Review of existing DPPPs

Operators with an existing DPPP should continue to keep it under review, evaluating its own performance in line with the 2009 guidance pdf icon PDF, 672 Kb. Where, as a result, the operator proposes a 'material change' to its existing DPPP it should advise us and submit: 

  • marked-up versions, reflecting any revisions to both the passenger document and policy document; 
  • an explanation of the reasons for any changes; and
  • a statement of whether the operator considers any part of these changes to be 'material'.

Criteria and process for approval


The existing 2009 guidance pdf icon PDF, 672 Kb for DPPP forms the basis of ORR's review and approval of operators DPPP. Operators should satisfy themselves that they meet the standards and criteria in this guidance.

For the policy document, our review will in particular assess the operator's approach to: 

  • delivering assistance, promoting awareness of the assistance available and facilitating travel by those with disabilities (including those with less visible disabilities);
  • monitoring and evaluating performance (for which we will want to understand the operator's own benchmarks for what it considers to be a successful performance), and the processes in place for acting on this to drive continuous improvement;
  • capturing and responding to feedback from customers; and
  • how the organisation is structured to deliver these arrangements.

We will also consider the extent to which the operator can evidence that it has the right organisational values and behaviours towards disability. This includes the extent to which its senior management team is engaged with, and provides leadership and support to the frontline staff that deliver assistance, and ensures that the right processes and systems are in place.

The passenger document should follow the 2009 guidance, with particular emphasis on covering all mandatory or required standards. It is important that passenger-facing DPPPs are as clear as possible. We will consult stakeholders on whether greater standardisation in wording or presentation is valuable. Read our DPPP regulatory statement pdf icon PDF, 304 Kb


  • We will acknowledge receipt of the DPPP and supporting documents within 5 working days;
  • Where the submission includes a material change – in the view of the operator or ORR – we will conduct the relevant consultation, as required by the licence. 
  • We aim to review and approve submitted DPPP within 20 working days of receipt of consultation responses where a material change is being considered;
  • Operators should expect to assist us with resolving specific queries or issues. Where we have substantive concerns we will discuss these, and allow additional time for revisions to DPPP. In these cases we aim to resolve concerns within an agreed timescale.

Further information

In January 2014 we commissioned independent research to give us insight into disabled travellers' awareness of the assistance available when travelling by train to inform our work in this area. Links to a summary document, and the full report, can be found below: