Our Yearly Round-Up

While 2022 has been another challenging year for the rail industry supply chain, we have seen increased buyer search activity within the portal. It has also been pleasing to see a sharp rise in supplier patron searches as SMEs reach out to one another. The community engagement provides a positive outlook for the future despite the possibilities of a strained economic climate.

Indeed, while the rail industry now faces a potential recession in the new year, our buying community continues to grow. This means their reliance on SMEs within RISQS to help deliver cost effective products and services will continue to grow stronger too.

Furthermore, positive news comes from Network Rail who are also pledging to increase their tendering opportunities with SMEs over the coming year and throughout CP7.

Therefore, our message to the supply chain is to make sure you are keeping your portal compliance requirements up to date and you are booking in your audits (where required) prior to module expiry. Failing in these areas may result in your business being unsearchable to the buying community and the loss of key opportunities.

On a final note, from myself, and the whole of the RISQS team, we wish you a Happy Christmas and every success in any future rail opportunity bids you are engaging in.

Phil Smith, RISQS Scheme Manager, RISQS

CDM Stage 2 Release

Following the roll out of stage 1 of the recent CDM changes, stage 2 will be imminently released to the platform. Suppliers impacted by the change have been contacted and will be supported by our customer services team. Full guidance and support have been provided to suppliers to ensure they do not become un-searchable for services they are supplying without full knowledge and awareness of the expectations. Please read our latest news update for essential information.

RISQS Behind the Scenes News

How RISQS helps suppliers to be at the forefront of new health and safety techniques in practical ways

Recent improvement in drug and alcohol testing needs to be incorporated into working practices in safety-critical industries, but there can be significant disagreements about how to do this. Using its trusted and established reputation, RISQS can help everyone find constructive and competitive ways to forward that benefit to suppliers and buyers.

One such way has been for RISQS to convene a meeting with industry buyers and suppliers, together with six leading UK and European research teams in the drug and alcohol testing space, including NHS researchers and the European Testing Commission. to share the latest and most sophisticated techniques within this field.

You can read a full account of the meeting in this blog post.

RISQS Auditor Training Day

On 1 December we brought together the RISQS auditors for a training day, held at The Helicon in London. A programme of activity was led by Paul Haynes, Assistant Scheme Manager, featuring presentations from colleagues in training, compliance, and quality assurance.

We ended the day with an in-depth overview from Phil Smith, Scheme Manager, which led to an engaging Q&A with the auditing team.

We’ve grown the team significantly over the years, and so we took the occasion we were all in-person to take a group photo!


Industry News:

Test Before Touch for Overhead Line Equipment

On 3 September 2022, Network Rail published a new standard, Test Before Touch for Overhead Line Equipment (NR/L3/ELP/27720) which has a compliance date of 4 January 2023.

If you are a supplier to Network Rail, please confirm that your organisation and those that you subcontract to, will have briefed relevant staff, so that they will be able to apply the requirements of the standard, on or before 4th January 2023. To do so, please follow this link for full instructions.

Drugs and Alcohol Random Testing Increase.

The updated Network Rail Drugs and Alcohol standard (NR/L2/OHS/00120), published on 3 September 2022, will see an increase from 5% to 20% of all safety critical colleagues being randomly selected for a drugs and alcohol test each year. The standard will also see the drugs Ketamine and Tramadol added to the substance testing panel, while Propoxyphene has been removed. For more information please visit Network Rail’s dedicated website page.

SMEs Social Value Survey

The Supply Chain Sustainability School will soon produce training materials for small medium enterprises (SMEs) about social value. To help create materials that best serve your needs, they were looking for SMEs s to complete a Social Value survey.

Government grants to install electric vehicle charge points – simpler than ever to get!

The Department for Transport would like us to share a recent announcement that businesses could potentially claim 100% of the costs of installing an electric vehicle charging point as a capital allowance. For further information, please visit The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles dedicated website page.

National Highways launching an Enabled Social Enterprise Dynamic Purchasing System

The National Highways and their supply chain aim to procure services and goods from social enterprises and further National Highways’ commitment to social value. If you are a Social Enterprise and are interested in participating or would like further information, please contact the National Highways at: socialenterprisedps@nationalhighways.co.uk.

Supplier Capital Delivery Control Reporting Process

Network Rail will undertake a trial in Capital Delivery to introduce a new Central Function Facility that undertakes all Planned and Actual Reporting for NW&C, read more here.

Before you go

On behalf of the entire RISQS team, we would like to extend our best wishes for the forthcoming holiday season. We look forward to working with you in 2023.