Professional course Bridge Inspection

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
Geography and Environmental Management
Six days

Page last updated 12 March 2021


The bridge inspection process is a fundamental part of the effective management of bridges as set out in the Code of Practice for the Management of Highway Structures. Bridge inspections can have a significant impact on maintenance regimes, financial planning and, ultimately, the safety of the public. Therefore, the importance of the bridge inspector cannot be understated.

The UK Bridges Board, supported by the Bridge Owners Forum, recognised this problem and commissioned the development of a 'Bridge Inspection Competence and Training Manual'.

The purpose of this new suite of courses offered by the UWE Bristol is to help delegates to understand the wide ranging processes associated with the inspection of bridges within the overall asset management framework for highway structures.

Attendance on these courses will help delegates to achieve the level of competence required to be assessed as a bridge inspector or senior bridge inspector by an external awarding body.

The suite of courses will also be of interest and value to bridge managers and other technical staff who have the responsibility for managing highway structures.



The suite of courses is structured to cover the seven Core Competences of the DfT Bridge Inspection Certification Scheme as follows:

  • Unit C1 Introduction to Inspections
  • Unit C2 Structures Types and Elements / Behaviour of Structures
  • Unit C3 Inspection Process
  • Unit C4 Defects, Descriptions and Causes
  • Unit C5 Investigation and Testing
  • Unit C6 Repair Techniques
  • Unit C7 General Aptitude

The presented material will refer to the Highways Agency Inspection Manual for Highway Structures and will draw on extensive practical examples provided by the course tutors. The course titles and dates are as follows:

  • Bridge Inspection Day 1 - The Bridge Inspection Process
  • Bridge Inspection Day 2 - Structural Form, Materials and Behaviour
  • Bridge Inspection Day 3 - Bridge Defects: Descriptions and Causes
  • Bridge Inspection Day 4 - Field Trip
  • Bridge Inspection Day 5 - Bridge Investigation and Testing
  • Bridge Inspection Day 6 - Assessment, Repair and Strengthening of Bridges

Each course is designed to be a stand-alone activity. Thus delegates who are only interested in a single topic will not need to attend the whole suite of courses. However, delegates may need to attend more than one course in order to achieve the level of knowledge required by the scheme. Discounts will be available for delegates who wish to attend more than one course in a single academic year.

Course Programme

Day 1: The Bridge Inspection Process

  • Introduction
  • Purpose of Bridge Inspections
  • Code of Practice for the Management of Highway Structures
  • Inspectors Roles, Responsibilities and Competence
  • The Accreditation Process
  • Inspection Types
  • Scheduling Inspections
  • Risk Based Inspection Intervals
  • Planning and Preparing for Inspections
  • Health and Safety
  • Performing Inspections
  • Recording Inspections
  • Summary

Day 2: Structural Form, Materials and Behaviour

  • Introduction
  • Structures Types and Elements
  • Structural Mechanics and Behaviour
  • Properties of Construction Materials - Concrete
  • Properties of Construction Materials - Steel and Metals
  • Properties of Construction Materials - Masonry
  • Properties of Construction Materials - Timber

Day 3: Bridge Defects: Descriptions and Causes

  • Introduction
  • Principal Causes of Defects
  • Concrete Defects
  • BCI and Concrete Defects
  • Steel Defects
  • BCI and Steel Defects
  • Masonry Defects
  • BCI and Masonry Defects
  • Other Defects
  • Summary

Day 4: Field Trip

  • Inspection of Bridges
  • Discussion

Day 5: Bridge Investigation and Testing

  • Introduction
  • The Purpose of Testing
  • Common Testing Techniques
  • An Effective Testing Programme
  • Concrete Testing
  • Testing of Metals
  • Masonry Testing
  • Investigation Processes
  • Ecology
  • Procurement Processes

Day 6: Assessment, Repair and Strengthening of Bridges

  • Introduction
  • Evaluation of Inspection and Testing Techniques
  • Maintenance Techniques
  • Bridge Assessment
  • Repair Techniques for Concrete Structures
  • Repair Techniques for Metal Structures
  • Repair Techniques for Masonry Structures


Learning and Teaching

The suite of courses will be led by highly experienced practitioners and academics.

Wherever possible the courses will be run in a workshop format that emphasises the practical nature of the topic whilst ensuring that delegates have sufficient understanding of the theoretical background required of a bridge inspector.

The inspection module will include a day of fieldwork where the practical aspects of bridge inspection can be experienced at first hand.


Professional accreditation

This is not an accredited course and it doesn't lead to a professional qualification. It's designed to deepen the knowledge for those already working in this area, to be used as CPD and/or to achieve the level of knowledge/competence required to be assessed as a Bridge Inspector or Senior Bridge Inspector by an external awarding body, like LANTRA

UWE CPD certificates are available on completion (CPD 5hrs p/day)

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

Please see the table below for current fees and discounts available. All prices are VAT exempt.

CohortFull Fee - 6 daysFee per day

All course prices include course materials, car parking, lunch and refreshments.

Course Dates



Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6









09.30 - 16.30

09.30 - 16.30

09.30 - 16.30

09.30 - 16.30

09.30 - 16.30

09.30 - 16.30


Bristol Business School, UWE Bristol, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY

How to find UWE Bristol

How to apply

How to apply

To make a booking for this programme, please complete the relevant online booking form below (when available). For all enquiries, please comeplete an enquiry form using the link below:



Bidge Inspection courses



Enquire Now

For further information

  • Email: For all queries regarding the administration aspects of registration, i.e. dates, fees, etc. please contact us using the online enquiry form link or telephone number below.
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 86927