P4.107 Scoping the feasibility of developing a national Rail Safety Investigator competency framework and tertiary qualification

Background

Rail Safety Investigation is vital to advancing rail safety and is central to preventing the reoccurrence of accidents. Rail safety management investigation has evolved as a specialisation in its own right within the safety discipline with investigators employed across Australia by rail operators and regulatory bodies. They are usually people with rail industry experience, who may or may not be qualified safety practitioners. Expertise in rail safety is currently obtained through a combination of on-the-job learning, mentoring and participation in a range of internal and external training courses. There is currently no structured learning framework to ensure investigators develop the full range of skills and competencies required for this area of specialisation.

Objective

This project aims to scope the feasibility of developing a national competency framework for rail safety investigators and a Masters level tertiary qualification. This would enable rail organisations to offer a professional development pathway to enhance investigator capability and credibility and attract people to a vital area of specialisation within rail safety, as part of a vocational and educational strategy to meet the career development requirements of professional Rail Safety Investigators.

Outcomes

A report will be produced detailing the analysis of relevant documents from Australia and overseas, and presenting findings in relation to rail safety investigation and the training of relevant staff.

Benefits

The project outcome would enhance industry capability to undertake safety investigations at all levels, ultimately improving the rail safety outcomes by providing investigators with consistent and reliable investigation methodologies and analysis techniques. Consequently, with enhanced and standardised capabilities, it would be possible to assemble a team of investigators from across various states to undertake a high-level investigation into a major rail disaster.