There are several levels of safety assurance that a licence holder is required to provide.
The first level is contained in your organisation’s safety case. This is where you provide an overview of your organisation’s approach to safety and demonstrate how your management systems work together to achieve your safety commitments.
It’s where your ‘positive declarations’ are made and anyone reading the document should be ‘assured’ that your rail activities are and continue to be as safe as they can be.
Note: For more information, see the Rail safety cases section of the website.
The next level of assurance is in the safety system, documentation and processes your organisation uses to manage the safety of your rail activities. During a safety assessment, the evidence to support statements and descriptions contained in your safety case is a big part of what is being checked. The ability to demonstrate how a safety system works or to access a safety-critical procedure document provides assurance to the assessor that your safety case is accurate and you’re actually doing what you say you’re doing.
The last level of assurance is to do with the credibility of the safety information you gather. This information is reliant on your processes, procedures, and systems being fit for purpose, so you need to provide assurance that they are.
This is essentially where the internal audit aspect of assurance comes in. By incorporating regular reviews and checks (audits) into your business, you provide assurance that if something is going to go wrong, you’ll find it and control it before it does.
Example: You review your hazard identification procedures annually. Based on a recent review an improvement is made which subsequently leads to a new hazard being identified. It is added to your hazard register for assessment and the process sees a new safety control implemented.
Note: For more information, see our Risk management page.