Safety verification (for non-mainline transport operators)

This page contains an overview of the arrangements for controlling risks arising from the introduction of new or altered vehicles and infrastructure on non-mainline rail systems.

What is safety verification?

When transport operators (transport undertakings or infrastructure managers) introduce new or altered rolling stock or infrastructure, they need to ensure that health and safety considerations are incorporated into their design processes.

ROGS contain provisions for the safety management system (SMS) of non-mainline transport operators to include arrangements on how safety verification will be managed.  Safety verification is a flexible process to make sure that projects which could significantly increase risk are safe.

The arrangements in the SMS must describe the process to control risks arising from the introduction of new or altered vehicles and infrastructure. If these risks are new or significantly increased, a safety verification process must be followed.

What is the dutyholders' responsibility?

The dutyholder must appoint an 'independent competent person' (ICP) to help them devise a written scheme of verification of the dutyholder's project or works assessed against a set of criteria.

The ICP should be appointed early in the design process to help the dutyholder select the appropriate assessment criteria. The role of the ICP is not to provide 'sign-off' that a project is 'safe'. They are there to help the dutyholder to go through the right processes.

Is a safety certificate required?

No certificate will be required, but the written scheme and the results of assessments, tests, and remedial actions should be retained by the dutyholder for the lifetime of the equipment.

We do not need to be notified of projects managed under safety verification. There is no statutory approval required although we will be inspecting a sample of schemes.

Are there any exceptions?

The safety verification process will not apply unless the new or altered equipment is both novel to the dutyholder and is likely to give rise to a new risk or significant increase in risk, i.e. the project (or works) must meet both of the following criteria:

  1. Difference Test: the risk arising from the design is new to the dutyholder
  2. Risk Test: there will be a new risk or a significant increase in risk

Projects or works where one or both of these tests do not apply will need to be managed under the dutyholder's SMS change management procedures.

Further information