Common safety method for risk evaluation and assessment

This page gives an overview of the common safety method (CSM) for risk evaluation and assessment (CSM RA).

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 402/2013 (the Regulation on a common safety method (CSM) for risk evaluation and assessment (or 'the CSM RA')) came into force on 30 April 2013. It is a framework that describes a common mandatory European risk management process for the rail industry and does not prescribe specific tools or techniques to be used.

Commission Regulation (EC) 352/2009, which was in force since 1 July 2010, was repealed on 21 May 2015 when Implementing Regulation (EU) 402/2013 started to apply. However, the provisions of 352/2009 will continue to apply in relation to projects which are at an advanced stage of development.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1136 was adopted by the European Commission on 13 July 2015 and amends Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 402/2013. The amendments are concerned with ‘risk acceptance criteria’, which are now called ‘harmonised design targets'. The term ‘harmonised design targets’ has been introduced to distinguish the acceptance of risks associated with technical systems from the acceptance of operational risks and of the overall risk at the level of the railway system.

We have produced guidance on the CSM RA pdf icon PDF, 1,529 Kb.

The CSM RA aims to harmonise processes for risk evaluation and assessment and the evidence and documentation produced during the application of these processes. By applying a common process, it will be easier for an assessment undertaken in one EU Member State to be accepted in another with the minimum of further work. This is referred to as mutual recognition.

The CSM RA applies when any technical, operational or organisation change is being proposed to the railway system. A person making the change (known as 'the proposer') needs to firstly consider if a change has an impact on safety. If there is no impact on safety, the risk management process in the CSM RA need not be applied and the proposer must keep a record of how it arrived at its decision.

If the change has an impact on safety the proposer must decide on whether it is significant or not by using criteria in the CSM RA. If the change is significant the proposer must apply the risk management process. If the change is not significant, the proposer must keep a record of how it arrived at its decision.

An assessment body must carry out an independent assessment of how the risk management process is applied and the results from the risk management process. The assessment body must meet criteria set out in Annex II of the CSM RA. This includes meeting the requirements of the ISO/IEC 17020:2012 and being accredited or recognised.

However, if the proposer does not require the significant change to be mutually recognised in one or more other EU Member State the CSM RA allows the proposer to appoint an assessment body meeting relaxed criteria agreed by the national safety authority.

We have developed relaxed criteria for the UK and these are set out in Annex 3 of the CSM RA guidance pdf icon PDF, 1,529 Kb. A proposer or assessment body wishing to use the relaxed criteria may do so without further recourse to us.

We will not provide an approval role in a proposer's decision to appoint an assessment body meeting the relaxed criteria. However, the proposer must provide us with details of any assessment body it engages which makes use of the relaxed criteria (rogsguidance@orr.gsi.gov.uk).

Mainline transport operators are required to report their experience of the CSM in their annual safety report. Entities in charge of maintenance (ECMs) of freight wagons are required to report their experience of the CSM in their annual maintenance report.

List of assessment bodies using the relaxed criteria

We have not been notified of any assessment body using the relaxed criteria.

Further information