A new settlement with members: RSSB review complete

28 November 2016

The rail regulator has recommended that the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) agrees a new settlement with its members, laying out mutual expectations and obligations.

In an exercise that takes place every five years, the ORR has consulted with RSSB members and industry groups to report on the direction, delivery and effectiveness of the rail standards body.

ORR’s review found that:

  • RSSB continues to play an important role in the rail industry as an impartial body, independent of the interests of its individual members;
  • There is wide support for RSSB’s overall mission, its core tasks, and respect for the quality of that work; and
  • There is desire among industry groups for RSSB to play a greater ‘thought leadership’ role in line with its core functions.

However, the review also found that beyond areas of core activity, priorities are less transparent, requiring better communication, explanation and agreement with members.

Ian Prosser, ORR’s Director of Railway Safety, said:

"The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) has long been respected within the rail industry for the quality of its work, and there is clearly an appetite for the organisation to take a more proactive role on system safety issues.

"While RSSB has already taken significant steps to improve its effectiveness, our review highlights the need for a new settlement to be agreed with its members, helping clarify priority areas of work and solidify its position as a thought leader on rail safety standards."

Notes to editors

  1. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is the UK’s rail regulator and highways monitor for England. ORR protects the interests of rail and road users; improving the safety, value and performance of railways and roads, today and in the future. Follow us @railandroad.
  2. ORR’s Review of RSSB is available on our website: http://orr.gov.uk/consultations/closed-consultations/railway-safety-consultations/orrs-independent-review-of-rssb-in-2016