set-up of road signage at roadwork sites or the conduct of traffic controllers.

When making a complaint, include details of the time, location and circumstances so the matter can be appropriately investigated.

Complaints to traffic management organisations

Registered traffic management organisations have a commitment to provide high quality services, and have systems in place to monitor performance and follow up on compliance issues. Contact details of Registered Traffic Management Organisations are included on the Register of Traffic Management Organisations.

Usually the name of the traffic management company is printed on the traffic controller’s vest and on the traffic control vehicle that may be parked at or near the roadwork site.

Complaints to the principal contractor

If the roadwork forms part of a road construction project, complaints may be made to the principal contractor. The principal contractor of a construction project has obligations under Queensland Health and Safety legislation to ensure safe practices are in place at work sites.

Signs are installed at the many project work sites on state-controlled roads, showing the principal contractor’s name and telephone contact numbers (including an after hours telephone number).

Complaints to local government

Alternatively, if the roadwork is occurring on a local government controlled road, complaints may be made to the local government concerned.

Feedback about registered traffic management organisations

To provide feedback about your experience in dealing with a registered traffic management organisation, please email

What is the Road Worker Safety Hotline?

Road workers can use the Road Worker Safety Hotline to report incidents of road user aggression and behaviour which impacts on the safety of workers at controlled road construction sites. Phone 1800 501 509

How to apply

For information about making an application for registration, please email providing your contact details.


Last updated 14 February 2023