What does RISAS mean?

A RISAS certificate is evidence that an independent, robust, rigorous, and transparent assessment of the supplier has been carried out by experts.

It ensures that suppliers of critical products have the appropriate systems, processes, competence, resources, facilities, and procedures to meet the standards you expect.

How does RISAS work?

Companies undergo a challenging assessment by RISAS. The assessment involves a pre-assessment questionnaire, desktop review, on-site interviews, and evaluations to get proof that the company can meet the standards expected. 

On passing the assessment, the company is awarded a RISAS certificate covering the relevant products and services. These details are added to the RISAS portal. This holds a searchable database of companies who hold RISAS certificates and details the products and services covered for each.

RSSB manages the scheme on behalf of the rail industry.

Benefits of RISAS

  • Authoritative, official rail industry-owned scheme.
  • A means of meeting legal requirements and the Rail Industry Standard on supplier assurance.
  • Trusted, independent, third-party assessments of suppliers.
  • Eliminates or reduces the need for each company to audit and assess separately.
  • Improves efficiency, safety, and sustainability.
  • Reduces costs.
  • A better, safer railway for passengers and freight customers.

Current scope

RISAS currently covers suppliers of critical products and services for the overhaul of rolling stock assets and components—the rail vehicle after-market sector. 

Developing the scheme

Work is now underway to transform RISAS with a more comprehensive scope, to provide even better value-for-money.

The philosophy underpinning the scheme—that is, to provide cost-effective assurance to the supply chain of critical products and services—is sound and well-supported. However, a review revealed an opportunity to substantially improve the way the scheme operates. 

Future improvements include:

  • Expanding the scope to all relevant safety critical products and services in infrastructure and rolling stock—as originally envisaged when the scheme was introduced.
  • Making the scheme easier for companies to use, adopt, and champion.
  • Integration with the RISQS platform to create a single, official, rail industry supplier assurance hub.
  • Providing a more financially sustainable footing by generating more revenue which can be invested back into the scheme.

Working with industry on next steps

We are engaging with experts from buyers, suppliers, approval bodies and other stakeholders to transform the scheme collaboratively.

We will be aligning RISAS product codes to the RICCL (Railway Industry Commodities Classification List) used across other supplier assurance providers. This will also allow us to create greater clarity in the supplier’s capability, capacity, and competency in delivery of the phase of the lifecycle of the product or service.

We have created a risk ranking model, we are building a new portal, we are redefining the ‘codes’. When we have embedded these and the affected processes, and suppliers are ready, we will start to expand the scope—where needed or where it creates efficiency.

In the meantime,

RISAS still operates with the after-market rolling stock scope as before, and companies can continue to apply for new or renewed certification via our portal. Buyers will still require RISAS (or equivalent proof) of supplier assurance when procuring relevant critical products and services in this field.