Invitation for expressions of interest (EoI) – Rail industry level risk analysis to improve safety performance

Purpose of this EoI

The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) is seeking expressions of interest from suppliers in the creation of an industry level safety information / risk analysis system for the railway. The purpose of this invitation is to provide initial, very high level, information to potential suppliers and for RISSB to gain a sense what’s available at market.

While RISSB is seeking indicative costs, those provided will not be considered a formal quotation at this time.

It should be noted that this EoI does not imply any kind of commitment by RISSB; Board level discussions about the program are ongoing and will, in part, be informed by EoI responses. Further engagement with potential suppliers will follow.

To respond to this EoI please contact Jesse Baker ( by 22nd January 2016. Before the 4th you will get an out of office notification, Jesse will be on leave but he will follow up upon his return.

Railway safety data – current situation

Put simply, the rail industry is made up of infrastructure managers, train operating companies (passenger/freight), contractors and suppliers. Other, broader stakeholders include governments, regulator/s, investigator/s and standards setters (unions, academia etc etc). Many rail companies perform a mixture of these roles. If a rail company has a duty under the National Rail Safety Law then it must be accredited, and it must manage its (specific) safety risks. Nationally, across rail companies there are a broad range of risk approaches, systems and maturities.

Accredited rail companies are required to report ‘notifiable occurrences’ to authorities (regulator / investigator). The industry is provided with instructions and guidance, ie:

In theory this should mean that there is consistency in the data being collected and reported (at least relating to ‘notifiable occurrences’) however in practice this is not the case; authorities report that data quality can be poor.

The industry derives little value from the effort it expends in reporting notifiable occurrences and it is generally regarded as a regulatory impost. In recent years notifiable occurrence data has underpinned an industry annual safety performance report, which is now returning some value back to industry:

Aside from the reporting of notifiable occurrences, many organisations will collect safety data on issues that are important to them. It is very likely that those issues, the amount/depth of data collected, nomenclatures, and IT infrastructures will vary considerably across the industry.

Railway safety data – proposed situation

RISSB is seeking to install a centralised system as is found in other industries domestically and other railways overseas. The purposes of the system would be to:

  • improve the value of safety data by turning it into more useful/robust information (particularly ‘risk’ information),
  • streamline reporting channels, and
  • minimise the burden on railway organisations.

While it is unlikely that such a system would replace extant organisational systems, it should aspire to serve the safety information needs of individual rail companies to the greatest extent possible.

Once live, the system will:

Provide value to individual rail companies by:

  • Generating organisationally specific information not simply a ‘national average’
  • Improving the robustness of analysis by ‘pooling’ industry data where it makes to do that
  • Generating meaningful ‘risk’ information
  • Allowing benchmarking (anonymously if necessary)
  • Allowing data sharing with appropriate security restrictions
  • Providing information in a timely and user-friendly manner
  • Being affordable, accessible and scalable for future change

Minimise the burden on industry by:

  • Streamlining reporting lines (ie replace, rather than duplicate reporting to regulator/investigator)
  • Being agnostic to extant organisational information systems
  • Finding clever solutions (eg automatic) to data quality issues
  • Efficiently taking inputs from appropriate sources (eg predominantly incident data, but also expert judgement and possibly timetabling, asset registers etc)
  • Having the appropriate IT support

Be governed by industry:

  • With a cross-industry group(s)
  • Day-to-day management will either be by the industry with industry resources, or subcontracted to a suitable organisation

The path to getting there:

Should take a starting point that:

  • Follows on from stakeholder agreement on methodology/metrics/criteria (and then continue to work with industry stakeholders)
  • Is as ‘off the shelf’ as possible
  • Learns from domestic and international experience

Should be phased, with decision points at stage gates to de-risk the project:

  • By first considering what modelling/reporting can be done with the existing specification for mandatory reporting (notifiable occurrence) data
  • Then make proposals on what could be achieved if the specification for mandatory reporting was changed a little, moderately, or a lot

Must take into consideration the migration path for rail organisations, ie:

  • Training/education
  • Technology

The invitation

While this is very high level and is certain to leave many questions unanswered, we invite you to provide a short (c10 page) response considering the above items. We’d be grateful to hear about any solutions you would propose, options, basic delivery programs and indicative (‘ball-park’) project/ongoing costs. We’re also interested to hear about experiences that your organisation has had with similar, industry level projects.

Responses of interest may be invited to participate in a more formal tendering process in the first half of 2016.

To respond to this EoI please contact Jesse Baker ( by 22nd January 2016. Before the 4th you will get an out of office notification, Jesse will be on leave but he will follow up upon his return.