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The Standards for Highways website is undergoing a refresh, starting with the DMRB. These changes are aiming to provide an easier and more convenient service. If you have any feedback, questions or suggestions, please contact Standards_Enquiries@highwaysengland.co.uk

The new DMRB structure and coding system

The new document reference comprises five characters, of which the first two are based on the location of the document within the new structure (i.e. combination of Discipline and Lifecycle codes) and the final three are a unique number allocated by the policy group responsible for the discipline to which the document is allocated.

To support a smooth transition from the current structure to the new one, new DMRB documents continued to be published into the legacy volumes structure. However, as of 01 April 2020 all DMRB documents will be published into the new structure.

The new discipline structure and related codes are as follows:

  • General Principles & Scheme Governance ”G”;
  • Sustainability & Environment ”L”;
  • Civil Engineering ”C” (comprising road layout, pavement, structures and bridges, geotechnics and drainage);
  • Technology ”T” (comprising control & communications technology and road lighting).

The new lifecycle structure and related codes are as follows:

  • General Information ”G”;
  • Appraisal ”A”;
  • Design ”D”;
  • Construction ”C”;
  • Maintenance & Operation ”M”;
  • Inspection & Assessment ”S”;
  • Disposal ”Z”.

As an example: ‘GD 304 - Designing health and safety into maintenance’

  • “G” indicates this document relates to the General Principles & Scheme Governance discipline
  • “D” indicates this document relates to the Design asset lifecycle

The old DMRB structure and coding system

The old DMRB was made up of separate volumes, with each being divided into a number of sections. Most sections were further sub-divided into parts. Documents were allocated to a volume, section and (for documents issued since 1992) part according to their subject matter.

Each document was given a reference number prefixed by a series code, i.e. BD, BA, GD, GA, HD, HA, TD, TA, nominally:

  1. ”B” for bridges and structures;
  2. ”G” for general;
  3. ”H” for highways; and
  4. ”T” for traffic engineering and control,

followed by:

  1. ”D” for design document; or
  2. ”A” for advice note.

The series codes BE (”Technical Memoranda - Bridges”) and SH (”Scottish Technical Memoranda - Highways”) were also retained until such time as all these older-style documents became superseded.

The full document reference was suffixed by ”/” and two digits indicating the year of publication (e.g. ”/08” for documents published in 2008). Where the year suffix was omitted, it should have been assumed that the current iteration of the document should have been used.

The previous DMRB structure also included certain older documents that have not yet been assigned a document reference and were retained until superseded.

The documents assigned to each volume, section and (where appropriate) part were also given a decimal reference to facilitate the location of specific documents within the DMRB. For example: DMRB 2.3.1 indicates the document was contained in Volume 2, Section 3, Part 1.