Standards self-assessment

This page provides a toolkit of videos, a self-assessment test and bite sized guidance on standards to help you gain a better understanding of how to use standards and how they link together.


There are many different types of standards used in the Railway Industry today, all with varying levels of applicability. The video above provides a good introduction to standards and the framework surrounding them.

Railway standards - knowledge self-assessment test

Knowledge search request form 
We have developed a Railway standards - knowledge self-assessment test, to help you to gauge your understanding and to direct you to further guidance. 

Once you have submitted your completed assessment, you will immediately receive tailored feedback for each of the questions you have attempted, containing information and links to further reading. This will help you to understand where there might be gaps in your understanding.

The questionnaire is anonymous, only you can see your score. RSSB will only collect on your role and your what part of industry you work in this will enable us to measure which parts of the industry have used the self-assessment and to broadly gauge understanding of Railway Standards and the legal frameworks surrounding them. This information will allow RSSB to improve our content. 

If you feel that you would benefit from additional training on Railway Standards, in the summer of 2019, RSSB will be launching a suite of face to courses and e-learning modules on standards. 

What are standards and why do we have them?

A standard is an agreed way of doing something.

The aim of standards is to support a compatible, cost-effective, safe and efficient railway system. 

To meet this aim, standards define and record what must be done, or how something needs to be done. This avoids 're-inventing the wheel' each time the same situation occurs.

We provide our members with a clear framework to help industry apply standards, rules and best practice, and to take full advantage of the knowledge and guidance they contain.  

This information helps rail companies to comply with the law, work effectively with other organisations, reduce costs and boost overall sustainability and effectiveness through open markets for railway products and services.

Our role involves bringing the industry together to consult, agree, develop and publish appropriate standards and guidance, all of which can be found on our website.

Why does industry need standards?

There are three basic situations in which the industry uses standards:

  • When an appropriate authority has determined that a standard must be complied with under specified circumstances.
  • When the industry needs a recognised method of meeting a requirement that must be complied with – that is, something whose use gives a 'presumption of conformity' with that requirement. 
  • When the industry needs access to useful information or recognised good practice.

How are standards given force?

The requirement to comply with standards under specified circumstances is given force by different means, depending on the 'appropriate authority' that requires compliance. 

These are:

  • The law – European (such as Commission decisions and Commission regulations) and national (such as regulations – a type of Statutory Instrument). 
  • Licence conditions – imposed through the licence granted by the Office of Rail and Road. 
  • By a company itself, through its Safety Management Systems and contracts.

How standards and the law fit together

Our strategy helps to explain how different types of standard and regulation fit together. 

The strategy post-Brexit

Following the referendum in June 2016, and the subsequent triggering of “Article 50”, the UK Government’s policy is to plan for withdrawal from the EU. RSSB is working closely with other rail bodies including the Rail Supply Group and Rail Delivery Group on how this impacts rail and standards.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?
Get in touch with our expert for more information
Vaibhav Puri
Tel: 020 3142 5446
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