What is RISQS?
RISQS stands for “Rail Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme”. RISQS is the supplier assurance
programme of the Railway Safety and Standards Board (RSSB).
You may come across the term “Enhanced RISQS”, which is being used to differentiate from the existing service which was provided by Achilles. For more information around RISQS, please visit www.risqs.org
What are the RSSB?
RSSB is a railway industry membership body that provides support to the railway industry on safety. They also assist with writing a comprehensive set of standards which will be applied on all mainline railways, such as Network Rail, London Underground, Crossrail, HS1&HS2 to name a few.
For more information on RSSB, please click on the link www.rssb.co.uk
Who Provides the RISQS Scheme?
RSSB is the owner of the scheme and from 1st May 2018 the contract has been split and awarded to two new suppliers: Altius is the scheme database provider and Capita, the scheme audit provider, but the partnership between RSSB, Altius and Capita is integrated and seamless. This is part of the periodic service re-tender and scheme quality improvement programme.
Will I have to pay my annual fees again?
No – As the invoices are issued four months before payment is due, therefore the last invoice issued by Achilles would have been on 31st December 2017. RSSB will publish all invoices after 1st January 2018, so the fee will not be asked for again.
Will I have to re-type all my data back into the database?
No – Achilles have provided a downloadable PDF report that can be imported straight into the Altius Enhanced RISQS Portal. Altius will quality check this data in the first months of 2018 to ensure a successful launch on the 1st May 2018. Logins to the Enhanced RISQS Portal have been issued at the start of November 2017.
The Railway Commodity Classification List (RICCL – pronounced “rickle”) replaces the existing Achilles Product List. This will be mapped across in the background of the database so reselection will not be needed. The RICCL can be seen at www.risqs.org/commodity-list.
Enhanced RISQS FAQ
In the Altius database, you can allocate tasks to other individuals, e.g. financial reports to the Finance Manager, Contract References to the Contracts Manager, H&S to H&S Manager etc. The system will automatically chase by email completion of these sections by that named individual. This is intended to take the burden of the supplier’s database administrator and share ownership of the scheme membership.
Will the audit module requirements change?
There will be no changes to audit module requirements in the first 6-12 months unless there is a shift in Rail Industry Standards or legislation.
The modules will be developed to meet modern railway industry requirements. It must be remembered that the audit questions have always come from RISQS and the RSSB, not Achilles as the previous service provider or Capita moving forward.
The Enhanced RISQS Audit will move the industry from “just compliant to Industry Minimum Requirements (IMR)” to providing suppliers with the ability to gauge their position on the rail industry safety maturity model. In this, there will be a move from the focus on the technical capability
to evaluating the contractor’s behaviours and maturity.
There will be more focus on the contractor’s supply chain approval processes. All RISQS registered companies (“Suppliers”) will become “Buyers” so can see the registrations of other suppliers. The expectation is that where their sub-contractors do not have RISQS it will be the supplier who will need to audit the sub-contractor to ensure that they have the same level of assurance. This is due to sub-contractors causing a significant proportion of incidents on the rail infrastructure. These changes will require improvement throughout the entire supply chain.
Will the audit process change?
All audits from 1st May 2018 will be conducted by Capita.
Will the RISQS Scheme be SSIP Registered so I can use it to pre-qualify / deem to satisfy for CHAS etc?
The RISQS Scheme is compliant with the PAS91:2013 Construction Prequalification Questionnaires Standard, so can be used in other sectors to demonstrate conformity to that standard (which covers not just H&S, but financial security, quality, environment, ethics and
other subjects (see https://shop.bsigroup.com/Navigate-by/PAS/PAS-91-2013/).
Registration with SSIP as a Certification Body could be considered in future. This would be “one-way” eg CHAS would recognise RISQS, but RISQS wouldn’t recognise CHAS. Gillian Scott, Network Rail Supplier Assurance Manager said in her presentation that the RISQS audit report would be cross-sectoral and accepted elsewhere.
My company is already registered with Altius for SSIP Accreditation for the retail sector. Will the RISQS and Retail Portals be integrated?
The Altius RISQS & Retail Schemes are aligned, but there are no current plans to integrate.
Is the rule that a supplier registered for Railway Interface Planning Scheme (RIPS) must demonstrate the production of Safe Works Plans / SSOW Packs for accessing the track each year been upheld? The RIPS annual use rules are to be removed as that rule was imposed by Achilles and isn’t assurance based.
Why Choose JVR Consultancy?
Our rail consultants have vast experience in developing fully compliant integrated management systems for many clients. We have the full experience of the rail process from initial application through to producing and implementing Rail specific policies and procedures. Our rail compliance specialists have in-depth knowledge of the product codes and the requirements of the Core Module and can advise the best course of qualification for your company.
We will develop your management system writing your procedures, policies and associated documentation to ensure a fully compliant and easy to maintain management system. This can stand alone or be integrated with the requirements of ISO9001 (QMS), ISO14001 (EMS) and or
Occupational Health & Safety Management System (ISO45001 HS&S) (formerly known as OHSAS18001
Our services are tailored to meet individual company requirements and to take the stress out of the process by implementing a professional service that will ensure delivery and meet your requirements.