From 4 June 2016, you will no longer be able to use Vehicle Acceptance Bodies (VABs) to verify engineering change to any rail vehicle (mainline or plant) as VABs will be closing and the old Railway Group Standard (GM/RT2000) - Engineering Acceptance of Rail Vehicles – will be withdrawn in the June 2016 Standards Catalogue.
The new regime means that companies acting as VABs will cease to offer the service of certifying engineering change in accordance with GM/RT2000.
VABs were first introduced post-privatisation, and in their 22 years of operation, 21 bodies have issued about 110,000 certificates, by over 200 signatories and countless support engineers and personnel. This is a significant contribution to rail safety and reliability in the two decades following privatisation, an era which has seen unprecedented growth in passenger and freight numbers.
We have retained and improved the best practice from the old standard in new Rail Industry Standards to help organisations meet modern legal requirements for managing change. These are Rail Industry Standard for Verification of Conformity of Engineering Change to Rail Vehicles (RIS-2700-RST issue 1) and Rail Industry Standard for Engineering Conformance of Railborne Plant (RIS-1710-PLT issue 1).
Without VABs, companies may need to review their safety management systems to ensure they can follow the new standards, or make alternative, comparable arrangements with third party independent certification bodies which satisfy their own legal requirements, their contractual terms with their customers, and the Office of Rail and Road.
If you are a practitioner in this area, you may need to check your organisation's approach and management systems reflect the legal requirements for managing engineering change – take a look at our page that explains a little more about the standards change and what you may need to do.