Independent Safety Assessment

Independent Safety Assessment
Copenhagen metro

Undergoing an Independent Safety Assessment (ISA) provides managers with confidence that their projects are meeting recognized (rail) industry, legal and regulatory standards.

It also demonstrates that a business is committed to operating in a safe, sustainable and efficient manner, sending a reassuring message of transparency to passengers, regulators, investors and employees.


A rail industry first

In 2016 we become the first independent assurance provider in the rail market to offer a UKAS accredited Independent Safety Assessment service.

Under this scheme, our ISA processes and structures were assessed against BS EN ISO/IEC 17020 Type A, underlining our commitment to the highest levels of competence, independence and consistency.

ISA gives stakeholders the confidence that a product, system, or railway application meets recognised industry and regulatory safety standards

The rail team at Ricardo has been providing ISA services for over 18 years, working on small, medium and large projects around the world.

We have worked on changes to complex products, overseen updates to existing systems, and supported complete new railways from initial design to commission.

The service typically applies the requirements of the CENELEC EN50126 and EN50129 standards as the basic criteria against which the safety engineering of railway products and systems are assessed, since these define a systems and safety engineering lifecycle and the contents of safety cases for railway safety systems.

These standards call up a range of other relevant standards such as CENELEC EN50128 and EN50657 for software, CENELEC EN50121 for EMC, and CENELEC EN50159 for communications. However ISA work can be performed against other relevant standards such as IEC 61508, and to standards directly relevant to electrical, mechanical systems and civils structures for specific products and railway sub-systems.

Beijing Line 17 ISA

Beijing Line 17 ISA

Ricardo Certification was appointed by Beijing Metro Construction Administration Corporation Ltd to provide Independent Safety Assessment (ISA) services for the new metro line that is under construction in the east of the city. Our teams are assessing the new Line 17 against European standards EN 50126, 50128 and 50129.
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Other services


Accredited to perform all of these services, Ricardo Certification can address all of the independent safety and compliance assessment activities your project may require. Our knowledge of the approvals requirements of products, and systems, and their application across railways throughout the world, can help you to understand what may be required wherever you are based, and into the markets you need to engage with.

Assessment Body

Changes to the mainline railway in Europe require an Assessment Body to determine compliance with the CSM-REA Regulations.  More...

Railway Product Certification

RPC is a variant of and ISA service, where a detailed compliance assessment is carried out against the specific clauses and requirements of the CENELEC EN standards. In some regions this is the preferred method for assessment for products to show direct compliance with the CENELEC EN standards. More...

Notified Body

Some of the Technical Standards for Interoperability (principally the CCS TSI, but also LOC & PAS TSI), make reference to the CENELEC EN standards in relation to safety systems and RAMS. Compliance with these standards requires an ISA for key products and systems. More...

"The collaboration between us and the assessor was very good... this is definitely what we wished for"

Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Schienenfahrzeuge GmbH 2017