Licensing for Principal Contractors in the Rail Industry

A Network Rail Sponsor is required for any business that want to work as a Network Rail Principal Contractor (PC). In addition, a Network Rail licencing application must be submitted to Network Rail by the firm. For many enterprises in the rail industry, having a rail primary contractor licence is therefore critical to their success. In this section, we’ll go over the specifics of rail main contractor licencing, including the advantages of obtaining a licence, as well as the specifics of applying for a licence, renewing your licence, and other information you may need to know.

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Licensing for Principal Contractors in the Rail Industry

Principal contractors play an important role in the construction process.

During the building phase of any rail project, the principal contractors are in charge of the work. They are the primary contractor and the project manager, and they are responsible for collaborating with the other contractors to manage the project, ensuring that the work is completed efficiently and with a strong emphasis on health and safety standards. The client appoints the principal contractor for the project.

The principal contractor is responsible for ensuring that all health and safety risks are identified, monitored, and handled in the appropriate manner for all workers on the project. These individuals include not only those who are working on-site, but also members of the general public. Principal contractors are responsible for a variety of tasks, including identifying safety dangers, putting in place protections, and developing safety plans.

Principal contractors are most often required when a client is carrying out a project that requires more than one contractor, such as a building renovation. For projects involving more than one contractor, the client should include them as early in the process as possible to give them time to prepare a construction phase plan, coordinate with the principal designer and other contractors, and identify health and safety hazards that they will be responsible for addressing during the project’s construction.

In order to ensure health and safety throughout the construction process, a primary contractor will collaborate with the other parties during the whole pre-construction and construction phases, planning, managing, monitoring, and coordinating efforts to ensure health and safety throughout. The principle contractor does not necessary need to be on-site at all times, but they must have a responsible member of their team or an experienced subcontractor foreman on hand to assume responsibilities while the principal contractor is absent.

Is it possible for the major contractor to also serve as the principal designer?

A often asked question is whether or not a company can serve as both the principal contractor and the principal designer at the same time, and the answer is yes. However, there are certain limitations to this response. The principle designer is responsible for making design decisions, recognising and dealing with hazards, as well as verifying the compliance of other designers on the project, among other responsibilities.

The capacity to fulfil the function of principal designer on a project without endangering their performance in either role is something that a principal contractor can have if they have the necessary skills, expertise, and abilities.

Although they may be able to serve both duties at the same time, depending on the size and nature of the project as well as when the principle contractor is brought on board, they may not be able to do so.

The major contractor’s licence for rail transportation

If you wish to work as a primary contractor on a project that involves more than one contractor, you must hold a principal contractor licence. This applies to rail suppliers and contractors as well as general contractors. As governed by NR Standard NR/L2/INI/CP0070 v5, this applies to any entity that wishes to assume the responsibilities associated with the job.

The licence is issued by Network Rail, with their Principal Contractor Licence Assurance team verifying that all PCs can carry out tasks on their behalf in accordance with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and that all PCs are compliant with the regulations.

Amey Rail Ltd., Colt Construction, QTS Group, EDG Energy Customers, Story Contracting, and other companies are among the suppliers who have received their rail principal contractor licence and work as suppliers for Network Rail.

Because of this, it should be obvious that any suppliers seeking to engage in the rail business must first obtain their rail principal contractor licence before doing so. It is simply not possible to take on government rail projects as a primary contractor if you do not have it.

Obtaining the position of primary contractor

When it comes to Network Rail projects, any supplier who can verify their competencies through verification and qualification by the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme can be considered for the position of principal contractor. They must complete many modules, including Core, Sentinel, CDM, and safe work planning, and they will be subjected to examinations to ensure that they meet the requirements of those modules. In addition, they will be externally accredited to three industry standards: ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management System), ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental Management System), and ISO 45001:2018 (Industrial Safety and Health Management System) (Occupational Health and Safety Management System).

A significant amount of time and effort is invested in the rail primary contractor licencing procedure, which includes the use of pre-qualification assessment services and self-assessing using standard health and safety pre-qualification questions in Publicly Available Specification PAS 91. As a result, teams with extensive experience in dealing with the accreditation process, such as JVR Consultancy, can assist suppliers in making the process of obtaining the accreditation they want more seamless.

In order to maintain compliance with the terms of the licence, the principal contractor must conduct a series of self-made audits, and the Network Rail PC Assurance Team has the authority to terminate the licence in the event of any failure to renew the licence or failure to notify them of any issues causing delays in renewing the licence within the specified timeframe.
Those that have a rail PCL must conduct self-audits and renewals at least once every two years, according to the regulations (primary contracting license.) Support and maintenance teams such as JVR Consultancy may assist suppliers with continuing support and maintenance, ensuring that they are kept informed of what they must do to maintain their PCL and when they must do it.

With JVR Consultancy, you may get started on the road to accreditation.

If you want to work as a main contractor in the rail industry, you should be aware that rail government contracts can account for a significant portion of your business, and rail principal contractor licencing can play an important role in this.
At JVR Consultancy, we make it our aim to assist firms in the rail industry in obtaining the licencing that they require. As of this writing, we have a 100 percent success rate in assisting any firms that utilise our services in obtaining the necessary certification. Please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team.

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