About us - Rail Safety and Standards Board Ltd

RSSB supports the rail industry to deliver a better, safer railway. We manage a research programme; collect, collate and analyse data; and develop standards for the railway across Great Britain. We deliver standards, information and guidance for all aspects of railway operations, as well as health and wellbeing, sustainability, infrastructure and rolling stock asset integrity, customer satisfaction, performance, and safety. Through our Affiliation programme we also make some of that information and guidance available to overseas organisations and other industries.


RSSB is a not-for-profit company owned by major industry stakeholders. The company is limited by guarantee and is governed by its members and a Board.

RSSB was established in April 2003, implementing one of the core sets of recommendations from Lord Cullen's public inquiry into the Ladbroke Grove accident. RSSBs method of operation is laid down in RSSB’s Constitution Agreement. You can also view copies of the Articles of Association which incorporates the Memorandum of Association.

The Constitution Agreement and Articles of Association were approved at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 8 February 2018, which took affect on 1 April 2018.

On 1 November 2018, a revised version of RSSB’s Constitution Agreement was approved at the Annual General Meeting, which took affect on 1 April 2019.

Member charter

Our formal arrangements for working with you are set out in the Constitution Agreement, which regulates the operation and management of RSSB. Our Member Charter sets out how we wish our relationship to work with you.

Our vision

A better, safer railway.

Our mission

Through research, standards and analysis we help our members deliver a better, safer railway.

Our values

  • Trusted
  • Innovative
  • Customer-Focused
  • Knowledgeable

Our primary objectives

Working within the wider challenges and changes facing the industry and helping our members to adapt to it, we have six strategic business areas for CP6:

  • Safer rail: continuously reducing safety risk
  • Healthier rail: supporting a physically and mentally healthier workforce
  • Harmonised rail: working towards seamless system integration
  • Efficient rail: improving operating performance and customer satisfaction, while reducing the cost of rail to passengers and taxpayers
  • Innovative rail: exploring, assessing and sharing new and innovative solutions
  • Sustainable rail: improving the sustainability of rail as a transport mode

Our strategic business areas cover the full scope of our product and service offer. 

Like all forward-thinking organisations we are continually evolving to maximise the benefits we bring to our customers. In recent years we started to make the significant cultural and operational changes needed to become the flexible and responsive organisation that our members need. In the coming years we will will build on these in line with our five strategic objectives for CP6 – Customer Experience, Organisational Health, Financial Sustainability, Growth, and to be Digitally Enabled. Our strategic objectives frame how we will operate as a business; the things we will enhance so we are best placed to achieve our ambitious delivery plans. 

RSSB Business Plan 2021-2022

The 2019-2024 Business Plan outlined how we believed we would work over the next five years to support a safer railway into Control Period 6 (CP6) and beyond. It was designed to meet a range of industry priorities and putting passengers first, the plan focuses on the crucial areas of safety, health and wellbeing, sustainability, efficiency, innovation and the future post-Brexit.

While those long-term objectives still remain, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the whole industry, and our annual plans will now flex and respond to the most immediate needs of our members and the industry.

Specific 2021-2022 deliverables include:

  • Supporting the industry to keep both those who work and travel on the railway as safe as possible as we transition through the post-pandemic period and return to normal operations.
  • Helping to improve investment in, and management of, health and welbeing. We will create an accredited training programme to enhance clinicians' capability and knowledge of railway medicine; and identify factors in the rail environment that contribute to unhealthy behaviours.
  • Driving forward delivery of the LHSBR strategy, by working with key groups to progress their roadmaps and plans.
  • Supporting better management of safety risk—through a new, improved approach to common hazard management; and starting to rebuild our Safety Risk Model so that it more closely aligns with SMIS and the way safety incidents are reported; and so that safety risk profiles can be localised to a train operator or route.
  • Improving the effectiveness of standards, including transition between coloured light signalling and ERTMS, introduction and operation of muti-mode traction, the government's 'Restoring Your Railway' programme, and continuing to shape the new regulatory framework now Britain is outside the EU.
  • Identifying opportunities to make the railway more affordable and accessible, to attract new customers onto the railway; and by supporting the development and implementation of new solutions that will make train operations more reliable and, when needed, flexible.
  • Maintaining the momentum of the Rail Technical Strategy, working with industry and UKRRIN to ensure that the new strategy remains up-to-date and compelling, and informs industry technical opportunities and needs.
  • Through our Horizon Scanning programme and our increasing capabilities in data analysis, we will help industry to explore uncertainties, threats, and future developments.
  • As well as leading on the development of a new rail Sustainability Strategy, we will continue our work on the industry’s carbon and air quality strategies; including identifying, agreeing, and systematically collecting environmental metrics for the rail industry to monitor.