Ricardo certified as an ECM II organisation

Ricardo certified as an ECM II organisation
15 July 2021

Ricardo is now acknowledged as a certified ECM II (Entity in Charge of Maintenance II) organisation and we have been added to ERADIS  (European Railway Agency Database of Interoperability and Safety) of ERA (European Union Agency of Railways). That is good news for rail operators and lease companies who have to deal with complex new safety standards for the maintenance of rail vehicles which will comes into force in June 2022. 

All mainline vehicles in the European Union must have an assigned Entity in Charge of Maintenance (ECM) listed in the National Vehicle Register. The ECM is responsible for ensuring every vehicle is maintained to an appropriate standard and is safe for operation. 

Ricardo has been a maintenance and ECM expert for years, providing highly qualified rail stock support for a variety of customers. Now that we have been certified as an ECM II organisation, we can completely unburden rail transport and lease companies from ECM II tasks which regulates the maintenance development function. In fact we have already been providing this kind of support in The Netherlands for some time.

Kees Ellerbroek, Senior consultant ECM, Ricardo: “We are engineering experts specialised in the field of technology, interoperability and the safety and maintenance regulations of rail vehicles. As such, we’re capable of determining which maintenance is necessary and when and in what way it can be done effectively.”

More detailed background information

Regulations and certification 

The concept of a named ECM for rail vehicles was introduced in EU 445/201. However, the requirement for the ECM to be certified by an accredited independent party only applied to freight wagons as they were more frequently operated across borders. All other mainline vehicles required a named ECM, but certification was voluntary.
This situation changed following the introduction of EU 2019/779 which stipulates that by June 16th 2022 the ECM of all other mainline vehicles also requires certification. (There are exceptions for vehicles operated by Railway Undertakings and Infrastructure Managers which are used exclusively for their own operations in which case compliance with the ECM Regulation can be demonstrated through their safety certificate/authorisation.)

What is an ECM?

For each vehicle in its care an Entity in Charge of Maintenance is responsible for:

  • The safety performance of the vehicle, including its sub-systems and components;
  • Conformity with the relevant Technical Specifications for Interoperability;
  • Overseeing maintenance processes that are compliant with current legislation;
  • Undertaking all risk evaluation and assessment activities;
  • Ensuring all contractors and third parties implement suitable risk management measures and
  • Keeping a record of past and current maintenance works.

What are the ECM Functions?

It is the responsibility of the ECM to coordinate activities across the four defined ‘functions’ of a maintenance system (see diagram below).
The ECM can be a Railway Undertaking (e.g. an operator), a ‘Keeper’ (i.e. the vehicle’s owner), or the Infrastructure Manager.
The officially registered ECM will always be assumed as performing the ‘ECM I’ function. They can also
oversee the remaining functions II – IV or opt to delegate one or more of the functions to an external party.
4 ECM Functions

What is an ECM II?

An ECMII takes care of the maintenance development function: manages the maintenance documentation and maintenance instructions, keeps them up to date and adjusts them if necessary. This includes 

  • Assessing and monitoring whether maintenance regulations are adequate (safe);
  • Tracking maintenance history / incidents / accidents;
  • Determining annually whether the maintenance rules still comply with TSI’s;
  • Performing audits at workshops and
  • Writing an annual report.