Last week saw the Simian team support not one but two clients to successfully renew their accreditation from the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS)! Congratulations to Skill Scaffolding Limited (Southampton) and Amber Scaffolding Limited (Sussex).
What is an RISQS accreditation?
The Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS) is a requirement for all businesses that supply products or services to the UK rail industry. This highlights a business’ position as ‘capable providers’ to other rail suppliers, including construction and maintenance business and both Network Rail and Transport for London.
In order to achieve accreditation, scaffolding suppliers are required to pre-qualify and, subject to getting beyond the initial assessment, they are then subject to an initial audit which tests the adequacy of their management systems, most notably for Industry Minimum Requirements (IMR) and Sentinel (rail staff sponsorship). Successful completion of these elements means that suppliers are effectively licensed to carry out rail work, with the robustness of their management systems being checked during ongoing annual RISQS audit.
Rail Industry Minimum Requirements
Companies are assessed on the following requirements during an RISQS audit:
- Management control
- Safety risk management
- Environmental management
- Management of accidents and incidents
- Supply chain management
- Competence management
- Plant and equipment
- Human resources & occupational health management
The Sentinel scheme is a system on which a workforce’s competence and authority to work on or near a rail project is recorded and monitored. Workers must be sponsored by a company, and having complied with all obligations, will receive a PTS (Personal Track Safety) card, which is valid for five years. These cards evidence that each worker has completed all necessary training, is medically fit and has passed a drugs and alcohol test.
The RISQS audit also assesses a business’ position as a sponsoring company, looking at areas such as:
- Alcohol and drugs management
- Fatigue management
- Occupational health
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Speaking of Simian’s support during the RISQS renewal, Steve Armstrong, Health and Safety Manager at Amber Scaffolding has said:
“Simian is a lifeline when it comes to Amber holding its RISQS accreditation, the constant source of information and advice over each year gives me, Amber Scaffoldings Health & Safety Manager, the confidence and knowledge to complete our RISQS audit. Simian Advisors have extensive knowledge of the railway sector, always ready to pass on advice when needed.”
If your business is looking for expert support to achieve RISQS accreditation or renewal, or any other relevant industry accreditation, please get in touch with the Simian team to find out how we can help!