Information for candidates and employers

What you need to know about the SWQR including how to get a new card or updating an existing one.

Getting an SWQR ID card (initial application)

Apply through a Centre

Candidates typically apply through an approved training Centre.

  1. You'll need:
    • to have passed the course
    • to be certificated by an Awarding Organisation
  2. The Centre must have submitted a claim based on certification.
  3. The Awarding Organisation must have submitted results which match with your claim.

SWQR then process the claim and validate it. The ID card has a unique identification number and a Quick Response (QR) code which can be scanned to prove authenticity.

A card will normally be issued within four weeks.

If there is a discrepancy, we notify the Centre first to resolve. Please allow time to resolve any issue.  If however, after six weeks of being certificated and application submitted, you have not received your card, please contact your Centre.

Apply yourself

Complete our Candidate application form

You'll need:

  1. A copy of your certificates
  2. Passport-sized photograph
  3. The fee.
Renew your ID card

England and Scotland

If you work in England and/or Scotland you have to take a re-assessment with a Centre. The re-assessment can be taken between the first year of the ID card life and up to five years after the card has expired.

For information on centres in your local area please contact any or all of the Awarding Organisations. Awarding body contact details.

Please note - once the expiry date on the card has passed, the card is no longer valid and must be renewed.

Northern Ireland and Wales

You need to re-register your qualifications every five years (as per your ID card). You may apply for re-registration after the first year of the card’s life and up to three months after the card expiry date.

Please check your current card is not past this three-month period.

For example: if your card expired on 01/01/2021 the last date to re-register is 01/04/2021.

Apply to re-register

You'll need:

  1. a copy of your re-assessment certificates
  2. a recent passport-sized photo (photo guidelines)
  3. to pay the fee.

We recommend you apply six months before the card expiry date. This allows time to process the card and deal with any issues. Should you apply after the three-month expiry period, we can't issue a new ID card. You will need to undertake assessment and submit a new Initial Application.

Replacement ID card

Apply for a replacement
You'll need:

  1. to pay the fee
  2. if you want your photo updated - a passport-sized photo

Please note: SWQR can't issue expired ID cards, and replacement cards are issued on a 'like for like' basis.

Add qualifications to an ID card

You'll need:

Minimum qualifications

Key Units (England and Scotland) are:

For Operatives:

  • LA - Location and Avoidance of Underground Apparatus
  • or
  • O1-Signing, Lighting and Guarding

LA can be held in its own right, as can O1, however, both are required if you want further certificates.

For Supervisors:

  • LA-Location and Avoidance of Underground Apparatus
  • or
  • S1-Monitoring, Signing, Lighting and Guarding

LA can be held in its own right, as can S1, but both are required if you choose to obtain further certificates.

Key Units (Wales and Northern Ireland) are:

For Operatives:

Certificates for LA, O1 and O2 must be held if you work in Wales and/or Northern Ireland.

  • LA-Location and Avoidance of Underground Apparatus
  • O1-Signing, Lighting and Guarding
  • O2-Excavation in the road/highway

For Supervisors:

  • LA-Location and Avoidance of Underground Apparatus
  • S1-Monitoring, Signing, Lighting and Guarding
  • S2-Monitoring excavation in the road/highway

Note: In Northern Ireland and Wales, O1-Signing, Lighting and Guarding and S1-Monitoring Signing, Lighting and Guarding cannot be issued alone on an SWQR card. You must hold at least one of the above combinations in order to be issued with a valid ID card.

General queries

I haven't received my ID card

If you have taken an assessment, the card is normally be sent to the Centre. If your Centre or employer applied for you, please contact them to find out when you will receive your card.

If after six weeks of being certificated, you have not received your ID card, please contact your Centre.

If you haven't taken an assessment (re-registration or replacement) and you have not received your card after six weeks, please contact us.

Why hasn't my ID card expiry date changed after Additional Qualifications?

Wales and/or Northern Ireland

Additional Qualifications will be given the same expiry date as the current ID card. This is to allow all qualifications to be aligned. When you re-register, you will be given five years for all qualifications from the date of your application.

England and/or Scotland

Additional Qualifications will not affect the expiry dates for the existing qualifications on your ID card. Instead, each Additional Qualification will be given its own unique five-year expiry date in line with the qualification certification date

Where will my ID card be sent?

ID cards are sent to the address on the application. If you have taken an assessment, the card will normally be sent to the Centre. If your Centre or employer is applying on your behalf, please contact them to find out when you will receive your card.

My ID card details are wrong

Have you taken an assessment (re-assessment, initial and additional qualifications)? Please contact your Centre.

If you have not taken an assessment (re-registration or replacement), then please:

  1. contact us
  2. return the incorrect card with a letter telling us what is wrong.
  3. We'll contact you to resolve the issue.
Can I use any photo for my ID card?

No, we need a passport-style photo to issue an SWQR card. Please read our photo guidelines.

All my qualifications are not shown on my card?

Cards issued before 2017 for England and Scotland, and cards issued now for Northern Ireland and Wales have 'Group Award' qualifications rather than individual units. This means instead of three single units shown on the rear of the card, they will be under one 'Group Award'. Below is an award breakdown, this will explain what each Group Award' contains.

Obtain a copy of your certificate

If you need a copy of your certificates please contact your Centre. If a Centre no longer exists then you should contact the Awarding Organisation.

Book a training course/assessment

We don't register candidates. Please contact a Centre.

You can find your nearest Centre from the Awarding Organisations:

ID card reminder

Never forget to renew your ID card with our ID card reminder service Sign up and receive alerts 30, 60 and 90 days before your card expires.