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Rail Industry Standards

​​​​​​​​​​​​Rail Industry Standards (RISs) define functional or technical requirements to be met in circumstances where the management of the railway system does not need the use of Railway Group Standards (RGSs). RISs are railway-specific standards: they contain requirements applicable to subsystems, or they set out rules about how subsystems should be operated or managed.

RISs benefit the industry by removing the need for companies to develop and maintain their own (company) standards in the areas covered by RISs. RISs are produced under governance arrangements approved by the Industry Standards Coordination Committee on behalf of the industry. These arrangements are set out in theStandards Manual.

Watch the video below to find out more, which is also available as an interactive video External link, allowing you to click between sections.

Who can use a RIS?

Any industry member, whether or not they are an infrastructure manager or railway undertaking, can choose to adopt all or part of a RIS through company procedures or contract conditions. The industry member should make clear what parts of the RIS it is adopting and how it is going to do this. 

Industry members who have adopted a RIS may require their contractors to comply with it.  This may be achieved through contractual arrangements.

Where can I find if there is a RIS on the subject area I am interested in?

You can find RISs in the Stan​dards catalogue section of this site. This is the definitive source of RISs. The website shows all amendments and clarifications for RISs as well as supporting documents such as briefing notes. Withdrawn or superseded RISs are also available.

You might also find the RGS Ca​talogue External link useful. This contains a list of all current RISs and it is also published on RGS Online. Amendments and clarifications to current RISs appear in the catalogue. The catalogue is updated and published quarterly by RSSB.

If you need hard copies of a RIS or the catalogue, you can order them directly from the printers, Willsons External link.

What to do if I would like to do something different to what is in a RIS

RISs are industry's standards, managed by industry. Decisions on RISs – such as the need for a RIS and the approval of its content – are made by standards committees, which are made up of industry representatives. Industry is consulted on all draft RISs before they are approved and published.

If you would like to do something different to what is in a RIS, we strongly encourage that you first ask the responsible Standards Committee to provide comments and observations on the suitability of the alternate process you would like to take. To do this you should complete the the proposal form for a change to a standard.

The benefits of contacting the Standards Committee are that the comments and observations from your peers can be used by you to support your assurance work and you are also sharing best practice and thereby improving the quality of industry standards.

As a consequence the Standards Committee may decide to update the RIS to include your proposed option, although they will need to be convinced that there is a commitment from a group of industry members to work to the revised RIS and that the RIS will actually be used.

Find out more about groups and committees.

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