Common Safety Method: Contributor competence

Our interactive, one-day training course provides delegates with an overview of the Common Safety Method for Risk Evaluation and Assessment, together with practical techniques for applying it to UK rail projects. It provides a background to the legal obligations for compliance and practical guidance on how compliance for straightforward projects should be approached. A short e-learning course is included for delegates to complete before the workshop.  

Our Common Safety Method Course has been designed around the new Network Rail, Level 2 Module NR/L3/RSE/100/02 entitled: ‘Application of the Common Safety Method (CSM) on Risk Evaluation and Assessment’.

Part one is undertaken as an e-Learning module and provides ‘awareness’ training on the Common Safety Method (CSM) for Risk Evaluation and Assessment. Part two is delivered as an interactive workshop and provides ‘practical’ training aimed at the Network Rail competence “Contributor” level CSM training objectives as described in the standard.

The course is suitable for Sponsors, Project Managers, Asset Engineers, Development Managers, Project Engineers or anyone who would like to understand more about the practical application of this regulation.

For more information, or to register your interest for the course, please contact the Training Team via email to

1. Detailed description of the course:

RINA  (previously Edif ERA) has recently completed an extensive re-development of our original CSM RA course. In re-developing the course, we have worked closely with Network Rail and our own subject experts to ensure that the new course is pragmatic, reflects current guidance and incorporates real railway examples. The course provides clarity on the use of all three risk acceptance principles.

1.1 The e-learning package

This is an interactive and engaging ‘Awareness’ level e-learning package based on the course developed for Network Rail which provides an oversight of the CSM RA requirements and how they fit into the NR approach for safety management. The e-learning element introduces the CSM RA concept for Mainline Rail and provides underpinning knowledge on policy, regulation and standards. Delegates are required to complete this package before attending our classroom-based workshop. The e-learning can be accessed from laptops or tablets.

The course takes between 1.5 and 2 hours to complete and is interspersed with topic questions to check understanding. It also provides useful links to reference material, including Network Rail, ORR and RSSB guidance, that can be used as reach back support after the course.  

The e-learning syllabus covers:

  • Introduction 
    An introduction to safety management, the legal obligations and performance responsibilities, introduction to the EU Common Safety Methods, CSM RA roles and responsibilities and an overview of the processes involved
  • Key concepts
    The project life cycle and how CSM RA aligns with the Project Development stages and introduces Independent Assessment
  • Significance testing
    Introduces significance testing and the Network Rail approach to scoring significance
  • Hazard identification and classification
    An overview of the glossary and stages of hazard identification and classification
  • Risk acceptance principles
    An overview of the risk acceptance principles and when they can be used
  • Hazard management
    Focus on hazard management including documentation and management of safety requirements and compliance demonstration
  • Resource centre
    An extensive resource centre linking to Edif ERA, ORR, RSSB websites and other useful sources for online information relating to the application of CSM RA
  • Glossary
    The e-learning is supplemented with a glossary of terms. 

1.2 The one-day workshop

The one -day workshop is a learner-centred, practical workshop in the classroom, where delegates work in groups supported by our subject experts. First, they review and reflect on their understanding of CSM RA principles and concepts gained from the e-learning package. They then develop and expand this underpinning knowledge through practical application of the principles and concepts in realistic and workplace-relevant contexts. The course is designed to Network Rail’s ‘Contributor’ competence.

The course syllabus covers:

  • Safety basics (terms and concepts)
    This section introduces some key terms and concepts and concludes with an exercise on drawing a simple system diagram, identifying hazard, causes and consequences. Includes interactive discussion on three different accidents and a group exercise on a simple example to ensure understanding of the key terms and concepts 
  • Common Safety Method for risk evaluation and assessment overview
    Understanding the CSM RA regulation, why it exists, what it is for and some essential concepts. This section also discusses the types of changes that fall under the regulation including operational, organisational and technical. The rest of the session then gives an overview of the Common Safety Method
  • Significance test and system definitions
    This section goes into more detail on how to apply the significance test and includes a group exercise to undertake a significance test for a specific example
  • Hazard identification and the selection of risk acceptance principles
    This session covers the fit between the three risk acceptance principles - Codes of Practice, Reference Systems and Explicit Risk Estimation, and a practical approach is suggested for starting off. Hazard workshops are then introduced with a three pass approach to identifying hazards. A group exercise is also undertaken to demonstrate hazard identification and the process for identifying whether it can be managed by existing Reference Systems or Codes of Practice
  • Safety requirements and demonstration
    This session covers how safety requirements are derived from the use of Codes of Practice, Reference Systems and Explicit Risk Estimation. It touches on responsibilities and the feedback to the design
  • Hazard records
    This session covers the hazard record, which is an area that the industry is finding difficult. We cover the RSSB guidance on what should be in a hazard record, as well as examples of real hazard records that have been used on an electrification project
  • Safety justification and declaration of control of risk
    This final session concludes the course by covering the additional requirements from Network Rail for the preparation of a safety justification and declaration of control of risk for the proposed change, thus, neatly wrapping up the training material by emphasising how the output from the CSM activities is used in practice
  • End of course knowledge test
    An end of course test is available which takes about ½ hour. The knowledge test is taken at the end of the day and it is marked after the course. The pass mark for the examination is 70%. Delegates who are successful in the examination will receive a certificate indicating this; others will receive a certificate of attendance.

Upcoming course dates

Early booking rate

13th Nov 2018

Common Safety Method: Contributor competence

Location:  Leatherhead

online: 2-3 hours
workshop: 1 day

Price (ex VAT): £445.00 £400.50

Buy now
Early booking rate

5th Jun 2018

Common Safety Method: Contributor competence

Location:  Leatherhead

online: 2-3 hours
workshop: 1 day

Price (ex VAT): £495.00 £445.50

Buy now

Course trainers

Nick Holmes-Mackie Safety Technical Lead, RINA

Nick is a senior manager, safety engineer and project manager.  With over 25 years’ practical experience, he combines broad-based engineering expertise and knowledge with extensive experience gained across all stages of equipment lifecycles, working on client-side and supplier-side assignments. He has a mature, pragmatic engineering approach combined with excellent communications, leadership and management skills. He possesses strong analytical skills and an ability to develop practical solutions that draw on common-sense, whilst accommodating the rigour that is necessary when working within the regulated industries. Nick’s domain experience spans military aviation, air traffic control, rail and medical. He has managed programmes of work as well as individual projects and he is a widely respected safety consultant.

Rajaji Krishnamachari Senior Consultant , RINA

Rajaji is a systems and software engineer with 14 years’ experience, mostly with real-time systems implementing high integrity requirements for both safety and mission criticality. He has worked in the rail, aerospace, defence and energy domains.  With a strong background in high integrity software development, he understands well the intricacies of software and V&V projects. He has excellent project leading and communication skills, and clients have recognised real added value through improved focus and understanding of how best to address issues raised during the project lifecycle. He has worked extensively with clients across Europe and the United States. Rajaji joined ERA Technology from Knorr Bremse, Rail Systems (UK) Ltd where he was responsible for maintaining the Safety Case for their flagship braking product for the Metro Trains. He was responsible for critically evaluating and authorising all SIL 2 product changes, and was involved in generation of safety deliverables to support application of the product for various projects.


Andy Millar Principal Consultant, RINA

Andy has nearly 40 years’ experience in the engineering and development of high reliability and safety critical equipment. Before joining RINA Consulting, he had spent 16 years as an engineering manager, leading the development of numerous safety-critical systems for the offshore oil and rail industries, and he has successfully guided these into service through both the UK and world-wide safety approval regimes. Andy also has wide experience of the maintenance of legacy safety systems, in particular considering the impact of changes due to obsolescence and system upgrades.

Andy is now responsible for providing consultancy services through RINA Consulting to support the industrial sector in the safe development and introduction of systems and solutions.