How do we support company and project standards
Standards may be agreed at company or project level, for example to manage risk in areas not covered by industry standards or through specific laws, or as a way of providing local detail to legal and standards compliance.
Our role in supporting standards at this level includes:
- Supporting cross-industry collaboration to create shared Rail Industry Standards (RISs), which can often be used as 'off-the-shelf' company standards which can be plugged straight into an organisation's safety management system, and so removes the need to develop a specific company-level standard
- Providing small-scale advice to our members on developing the standards they need, and identifying publicly available standards that might avoid the need for a company standard
- Developing our requirements management database – which in the future could offer a more efficient way for our members to navigate standards
- Supporting 'documented reference systems' as company standards, to be used as codes of practice in the context of the Common Safety Method of Risk Assessment and Evaluation
- Providing formalised and expanded guidance to infrastructure projects about standards
When do organisations need to develop company-level standards?
Company-level standards supplement publicly available standards by:
- Setting out specific ways of implementing publicly available standards or meeting mandatory requirements
- Imposing additional constraints to meet business objectives (for example, when designing a track layout, setting a minimum radius greater than that set out in publicly available standards)
- Defining the company's (or project's) methods for managing and mitigating risk
- Dealing with issues not covered by publicly available standards
There are likely to be many scenarios where an organisation will find it necessary or useful to develop their own company-level standards, as long as they don't duplicate shared, publicly available standards which already exist and are fit for the company to use.
This often makes Rail Industry Standards (RISs) quite attractive to organisations since they often provide part of all of what would ordinarily be referenced and articulated in company-level documentation. They are a collaborative effort, bought-into by industry, governed by RSSB's standards committees and can be used in SMSs or referenced in contractual obligations between suppliers and customers.