The Confidential Incident Reporting and Analysis System (CIRAS) allows rail workers to report incidents or concerns about facilities, equipment, conditions or procedures
CIRAS was founded in 1996 by a team from Strathclyde University. The project was expanded out to other rail lines in Scotland then, after the Ladbroke Grove rail crash in 1999, then Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions John Prescott mandated that all mainline rail in the UK come under CIRAS effective in 2000.
From 2001 until 2009, the CIRAS Charitable Trust provided funding for operations. It now provides services to all rail workers and operating sectors throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
CIRAS is an independent system governed by the CIRAS Committee which consists of representatives from the UK rail industry, Transport for London, UK Light Rail, Trams and other UK transport modes.
It also consists of a selection of independent professionals who bring with them expertise from other industries and academia such as Oil & Gas, HSE and Trade Unions. The Committee is responsible for ensuring that industry receives a service that is independent, confidential, affordable and focused on helping make the UK transport industry environment even safer for all concerned.
Rail employees as well as contractors may contact CIRAS to report an incident or voice a concern. The employee will get in touch via phone or written message then a CIRAS staff member contacts that employee to discuss the concern. The CIRAS staff member then writes up a report excluding any information that would identify the rail worker, CIRAS then sends that report to the company responsible. That company then responds to CIRAS which relays that message to the rail worker.
CIRAS publishes a regular newsletter and quarterly reports to summarise the reports it has received and responses from the companies, highlighting those that were most successful. The reports also look at patterns that might occur.