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RSSB supplier assurance

RSSB supplier assurance

Matt Clements

Engagement and Communications Manager

RSSB Supplier Assurance is a suite of products which helps buyers in the GB rail market ensure their suppliers have the right competence and resources to consistently deliver their products to their right specification.

Supplier assurance provides the mutual confidence for buyers and suppliers to work together to manage supply chain risk. The higher the risk imported to the buyer – especially for safety critical products and services – the more critical this assurance becomes.

Buyers face significant costs to assure themselves of suppliers’ capability to consistently deliver their products and services to their specifications. The railway is a huge buyer, relying on thousands of suppliers of every shape and size, from international corporations to one-person companies. Each buyer could audit every supplier individually, but research by RSSB in 2011 (Securing Supplier Assurance) found that GB rail could save £35million a year, or 375 'person-years' of effort, by working together to improve its arrangements for assuring the supply chain.

RSSB’s Supplier Assurance products, RISQS and RISAS, deliver that vision, ending the duplication of audits by providing single uniform assessments of each supplier that all buyers can trust. They provide consistent, transparent assurance, simplifying arrangements between buyers and the supply chain while reducing bureaucracy, with built-in flexibility in terms of future development. Both schemes help to build a sustainable supply chain by providing simple, effective and efficient assurance, trusted by major buyers like Network Rail and TfL.

Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS)

RISQS provides the assurance which enables 110-plus buyers to do business with confidence with 4,300 suppliers. It is the pre-qualification scheme run “by the industry, for the industry”, under the stewardship of RSSB, and provides the underpinning assurance for Network Rail’s Sentinel Scheme. In May RISQS introduced a quicker, easier and smarter user interface and upgraded audit services.

Railway Industry Supplier Approval Scheme (RISAS)

RISAS provides economies of scale to the GB railway by reducing duplication in the auditing and assessment of suppliers of critical goods and services for the overhaul of assets and components. It ensures that suppliers of critical products have the appropriate systems, processes, competence, resources, facilities and procedures. RISAS was designed by the industry, for the industry, to ensure that SMS Certificate holders and other major customers, such as ROSCOs, are able to rely upon common third-party assessments by Accredited Railway Industry Supplier Approval Bodies (RISABs).


NIR-Online is a user-friendly, modern and intuitive tool which supports the GB rail industry to manage urgent safety-related defects on rail vehicles. It facilitates data dissemination within minutes by email, improved clarity of information, and audit trails in a consistent and user-friendly format. NIR-Online helps members comply with Railway Group Standard GM/RT8250, facilitating the enhancement of knowledge and dissemination of best practice regarding engineering and safety within the rail industry. Providing an accessible and searchable database along with a range of key performance indicator reports, it also allows the industry to share documents, photographs, drawings and comments, with a common goal to improving shared knowledge and safety. NIR-Online also provides critical data to RISAS identifying urgent safety-related defects on rail vehicles.