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February 8, 2010

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Miscellaneous- On track with competence

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has set out what is expected of

duty-holders in developing and maintaining competence management

systems.

According to the ORR, an effective competence management system (CMS) helps ensure that health and safety risks to staff, passengers and the public are properly controlled.

The policy position paper states that rail companies have a duty to assess if workers have the necessary skills and are able to apply those skills in order to carry out their work. In outlining what it expects rail companies to do, the ORR says they should assess and review whether their staff are skilled and fit to carry out safety-critical work, and apply examples of good practice when developing and operating their CMS.

The regulator has pledged to prioritise inspections on the issue of competence, based on the evidence it gathers and its assessment of the risks. It also points duty-holders to further guidance on CMSs – ‘Developing and maintaining staff competence’ – which explains the legal basis for duties relating to competence management systems.

The policy statement can be found at www.rail-reg.gov.uk/server/show/nav.1113

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