Questions have been raised regarding the support that front line managers receive from UK rail companies and the UK rail industry as a whole, thus to help support the UK rail industry, this project, undertaken on behalf of the UK Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), looked to develop a guidance document that could help rail companies improve their selection, training and development of Driver Managers.
The project was in two stages:
- Stage 1 involved a quantitative analysis correlating practices drawn from a questionnaire with SPAD performance to identify specific practices that could help to reduce SPADs;
- Stage 2 involved qualitative investigation including 17 interviews (face to face and telephone) with UK Train Operating Companies, Freight Operating Companies and Infrastructure Maintenance and Renewal companies.
The findings were used to develop an interactive guide that draws together recruitment, training, competence assessment and selection best practice from across the rail industry.
The guide aims to help rail companies understand how to enhance their recruitment, selection, training and development strategies for front line managers, that is, how they can effectively attract strong candidate pools and then accurately develop and assess their competence.
The guide was published in 2008 and is widely used across the industry. Indeed Paul Leach (Occupational Psychologist at Greenstreet Berman) presented a paper on the development of the guide at the Third International Rail Human Factors Conference held in March 2009.
The guide is structured into three stages:
Understanding the Issues – This section provides relevant information about each of the seven common issues identified by the research to help rail companies understand each issue. A set of self-reflective questions for each common issue is provided.
Exploring the issues – once the reader has identified relevant issues the exploring issues section presents seven decision trees, one for each common issue, which details the key reasons why an issue may occur and offers potential solutions.
Tackling the issues – This section provides good practices identified, through the research and implemented by rail companies within the UK rail industry to tackle the seven identified Driver Manager issues. These are not a ‘one size fits all’ set of examples but highlight what other rail companies are currently doing to help the reader consider what they could do to tackle an issue within their company.
The guide is located here.