Rail jobs, staff issues and training


RSSB: Industry should adopt collaborative ‘just culture’ for managing staff

Rail companies should stop blaming staff for incidents and instead focus on understanding how they perform at work, new guidance has advised.

Published today by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), the new guidance argues that instead of issuing blame, companies should focus on understanding how people perform at work, what affects their performance, and how this can be enhanced.

It aims to help rail companies develop more effective competence development plans (CDPs), that help staff perform to the best of their abilities.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has highlighted the importance of CDPs having found that deficiencies in competence management systems have contributed to serious accidents.

It is also a legal requirement to ensure that people are sufficiently competent to carry out safety critical work on the railway.

Guidance for train drivers has been around for some time, but it is now available for those working as guards or platform staff who dispatch trains.

RSSB’s lead human factors specialist, Paul Leach, explained: “The key point here is about having a fair culture – sometimes referred to as a ‘just culture’.

“This recognises that everyone makes mistakes and a range of factors relating to the organisation, the job and workplace can affect performance.”

“Of course, situations involving wilful violations or gross negligence will prompt punishment, but experience suggests that rail staff are proud of their professionalism, and so will be more responsive to a system which builds on their competence constructively and creates more trust and confidence in teams.”

Top image: davelogan

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here


Guard   07/02/2018 at 22:25

This is good to see. In my little corner of the industry we have a selection of Guards Competence Managers who almost gleefully initiate CDPs, withdraw competence and issue written warnings at the slightest mistake. Meanwhile when the same managers are out playing Guard on a Sunday or working their obligatory 6 hours a month to retain competence, any incidents are quickly dismissed and they're back out assessing the next day. There isn't a fair culture at all in competence assessment.

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Tram passengers demand better value for money from services

21/03/2018Tram passengers demand better value for money from services

  Satisfaction with value for money for tram passengers has dropped slightly, the latest Tram Passenger Survey has revealed. Fare-payi... more >
West of England to get £9.45bn economic boost from new rail partnership plan

21/03/2018West of England to get £9.45bn economic boost from new rail partnership plan

Rail companies across the west of England have set out a long-term plan for the region’s railway, which will boost the economy by £9.45... more >
First Virgin Azuma trains arrive in UK after two-month journey from Japan

21/03/2018First Virgin Azuma trains arrive in UK after two-month journey from Japan

Two brand new Hitachi trains completed their two month journey from Japan yesterday, arriving at Teesport, Middlesborough. The two five-car trai... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleeper's' daily blog

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

20/03/2018How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

In this article biometric identity, time and attendance specialists Donseed look at how biometric technology is already starting to enhance health and safety measures on railway construction projects. Advances in technology are starting to transform the way in which the rail network in the UK is managed, operated and maintained. There is no denying that the drive to digitise the UK’s railways is well under way. This has also ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Smart Ticketing: The way ahead

13/03/2018Smart Ticketing: The way ahead

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), runs through the nationwide progress in rolling out ... more >
A benchmark year for HS2

13/03/2018A benchmark year for HS2

Jim Crawford, managing director of Phase 1 at HS2 Ltd, discusses the many critical activities set to take place this year as the mammoth high-spe... more >
The North has a plan

13/03/2018The North has a plan

There has always been an incredible thirst for change in the north. Now, there is finally a plan robust and forward-thinking enough to make it ha... more >
EWR: Getting it right

13/03/2018EWR: Getting it right

Peter Austin, delivery director at East West Rail Company (EWRco), argues that completing the link between Oxford and Cambridge as quickly as pos... more >

rail industry focus

  • 08/12/2017A game changer for Midland Metro

    The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) updates RTM’s Luana Salles on the latest projects taking place across the growing Midland Metro...
  • 09/11/2017Testing tomorrow's technology today

    David Brazier, site manager and area sales manager for the UK & Ireland at OMICRON electronics, tells RTM’s Luana Salles about the major...
  • 09/11/2017What next for safety?

    As rail businesses edge towards their target of zero injuries, improving safety performance can plateau. Amey’s sector director for rail, Lee...
View all News


Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >