RISAS News is produced by RSSB

 RISAS News issue 4

Video helps promote RISAS benefits

The benefits of proving your capabilities as a supplier of critical products and services are well-known to RISAS certificate holders, but sometimes this can be difficult to put into words.  When ZF Services were awarded RISAS certification last year, we made a video to help get across the benefits of the scheme and it’s proving popular to use as a way of explaining to people what RISAS is all about. For more details watch the video.

Engineering excellence into competence

Historically, RISAS assessments have revealed a tendency for competence management to be addressed as a matter of compliance as opposed to being integrated with safety and culture in a business’s systems and processes.In 2012, RSSB published ‘Engineering excellence into competence’ to help scheme users, suppliers and approval bodies understand how to develop competence management systems (CMSs) in line with what both the regulator (ORR) expects and what’s required to meet the standard worthy of a RISAS certificate.In particular, the RISAS supplier assessment module sets out a requirement for the company assessed to be able to demonstrate that it has ‘a competence management system (CMS) consistent with the requirements of ORR’s Railway Safety Publication No.1, 2007 “Developing and Maintaining Staff Competence”.’ Since the 2012 publication was made available, organisations have had the opportunity to adjust their approach (where necessary), and since April this year, approval bodies have been formally checking the suitability of CMSs as part of assessments. So are you up to speed?  You can download ‘Engineering excellence into competence’ from the RISAS website where you can also see all the assessment modules and scheme documentation

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Need more information?

 Need more information?  Contact Andy Tandy at RISAS via email:, telephone 020 3142 5300 or go to our website,, which is also a regular source of information on the scheme. You can follow RISAS on Twitter @RISASofficial.


Investigating axle bearings

The RISAS Board has asked RSSB to investigate an unusually high number of reports of axle bearing failure, 11 NIRs having been raised between January and June, and some of these involving suppliers with RISAS certificates. Scheme rules mean that a RISAS-holder’s approval body (RISAB) has to look into each specific case when an NIR is raised, but in this case, and following discussions with passenger and freight train operator groups and the BSI RAE/3/-/2 UK Bearing Group, industry decided the situation warranted a broader investigation.

The investigation started in May, and meetings have taken place with the companies which raised the initial safety concerns through NIR, and with the wheelset suppliers. The findings suggest that human factors issues are behind many of the underlying causes, although there are also some design and manufacturing issues.

Early recommendations are for more research to reduce the likelihood of human errors during axle bearing assembly along with a review of the RISAS documentation and procedures to include new sections on organisational culture and human factors. The report is still being finalised, but once complete will be available to download from the RISAS website.

Keeping in touch with your approval body

Are suppliers missing out on support to help them stay worthy of the confidence rail sector clients have in them?  Not many realise that RISAS is a monitored assessment meaning it’s not a case of getting a certificate and then forgetting about it.  The approval body (RISAB) can help companies retain the RISAS ‘standard’ while facing business change or other issues which affect its risk profile.  Read more

Business Plan

The RISAS Board has formally approved the scheme’s business plan for the next 12 months, and a summary is due to be published on the RISAS website shortly.
In putting it together, the Board has taken into account the broader challenges presented by CP5 as well as feedback from stakeholders and an independent audit of the way the scheme performs and delivers.
Objectives include:
  • Identifying potential new RISAS suppliers, including those within the TOC community
  • Optimising the scheme’s delivery model
  • Increasing the range of commodities for RISAS assessment
  • Working smarter and aligning with developments in the sister scheme, RISQS
  • Integrating emerging supplier assurance developments including the Railway Industry Commodity Classification List (RICCL), the new Rail Industry Standard RIS2750 and other outputs from research

Scheme profile

RISAS has one newly approved and 13 re-approved since Issue 3 was published in February.
The newly approved supplier is Vagonoremonten zavod-99 AD/Kolowag.

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