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Helen Astle

Company Secretary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​RSSB is a not-for-profit company owned by major industry stakeholders. The company is limited by guarantee and is governed by its members and a Board.

RSSB was established in April 2003, implementing one of the core sets of recommendations from Lord Cullen's public inquiry into the Ladbroke Grove accident. RSSBs method of operation is laid down in RSSB’s Constitution Agreement. You can also view copies of the ​Articles of Association which incorporates the Memorandum of Association.

The Constitution Agreement and Articles of Association were approved at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 8 February 2018, which took affect on 1 April 2018.

On 1 November 2018, a revised version of RSSB’s Constitution Agreement was approved at the Annual General Meeting and would be effective from 1 April 2019.

Member charter

Our formal arrangements for working with you are set out in the Constitution Agreement, which regulates the operation and management of RSSB. Our Member Charter sets out how we wish our relationship to work with you.

Our vision

A better, safer railway.

Our mission

Through research, standards and analysis we help our members deliver a better, safer railway.

Our values

  • Trusted
  • Innovative
  • Customer-Focussed
  • Knowledgeable

Our primary objectives

The Company’s primary objective is to help its members (the rail industry) to deliver a better, safer railway. This places a focus on six Strategic Business Areas:

  • Safer rail: Continuously reducing safety risk so far as is reasonably practicable
  • Healthier rail: Supporting a physically and mentally healthier workforce
  • Harmonised rail: Working towards seamless system integration
  • Innovative rail: Advancing the rail system through carrying out, applying and embedding research and development.
  • Sustainable rail: Improving the sustainability of rail as a transport mode
  • Efficient rail: Improving operating performance and customer satisfaction, while reducing the cost of rail to passengers and taxpayers

The company will fulfil its primary objective through the delivery of functions and services in accordance with four Strategic Goals. These goals ensure it strives to deliver sustainably growing impact from an agile, capable and efficient team that gives great value to delighted customers. 

The following diagram shows RSSB's mission, vision and 2018-2024 strategy. Click the image to enlarge it.  

RSSB's company vision

RSSB Business Plan 2018-19

The 2018-19 business plan sets out how it will work over the year ahead to support a better, safer railway.

​Designed to meet a range of industry priorities, this year’s plan focuses on five key areas: safety, health and wellbeing, sustainability, efficient and effective railway, and the future.

Specific 2018-19 deliverables include:

  • Introducing and updating tools to help reduce safety risk on the railway, promoting operational understanding, learning and decision making
  • A new mental health programme and fatigue knowledge hub to share and promote solutions to improve the health and wellbeing of rail workers
  • New sustainability tools to support action on air quality, social value and carbon emissions
  • Helping to improve efficiency on the railways by introducing new standards and systems to support the effective management of signalling and electrical systems and the design of rolling stock depots and platforms
  • Building relationships across the industry and making RSSB more responsive and efficient
  • Continuing to prepare the railways for the future through work to address the impacts of Brexit and developing an approach for big data

The business plan also includes how RSSB will develop a new five-year strategic plan in consultation with its members, which will set out priorities for the Control Period 6 (CP6) timeframe from April 2019 to 2024.

Read the news article to find out more.

Annual Report 2017

RSSB’s Annual Report for 2016/17 highlights the work we done for the industry and some of the successes of the year. Key highlights include;


There are six categories of membership:

  • Category A - Passenger train operators
  • Category B - Freight and other non-passenger train operators
  • Category C - Infrastructure managers and owners
  • Category D - Rolling stock owners and leasing companies
  • Category E - Infrastructure contractors
  • Category F - Suppliers and rolling stock manufacturers

You can find more information on the members page.

Future Fit

We have completed the planned Future Fit transformation so that we now have the capability, resilience and agility to work more effectively with and for our members, funders and other stakeholders. The root and branch refresh from governance at board level to training of all staff has been informed throughout by member feedback, starting with the independent review commissioned from the ORR.

Our members have actively participated in the change, and the charter now clarifies the commitment that we and our members have to collaborate in delivery. 

Key aspects of our improved operating model include:

  • Active listening, using consultation, scorecards and direct engagement to inform our priorities and drive continuous improvement that makes a difference to members.
  • Delivery of a prioritised set of programmes enabled by central projects team with streamlined processes and new systems.
  • Connecting customers more effectively with our products and services through enhanced communication, practical support and training.
  • Delivery of a clarified role within industry safety leadership, in supporting industry health and wellbeing improvements, and horizon scanning.
  • Industry groups and committees with clear remits to support the delivery programme, led by trained chairs.

The intense programme of change completed in the year has created a fundamental shift in what drives us so that delivery meeting the needs of our customers is at the heart of every decision and every product or service. We have a significant task ahead to fully embed the change, and to further improve and adapt through CP6.

Future Fit poster