Welcome to issue 8 of the RISAS newsletter: your quarterly update on the RISAS scheme. This issue includes details about upcoming events, news of a pilot assessment of wheel lathes and the usual information about newly approved and re-approved suppliers.

New scheme objectives

As RISAS enters its 10th year, the board has undertaken a strategic review of the scheme, and updated its objectives. These are:

  • To be a rigorous and sustainable assessor of the most critical traction and rolling stock (T&RS) suppliers
  • To be a reliable and trusted tool, to be used as part of our clients' safety management systems (SMS)
  • To reduce costs and increase efficiency for our clients, through the avoidance of duplication of supplier assessments, by recognising other assurance regimes
  • To provide a system approach which specifically follows up and responds to supplier and product quality issues, leading to sustained improvement
  • To facilitate a learning environment which supports organisational culture changes, both within the assessed organisation and with its trading partners
  • To encourage a duty of co-operation between industry and the supply chain, whilst facilitating the dissemination of good practice, but retaining commercial confidentiality.

If you would like more information on these objectives, please contact Andy Tandy.

Business Plan

The scheme's new business plan focusses on the delivery of the objectives (see above), using six key initiatives.
The plan covers the period from January 2016 to March 2017, when new integrated assurance and governance arrangements with the RISQS scheme will be at an advanced stage and ready to be implemented. Further details will soon be available on our website.

Supplier assurance survey

RSSB will be asking stakeholders for their views on the assurance provided by RISAS and the Rail Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS). This will provide us with a better understanding of how our stakeholders see us, and of the value the supply chain places in RISAS and RISQS. We will be asking how robust and effective a RISAS assessment is, if it improves the way in which a supplier performs, and if there has there been a reduction of audits as a result of a supplier holding RISAS certification.

Ricardo’s withdrawal
as a RISAB

As of 30 December 2015, Ricardo has decided not to continue as a Rail Industry Supplier Approval Body (RISAB). RISAS would like to reassure its members that certificates issued by Ricardo remain valid and supported for the duration of their validity. To support this, RSSB is now in place as 'Temporary RISAB' to the six suppliers affected by this decision. RSSB has put in place and issued an interim approval for each supplier. More information can be found on our website.

RISAS benefits

Chris Weatherall, MD of Wabtec UK, tells us of the benefits his company has gained from RISAS.

"Wabtec has been associated with RISAS from the very beginning: we were the third UK supplier to be accredited. For the senior team at Wabtec, RISAS has always been recognised as a force for good in terms of product safety and quality compliance. The depth and breadth of the accreditation means that a thorough quality management system is required to gain approval.

"RISAS drives correct behaviours in organisations, leading to better quality as faults are found before products go on the market. As RISAS membership in the supply chain has grown, I strongly believe quality has also improved. However, RISAS is not a panacea for all quality issues. It is a useful and essential tool, but is not enough alone to guarantee quality. More work needs to be done on human factors and other related issues. The industry (in my opinion) needs RISAS to be stronger, even more intrusive and universal across all companies in the UK rail supply chain. It will then be able to continue to improve our overall safety performance - it certainly gets my vote as an essential part of Wabtec's commitment to safety and quality!"

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