New York State Local Technical Assistance Program

What training and certification is needed for flaggers?

Flagger stopping traffic using hand signal and red stop sign

All flaggers need to be trained before starting work. If working on a NYSDOT project, the training needs to be certified to NYSDOT by providing the source of training for each person who will be a flagger on the job. While there is no requirement for providing a list of who has been trained on non-state jobs, flaggers should be trained

Just as important, the flagger needs to be able to show they are able to perform the job correctly. On NYSDOT projects, the flagger may be asked to demonstrate their competency to perform the task. If the flagger cannot show they are able perform; they will need to be replaced even if they have been trained. On non-state projects, you should test your flaggers as well to see if they are properly able to meet the requirements of the MUTCD. The Cornell Local Roads Program has a flagger tutorial which can be used to at least check to see if your flaggers know the proper requirements.

From MUTCD Section 6E.01 Qualifications for Flaggers

Flaggers should be able to satisfactorily demonstrate the following abilities:

  1. Ability to receive and communicate specific instructions clearly, firmly, and courteously;
  2. Ability to move and maneuver quickly in order to avoid danger from errant vehicles;
  3. Ability to control signaling devices (such as paddles and flags) in order to provide clear and positive guidance to drivers approaching a TTC zone in frequently changing situations;
  4. Ability to understand and apply safe traffic control practices, sometimes in stressful or emergency situations; and
  5. Ability to recognize dangerous traffic situations and warn workers in sufficient time to avoid injury.


The NYSDOT Work Zone Traffic Control (WZTC) specifications (Section 619 of the NYSDOT Specifications) states:

Flagger Training
All flaggers shall be adequately trained in flagging operations by recognized training programs, including the American Traffic Safety Services Association, the National Safety Council, unions, or construction industry associations, or by an individual who holds a current certification as a flagger training instructor from such a program. Prior to the start of flagging operations, the Contractor shall provide to the Engineer a list of certified flaggers to be used in the operation, identifying the source of flagger training for each individual. When requested by the Engineer, flaggers shall demonstrate their competency in flagging procedures. Flaggers not competent in flagging procedures shall be retrained or replaced at once. 

Anyone who is working on a NYSDOT projects needs to be trained as a flagger before starting work. There are lots of possible resources to find the training. Here is the current list of training programs recognized by NYSDOT:




NYSDOT Standard Specifications

Standard Sheets for Work zone traffic control. NYSDOT



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