You are here: Home \ Buying \ Buyers overview

Buying - Overview

If you are procuring products and services for the rail industry in Britain, you are likely to be using RSSB RISQS.

For buyers, procurement management needs to deal with the risk imported from suppliers into the chain. Buyers seek assurance from their suppliers that risk is managed and that they can deliver to their requirements. Buyers search for contractors based on their registration and qualification status; registration enables suppliers to register their interest in becoming a supplier, and qualification is a process to determine whether or not a supplier, or potential supplier, meets a predetermined set of criteria:

  • Registration enables the supplier to make themselves known to a buyer and initiates an interest to supply. Information required will generally be company details and information on their products. Little supplier assurance will be derived from registration, but for very low risk products and services, this may well be proportionate to the risk imported from suppliers.

  • Qualification helps a customer build on the initial registration to derive more assurance. This might involve an 'assessment' of the supplier to ensure that the product is appropriate and that the supplier's company is one that meets the pre-determined criteria for 'approved supplier' listing. Part of the qualification process may be applied via one of the industry schemes on behalf of the buyer and may include an evaluation of questionnaire answers and, in some cases, an audit. It may even involve documenting the qualification via a certificate. However, this further qualification activity should not be confused with the certification process, which goes beyond this.

Put simply, buyers using RSSB RISQS members can quickly, consistently and efficiently identify suppliers with the capability to deliver the service specification required.

RISQS publishes Qualification System Notices (QSNs) in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) on behalf of its Buyer members, including Network Rail and TfL, which allows organisations that are classed as Utilities under the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 to compile tender lists for over-threshold contracts directly from the RISQS system, without issuing any further calls for competition. The rules differ for Buyer organisations covered by the Public Contracts Regulations 2016, in that they need to publish Notices in OJEU for each over-threshold contract. They can and do direct interested suppliers to RISQS and use the system to compile their tender lists.

You may also find benefit in using RISQS to help you comply with the Utilities Contract Regulations. Our platform helps suppliers register an 'expression of interest' in supplying particular products or services to buyers through the scheme, avoiding a separate notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).  Works Notice_RISQS.pdf

Join Our Mailing List

Sign up to our exclusive mailing list for the latest rail industry news and scheme information.