What is meant by Institutionalization of TIM?

Any TIM program and practice is a thing to be proud of, and every step along the way is an event to be celebrated. But a lasting and impactful TIM program will be more likely to be successful if there is a move to full institutionalization of the program. Institutionalization means intentional Wcommitment to each of the program elements measured nationwide.

Institutionalization is when TIM becomes the culture, instead of being part of the culture. Full operations of any system is only possible by limiting the disruptions that incidents naturally bring. TIM practitioners are accustomed to working on scene, or supporting those who do.

Institutionalization evaluation is possible when there is a demonstrated commitment, defined and specific, to be sure the program planning and coordination is sound, that training and policies are well understood and shared, that response impacts are measured, and used to improve the program. It is more than responders understanding what is needed. It goes toward a complete start to finish approach that involves motorists, planners, legislators, administrators, designers, constructors, and maintainers, as well as responders.

There is an overall institutionalization score tied to the five elements described below, and the previous year’s TIM Self-Assessments provide a base for the scoring.  An FHWA-led working group determined TIM Institutionalization categories and characteristics.

Clicking on the map will bring up an area with their overall score and element scores displayed. There is a link to the National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE) knowledge center, which includes the FHWA TIM Knowledge Management System, and allows searches for information under normal and advanced search capabilities.


This score indicates an overall assessment of all elements described below.

Program Structure Elements

This category score indicates the demonstrated status of:

  • Organization of the program in terms of state structure and frequency of meetings
  • Program leadership and dedicated roles
  • Dedicated funding, including TIP integration

Policies and Procedures Elements

This category score indicates the demonstrated status of:

  • Towing and Recovery policies, laws, incentives
  • Safety Service Patrol priorities, limitations, time spent on TIM vs. Motorist Assistance
  • Status and scope of operating guidelines and procedures

TIM Training Elements

This category score indicates the demonstrated status of:

  • Frequency of initial and refresher training
  • Scope of delivery including disciplines trained, academy integration, inclusion of exercises

Performance Measurement Elements

This category score indicates the demonstrated status of:

  • Collection progress in methods and sources
  • Breadth of data collected
  • Analysis and reporting status
  • Use of data to make or affect specific changes in approach or procedure

Technology Integration Elements

This category score indicates the demonstrated status of:

  • Incorporation of UAS, crowd sourcing, integration with TSMO tactics such as lane management, Connected and Automated Vehicle linkage, and upcoming changes
  • Policies and MOUs involving technology