RISQS Round-Up 2023
Furthermore, an average of 423 suppliers each period held a non-compliant status on the RISQS portal. This is a big concern to RISQS and our buyers, as suppliers could still be delivering services within railway infrastructure that carry an unacceptable level of risk until they are stopped by becoming non-compliant.
While we have seen some suppliers leave the scheme, this is usually been because they have made a business decision to exit the railway industry. However, this trend is changing.
Over the past year, the team has worked exceptionally hard to contact suppliers who held a non-compliant status. If a supplier isn’t compliant, they will not be visible on the portal to buyers. So, once a month, the team will make phone calls and distribute email reminders to reach as many suppliers as possible so they can avoid missing out on potential work.
We have also used our RISQS Webinar series to deliver crucial messages related to the scheme throughout the year. Indeed, following on from our second webinar in July, ‘Staying compliant in a changing world’, we immediately saw a 50%+ increase in supplier compliance post-webinar.
Industry Engagement in 2023
This was the first year RISQS rolled out a webinar programme with an event topic carefully planned each quarter to provide valuable insights and knowledge to both buyers and suppliers within the railway industry.
To date, we have seen over 600+ scheme members attend our webinar series, with hundreds more watching the webinar back on-demand at their convenience.
Guest speakers have included:
- Abigail Patterson, Principal Operations Safety Specialist, and John Smith, Technical Capability Manager, at Network Rail for our ‘Health and safety on and around the tracks’ webinar
- Laura Smith and Jo Astor Duggan, from Network Rail’s Sentinel Project team, for our ‘Staying compliant in a changing world’ webinar.
You can view all the webinars from this year on our dedicated events page.
Not forgetting in-person events, in May, we visited the NEC in Birmingham to exhibit at Railtex. This was a fruitful exercise for the RISQS team to meet with current suppliers while also meeting potential new suppliers wishing to join the scheme.
Phil Smith, Scheme Manager, also presented in the Future Focus Conference on day 1 of the exhibition.
Procurement Regulations and Safety Assurance Workshop
In late November 2023, we held a workshop for train and freight operating companies to meet with the RISQS team and discuss the current and new Procurement Regulations as well as levels and scope of our Safety Assurances.
Prior to the meeting, we had been asked by some operators to allocate time to review the RICCL Codes. The purpose was to examine products and services that operators currently use to identify anything that has a further risk attached to the activity, which we will then use to confirm if the verify, audit, or assess statuses for those RICCL Codes need to be changed.
We are planning to add this information to our RICCL Review (to be submitted to RSSB) and create a phasing approach to bring a delivery and launch proposal back to the group for discussion. Following the event, we received further requests for training and support related to use of the portal itself.
Department for Transport Small Business Supplier Event – 13 December 2023
We will be hosting the Department for Transport Group SME Supplier Event at The Helicon, 1 South Place, London EC2M 2RB, on 13 December 2023. This is to provide small and medium enterprises with the opportunity to network with senior representatives from across the Department, as well as HS2 Ltd, Network Rail, National Highways, Transport for London, and many more, to enhance the transparency of pipeline information and innovation opportunities.
Annual Team Training Days
You may not know, but the RISQS team is almost fully remote. Our auditors can often be seen travelling around the country to visit suppliers while the rest of us are catching up on Teams calls throughout the week, save for the occasional in-person meeting.
We believe it’s vital to bring the entire team together to share our experiences from working with buyers and suppliers across the year, and to explore how the scheme can be improved.
James Poskitt, our Competence and Training Manager, was ably assisted by colleagues including Pamela Boadi and Paul Haynes to deliver a RISQS training event in Manchester on 2–3 November
The team has grown since our last event in 2022, and as you can see in the photo below, it was a squeeze to fit everyone in the photo.
Highlights included healthy discussions on the scheme that included improvements and future plans, as well as talk of umbrellas (it was raining, of course) and Santa Claus.
That concludes our 2023 round-up. We wish everyone a happy and restful festive period, and we look forward to working with you all again in 2024.