The RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board) is an independent body, working with its 88 member companies to drive improvements in the British rail system

Its role is to help the rail industry continually improve its health and safety performance in order to reduce risk to rail employees, passengers and the public at large. RSSB does this through developing standards, providing analysis and insight to health and safety data, carrying out research, promoting sustainability principles, and facilitating the industry’s technology strategy.

RSSB’s strategic priorities are:

  • Supporting healthy and safe collaboration and informing industry decisions to reduce risk and harm
  • Supporting enhanced performance and efficiency updating standards, modernising systems, informing and enabling innovation
  • Supporting the application of sustainability principles by collating and sharing tools and best practice.

RSSB members include Network Rail and other infrastructure managers, all the train operating companies (TOCs), all the freight operating companies (FOCs), rolling stock leasing companies (ROSCOs), infrastructure contractors, and suppliers.

Research and development

Last year RSSB spent £10.6 million on research and development, generating potential benefit to the rail industry of £320 million.

Under RSSB management, the research programme supports the industry in:

  • Decision-making and learning
  • Identifying and sharing good practice
  • Reducing costs and carbon output
  • Increasing safety, capacity, performance, and customer satisfaction
  • Enhancing the industry’s environmental credentials
  • Engaging with UK universities and worldwide research bodies
  • Making outputs from research available.

The programme supports a broad range of short and long-term engineering, operations, and management activities that no one company or sector can solve on its own.

It is primarily funded by the Department for Transport (DfT).


Standards provide a common, industry agreed and accessible set of requirements, applicable across the relevant markets (UK/EU/International).

RSSB facilitates the development of national rules in Railway Group Standards (RGSs) and National Operations Publications (such as the Rule Book) using RSSB’s expertise, industry knowledge and by building consensus.

RSSB develops Rail Industry Standards (RISs) and Guidance Notes at the industry’s request where a shared approach is more efficient. These are adopted as good practice. RSSB also provides advice on technical and regulatory matters related to rail standards, to projects and organisations, and assists its members in the application of standards.

Business plan

RSSB’s business plan for 2018-19 sets out its objectives for the year ahead. These include:

  • Introducing or updating tools to help reduce risk
  • A new mental health programme and fatigue hub to help address health and wellbeing issues faced by rail workers
  • Sustainability tools to support action on air quality, social value and carbon emissions
  • New standards and systems to support the effective management of signalling and electrical systems, and the design of rolling stock depots and platforms
  • Developing an approach for big data
  • Building capability to manage the research, development and technology activities needed to realise the delivery of the Rail Technical Strategy Capability Delivery Plan
  • Continuing analysis of the new challenges presented by Brexit.

Chair: Barbara Moorhouse
Chief Executive Officer: Mark Phillips
Chief Financial Officer: Paul Marchant
Chief Operating Officer: Johnny Schute
Business Development & Engagement Director: Paul McLaughlin
Director of Projects: Nizar Awad
Human Resources Director: Keith Hanlon-Smith
Director of Standards: Tom Lee
Director of System Safety, Health & Wellbeing: George Bearfield
Director of Research and Development: Luisa Moisio
Technical Director: Chris Lawrence
Information Technology Director: Eileen Pevreall

Address: The Helicon, 1 South Place, London EC2M 2RB
Phone: 020 3142 5300