Framework agreed with Network Rail for risk assessment support

Framework agreed with Network Rail for risk assessment support
09 March 2017

Ricardo has been appointed to provide expert support regarding the Common Safety Method on Risk Evaluation and Assessment (CSM RA) for Network Rail’s signalling and electrification programmes. 

Under a new framework until the end of the current control period, our UK team will ensure that safety engineering and signalling experts are readily available to help meet peaks in demand and ensure these major projects can proceed without delays incurred by failing to meet compliance with the legislation.

The Common Safety Method on Risk Evaluation and Assessment

The Common Safety Method on Risk Evaluation and Assessment (CSM RA) is a European Regulation that sets out a risk management process to be followed when a significant change is made to the mainline railway system. It is one of six Common Safety Methods under the Railway Safety Directive.

The application of the risk management process by a ‘proposer’ – generally a Railway Undertaking or Infrastructure Manager – is assessed by an independent Assessment Body. The latest version of the CSM RA is Regulation EU 402/2013 as amended by EU 2015/1136. 

Although this new CSM RA process superseded common practices used in the UK rail industry over a number of years, the transition from the ‘old’ to the ‘new’ approach has not been without the occasional problem and has been the cause of disruption to some projects.

Guidance and expertise from Ricardo

Since 2012, when the legislation began to be applied more generally across the industry, Ricardo has sought to help by providing a series of specialised briefings and training courses designed specifically for the UK rail sector. To date, more than 1,100 delegates, ranging from senior managers and project engineers through to safety practitioners have attended at least one of our courses (to view the programmes, click here).

This training has been coupled with additional technical support for project teams within Network Rail’s national signalling and electrification programmes, ensuring compliance with the legislation and reducing the risk to authorisation of network upgrades and improvements. More importantly, it has helped to keep the network safe. 

In 2016, after recognising that technical support would be required over the long-term, Network Rail launched a competitive tendering process to put a CSM RA framework in place for the national signalling programme. 

Of 20+ organisations who expressed interest, Ricardo was one of two organisations appointed onto the framework that will continue at least until the end of the current control period. 

To ensure sufficient resources are available to meet any peak in demand across the UK, Ricardo has put in place a pool of safety engineering and signalling expertise from which local Network Rail teams can draw upon as required.