Our people

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We are working hard to ensure our talented community is diverse and reflects the public we serve. 

We are a confident and supportive organisation, committed to developing our people. 

Watch the videos to find out what our colleagues have to say about their ORR careers.

Overview of careers at ORR

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Riccardo Robertson

My name is Riccardo Robertson, I am the Public Affairs Manager here at the Office of Rail and Road, which means that I am responsible for building awareness, advocacy, support for ORR's role and work primarily amongst Parliamentarians based in Westminster, based in Holyrood up in Edinburgh, and over in Cardiff Bay in Wales.

Alicia Saddler

My name is Alicia Saddler and I am an Assistant Project Manager. I work directly for the Senior Project Manager and we handle all the projects within the Corporate Operations directorate, so that involves handling some of the smaller scale some of the larger scale projects, creating project plans, leading project team meetings and updates, reporting to the wider decision boards, and managing finances and aiding decisions made so that a project or the product from the project can be delivered.

Mark Grundy 

My name is Mark Grundy. I work as a Regulatory Financial Analyst in the Regulatory Finance team, which is under the Economics, Markets and Strategy Division.

So in my role we monitor Network Rail's finances. I'm personally responsible for two regions in Network Rail's business structure, so making sure that their monthly reporting is accurate and we're happy with the direction that it's going in, as well as if there are some ad hoc tasks.

We have quite a lot of collaboration with the rest of the office. Anytime there's monetary involvement, our team gets involved, which means we get a lot of collaboration with engineers as well as the economics team directly.

Hayley Cullen

My name is Hayley and I work as a Human Resources Officer. Working in Human Resources at the Office of Rail and Road means that you do a variety of tasks, everything from payroll, learning and development and recruitment.

You also get involved in loads of ad hoc projects, which means that you're continuously learning about new systems and new opportunities. It gives you such great exposure to everything in human resources.

David Dingwall 

My name is David Dingwall and I am a Senior Executive in our Network Regulation team. Essentially, the role is about bringing our functions together in terms of how we monitor Network Rail's performance.

We essentially provide support to a lot of our function colleagues, particularly around where we may need to do investigation work into potential licence breaches around Network Rail or train operating companies. And also we provide support and advice on our holding Network Rail to account activities.

Mark Grundy 

In terms of the technical aspect, the day to day job varies in terms of the analysis that we're doing, but one thing that stays consistent is the external internal engagement, making sure that everyone's on the same page with the messages and that we're getting the right things from Network Rail.

Hayley Cullen

The people that I work with are fantastic. There's such a good support network at ORR. If you're ever struggling with your workload or you've got too much on, my colleagues are always there to pick it up and there's a real sense of balance. I never feel like my
opinion doesn't matter. I feel like I can contribute quite a lot.

David Dingwall 

My colleagues who I work with are really respectful, very professional and it really helps me get out of bed in the morning knowing that I'm going to be working in a really great working environment.

Alicia Saddler

Over the time that I've been here, I have found that I've learned a lot. There have been a lot of really great learning opportunities that have helped in my promotions and being able to do my job a lot better, a lot more knowledgeable on my job and also because I had the opportunity to move from team to team on promotion, but also as part of my job I do work across the business quite a lot
and so therefore I've had a wealth of knowledge that I've been able to gather up and a lot of transferable skills.

Riccardo Robertson

One massive benefit about working at the ORR is just being able to have those relationships with colleagues across the organisation, being able to tap into their expertise. That's been phenomenal from my point of view for my career. I've learned from so many different people and you also feel part of a team and I think that's just been fantastic.

David Dingwall

I would say to anyone who is considering working in ORR, if you have an interest in either regulation, developing policy or just railways in general, then the ORR would be a real great possibility for you. I would say that if you're prepared to work hard and you're keen to develop, then people will notice that and there are many opportunities for you to develop your career within ORR across
different parts of the organisation depending on what your skills and interests are.

Mark Grundy 

It's important to know that you'll be trusted to do things straight away when you get started. This includes some high profile work, such as during our periodic reviews or just day to day monitoring of Network Rail. You'll be thrown in straight in, so it's best to kind of be ready to hit the ground running.

Alicia Saddler

My favourite thing about the job is actually when a project ends and that's only because you feel that sense of accomplishment. You can see the change that has been implemented in the organisation, the physical kind of changes, the emotional changes when you've implemented something that has helped the business and made things easier for them to do their work.

Riccardo Robertson

My favourite thing about the job is that Parliamentarians across the UK clearly respect ORR and the work that my colleagues do throughout the organisation. So being able to go into meetings and really provide value to the Parliamentarians, really build great
relationships with them, it's fantastic.

That is what I am interested in. I love speaking to Parliamentarians about the work that we do and seeing how responsive they are.
Seeing how positive they are is fantastic and it makes the job worthwhile.

David Dingwall

To anyone who is considering applying for a role in ORR I would say there are some really good opportunities within the organisation.

No matter what your skills and backgrounds that you can bring. There is so much where you can get involved, where you can develop your career within ORR, it's a really great place to be able to work and help build your career. So if that sounds of interest to you, I'd
seriously consider applying for a role in ORR.

Corporate operations

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Sue MacPearson

My name is Sue MacPearson and my role is finance executive in the corporate operations directorate. My role involves dealing with invoicing and expenses from when they are received into the department, to putting them onto the account system and preparing payment schedules for authorisations. If there's any queries, we would deal with them before they're actually paid. So we oversee the whole process from start to finish.

Vinita Hill

My name is Vinita Hill. I'm a director of corporate operations in the Office of Rail and Road. As director of corporate operations, my role involves looking after IT HR, estates, finance and procurement, so a wide-ranging role, looking after all the aspects of the organisation that help run the organisation.

Anthony Coe

My name is Anthony Coe. My job title is head of service operations. I look after all of the IT on a day to day basis within ORR so that's from service desk through to our second line and third line support teams, as well as I look after all of our engagement with our third party suppliers, as well as our customer engagement with new products and new services.

I look after all of the financial side of things as well, so I make sure we're paying our invoices and working quite closely with our Finance team. I also look after the business. So if there's any escalations or if there's any problems with the service or even the positive things, I would want to commend how well we've done.

Alicia Saddler

My name is Alicia Saddler and I am an assistant project manager. As an assistant project manager, I work directly for the senior project manager and we handle all of the projects within the corporate operations directorate, mostly around change management or implementation of any sort of new technical solutions.

Sue MacPearson

Working at ORR, the environment is very welcoming and they make you feel valued as an employee and although we have deadlines to meet, it's not really target driven, as in real pressure put on you, like sometimes with an external organisation. And so I feel it's been a very welcoming environment.

Vinita Hill

I think the favourite part of this job for me is building the team dynamics. So actually I have a new leadership team, understanding what my team did, how they work together, building that team dynamic has been the thing I've enjoyed the most.

Alicia Saddler

So the work culture at Office of Rail and Road is very collaborative, especially within the corporate operations directorate because we work cross-directorately across all of the functions, but in general the culture is very collaborative. Everybody's there to kind of help each other and I think that's a positive side of it being a relatively small company because everybody gets to know everybody and everybody gets to understand each other's functions and roles and we are able to kind of help each other out.

For example, a project that I'm working on, I'm working across finance, IT, procurement, communications, and it's great to get to know people. It's great to learn new skills and it's great to understand the different functions of the organisation that you may not necessarily come across on a regular basis.

Anthony Coe

I think some of the key criteria for being a service operations role is communications. Making sure that you're open and transparent, making sure that you're prompt with your responses, making sure that if you can't give someone an update, then you let them know why.

You make sure that you're really clear and you're open with them. I think that's something that I always try to make sure that I do, and I think that sets really well for the role that we do. In IT in general, people like to make sure that they've been listened to or that they're going to get response when they need to. So you need to be quite proactive.

Vinita Hill

For new people in ORR I think the most interesting thing for you is your thoughts and your reflections and your observations and your experience. And I would really encourage you to think about how you bring your experience into this organisation and what value add you can create. And don't be afraid to do that. I've certainly found it's an organisation that does welcome ideas and you can give them, there's plenty of opportunity to say what you think and how you're feeling. So I'd really encourage that insight.

Alicia Saddler

So for anybody thinking about joining ORR or about to join ORR I would say absolutely go for it. Come through to the ORR because to be honest, there's so many different things that you can take part in. We have so many different functions, we have so many different opportunities. And it's not just the day to day job, it's not even just career progression, but it's also things that they put in place for you personally to make sure that you're okay, to make sure that you're developing where you need to be, to give you opportunities and support so that you can get to where you need to go. So I definitely recommend it.

Sue MacPearson

If you're thinking of applying for a role in corporate operations, I would recommend it. There's plenty of opportunities to use your skills like I have with myself in finance, and there's plenty of opportunity for personal development and to further your career.

Vinita Hill

People really do care about what they do. We talk about having experts, but I think more than having experts, we have passion and commitment that makes it a nice place to work, because people care about what they do.

Our apprentices

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Sarah Walters

My name is Sarah and I'm an apprentice economist. I work in the rail economics team within our economics, markets and strategy directorate, and I also study for a degree in economics alongside that, so I work four days a week and then study one day.

Jane Tye

I'm Jane and I'm the central support team administrator in the railway safety directorate and I'm also on an apprenticeship.

Dharam Uppal

My name is Dharam. I'm a business administration apprentice. I work in the EMS sector.

Dan Bounds

My name is Dan Bounds. I work here at the ORR as a communications apprentice as part of the Government Communications Service apprenticeship scheme. So I work in the communications department here at ORR. It's all about communicating ORR's work to the general public, stakeholders and politicians.

Hayley Cullen

My name is Hayley and I work as a human resources officer. So I joined the Office of Rail and Road as an apprentice at first and I completed my CIPD level 3. It was a really good opportunity for me to get grounding in HR and then further my development within this career. I currently work as a human resources officer and this involves supporting the full employee lifecycle, so everything from recruitment and onboarding through to contractual changes and leavers and retirements.

Harriet Averill 

My name is Harriet Averill and I'm a business administrator doing an apprenticeship. This means I support business activities within my directorate, supporting wherever there's a need, essentially. I am doing a level 3 business administration apprenticeship alongside my job. This apprenticeship teaches me the importance of business administration and helps me understand how I can support my team, directorate and organisation.

Dharam Uppal

Being an apprentice allows you to have a hands on experience of the job as well as getting the educational side of it.

Dan Bounds

So an apprenticeship is all about developing the skills and knowledge needed to take you forward in a future career. I know it's really helped me in my career. I've developed loads of new skills since coming to ORR that are going to be extremely helpful for me in my future career path.

Sarah Walters

My end goal of my apprenticeship is to get a degree in economics and then become an assistant economist at the ORR. That won't really change my day to day role, as I've been given a lot of trust and responsibility early on, so I'm being treated effectively the same as any other team member.

Hayley Cullen

The people that I work with are fantastic. There's such a good support network at ORR.

Harriet Averill 

I would really recommend joining the apprenticeship programme at the Office of Rail and Road. I find colleagues of all grades to be supportive and helpful.

Jane Tye

For anyone wanting to do an apprenticeship in the civil service or with ORR I would say definitely do it.

Dan Bounds

If you're considering joining as an apprenticeship, it's a great opportunity and I would strongly recommend it.

Hayley Cullen

If you're considering joining the ORR, I would say definitely go for it. It's a brilliant opportunity to learn so much more. So not only does it give you the opportunity to really boost your skills, but it also gives you so much more exposure to everything else that is out there.

Our trainee inspectors

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Emily Gelder

I'm Emily and I work as an Inspector of Railways in the Transport for London team. The role of an Inspector of Railways is to help to encourage and to raise the level of safety in the railways. So, we work with duty holders on proactive visits and also reactive interventions in terms of accidents and incidents.

Martin Bonnington

My name's Martin Bonnington. I'm a Trainee Inspector of Railways here at the Office of Rail and Road. I've been with ORR for just over six months now as a Trainee Inspector of Railways. The training lasts up to two years. As part of that training, we learn about railway technical knowledge. We gain regulatory knowledge and legal understanding both through practical and formalised training. At the end of that, I will become a fully qualified Inspector of Railways. Being a Trainee Inspector of Railways is a really varied role to do. We are here as part of the Office of Rail and Road Railway Safety Directorate, so we are the regulatory function within the railway. So, we are here to make sure that our duty holders are delivering a safe railway for passengers and their own staff.

Sean Devaney

My name is Sean Devaney and I'm currently a Trainee Inspector. Coming to the end of my training period.  In the day to day job, there is an element of attending training courses both for legal elements and for health and safety, but a lot of the job is shadowing experienced inspectors and undertaking investigations, taking statements and then gradually the amount that you do builds up.

Lindsey Smith

My name is Lindsey Smith. I work as a HM Railway Inspector and I joined the Office of Rail and Road approximately six months ago. I am within the track specialist team. I have a track background, so anything track related matters come within the specialist team, but essentially as an Inspector will go out and assess risk on the railway and ensure that they're operating safely. So, my day to day job is very varied, I could be sat within Microsoft teams meetings with duty holders or I could be going out on track and getting very grubby or wet in all weathers.

Martin Bonnington

Day to day my job is very varied. It could be a mix of office work, writing reports, researching visits, to going out on site with our maintenance colleagues on a site visit within a possession or meeting duty holders in their place of work.

Emily Gelder

I was interested in joining ORR because having come from an operational railway background, I wanted to stay in that arena but focus more on the safety aspect than especially the regulatory safety aspect. And ORR offered the opportunity. So I still retain my link with the operational railway and the duty holders, but looking at it more from a kind of serious safety point of view.

Lindsey Smith

I've been with the Office of Rail and Road for approximately six months within a trainee role. So over the next two years I'll be going out with joint visits with other inspectors.

Sean Devaney

The best thing about the job is the ability to influence the industry, I tried when I was within the industry itself and found it difficult, but the enormous respect was held for the ORR and its inspectors means it's much easier for us now to influence and bring about change at a much higher level and at a national level and that's a part of the job I absolutely love.

Emily Gelder

So far, the favourite thing about the role for me is the variety and the fact that it's a mix of being out and meeting duty holders but then also getting my head in the legislation and understanding all the regulatory aspects, So, it's a good mix of being in the office, working from home and also being out on the railway infrastructure, I like that variety.

Martin Bonnington

One of the big things that I would encourage people to join ORR as a training Inspector of Railways is if you've got a passion for safety improvement and making a difference then this role is a key role for you.  In the role of a train Inspector, you really have the opportunity to make a difference and make the railway better and safer for everybody.

Lindsey Smith

It’s probably one of the best decisions I've made, I've really enjoyed my job so far, And I have to say the people around me make it very worthwhile job, Everyone is very supportive, they give you the time required as a trainee to educate you and give you the experience required to be successful in the role.

Emily Gelder

Since day one when I joined ORR I have felt supported even before that I felt supported by the HR team during onboarding process and the recruitment process and from day one I felt supported from within the TfL team and from the wider organisation If I've ever needed anything, I know there are people that I can go and ask and they've provided me with answers and, they've provided me with the next steps and how to take that forward, so it's 100% a supportive environment for me.

Sean Devaney

So to anybody that's thinking about joining I would say do it.  It's a fantastic opportunity. You get to bring about influence and change at a senior level within the industry and you work with some absolutely fantastic people, the organisation is absolutely wonderful.  I've been in many jobs and I think it's probably the best job that I've ever had, I absolutely love it and I just wish I'd been able to come and join earlier.

Our policy professionals

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Jackie Russell

So, I'm Jackie Russell and I'm Head of the Consumer Policy team at ORR. Our team is focused on the passenger experience on the railways. So part of the job start is about deciding what do we expect from train companies and the other part of the job is monitoring whether the train companies are doing what we expect them to do and if they're not, intervening, to make sure they're behaving appropriately.

Jen Ablitt

So, my name is Jen Ablitt. I'm a Deputy Director in the Safety Directorate and my division covers policy, planning and strategy. The Railway Safety Directorate largely consists of operational railway inspectors who go out on the railway, interacting with railway organisations, ensuring that they are managing their health and safety risks. I lead the division that supports those operational inspectors, so we develop our understanding of the risk profile. We lead the business planning to ensure that we are prioritising the right activities. We develop all the regulatory tools that our inspectors use, and we influence and shape the regulatory framework and issue guidance to the industry and to the public on those risks and what we're doing about them.

Matt Westlake

I'm at Matt Westlake. I'm a senior manager in the consumer team. I focus mainly on accessibility, but also responsible for delay compensation. So, for my role as the senior manager in consumer policy, we set the requirements for train operating companies, mainly about what they should be doing with regards to for example, accessibility, what they should be doing on training and what they should be doing in terms of assistance for passengers.

Callum Glazier

My name is Callum Glazier, Executive Manager, Competition Policy at the Office of Rail and Road. My role involves ensuring that competition is upheld on the railway network. This involves working with stakeholders throughout the industry to ensure that competition law is being followed, and also conducting research into markets to ensure that things are working like they should do. The purpose of this is to ensure that the consumer interest is protected.

Anna Saunders

Hi, my name's Anna Saunders. I work in the consumer policy team as a senior manager.  So, my current role in the consumer team is leading on aspects to do with passenger rights and ticket terms and conditions, and also ensuring that the organisations within the rail industry comply with their obligations in consumer law, and that's all around protecting the passengers that use the railway, making sure that they have access to information they need to buy the best tickets for their journey, making sure if things go wrong, they know their rights and making sure that the industry adheres to all the requirements and obligations that exist to make the passenger experience the best it can be.

Jen Ablitt

Working in policy, it's about supporting our operational inspectors, it's developing the organisation's view on health and safety risks and what the industry is doing to manage them, offering that guidance and clarity of the regulator's view to both the industry and the public.

Jacqui Russell

So, in my job, I head up a team of about ten people, so my role is really to make sure the team as a whole is really clear on why it's there and what we're trying to achieve. That every individual knows what their job is.

Anna Saunders

I've been ORR for 19 years. I started as a team administrator, and I've worked my way up through various grades to my current role as a senior manager in the consumer team.  ORR is really good in terms of opportunities. There's lots of different aspects to our functions which gives a range of different types of role. Whether it's casework policy, work, administration, central functions. And there's also lots of opportunities for secondment to central government, to other regulators, which gives you the opportunity to experience different areas of work and also grow your skills.

Matt Westlake

If you're thinking of joining ORR in a policy capacity, I warmly encourage you to do so. The thing that continues to surprise me while I've been here is how varied the job is. Obviously, it's all mainly focused on railway or occasionally with roads, if you're on that side of things. But the policy, it's the monitoring, it's the compliance.  You get to think about the legal aspect. You get to think about the economics of it. It's really fascinating.

Jacqui Russell

So, if someone was thinking about a job working in policy or regulation, I think what you need to be really good at is asking questions. So, spotting issues interrogating those trying to get to the bottom of problems, Understand what's going on and then think about solutions. And a really core part of doing that well in a policy environment is doing that collaboratively with other people.

Callum Glazier

What makes working at ORR so fulfilling is the critical role which we all play in supporting our major road and rail networks. We have a critical stake in supporting industries which we regulate and work closely with government and stakeholders to ensure they function at their best.

Jen Ablitt

I really enjoy my role at ORR and I think my favourite thing is knowing that what we're doing has a real purpose and that we are making a difference and that really helps with coming to work every day.

Matt Westlake

I've stayed here for 13 years because I find it a really well led and really supportive environment and it's full of nice people who are good at their job.

Our engineers

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Giles Turner 

My name is Giles. I'm a Senior Engineer in the rail vehicle engineering team. My job entails knowing about trains so I can support the various activities that all my colleagues in the organisation undertake. I reached this role in ORR through working in the industry for about ten years and then I became an Inspector in Her Majesty's Railway Inspector, now our Railway Safety Directorate.

And after about ten years there, I moved over into the Rail Vehicle Engineering team, which used skills I'd learned while working in the industry and allowed me to combine those with the skills I'd learned as an Inspector in the regulatory role here.

Jenny Hamilton

I'm Jenny and I'm a Signalling and Level Crossings Engineer. I work in the power and control team and we look after the assets of the overheads, underground traction and also the signalling and telecommunications equipment. We look after the duty holders to make
sure that they are spending their budgets wisely and to ensure that the assets that they look after are maintained properly and safely.

Cherry Lam 

My name is Cherry Lam. I'm a Civil Engineer working in the engineering and asset management team at ORR. As a civil engineer working in engineering and asset management team in ORR one of our objectives is to monitor and hold Network Rail to account on delivering in civil engineering output obligations set in the periodic review.

This obligation is to ensure Network Rail will provide a safe, more resilient network to the customer and passenger. We monitor Network Rail in terms of the delivery performance, in renewed and maintenance for this asset.

Howard Taylor

I'm Howard Taylor. I'm Head of Capital Investments here at the ORR. So I used to be a civil engineer, I used to work all over the world designing, building large construction projects. Every year there are more than £5 billion worth of investments on the railway, which goes into basically big construction projects.

So building new stations, repairing old stations, cutting tunnels, et cetera. And for all those projects, one of our roles of the ORR is to make sure that they are being delivered as efficiently and as well as possible. We have a team that goes out to all of these big construction projects and just checks things like, are they being project managed properly?

Are they negotiating contracts with the supply chain? Are they buying materials properly? Are they managing risks? Are they interacting with the neighbours and other stakeholders?

So we have a team of eight people who come from a project delivery background who go out and review these projects and if we
find anything which isn't as good as it could be, then we will challenge the companies to do better.

Giles Turner

It's an endlessly interesting job, full of variety, working with a great team, covering a huge range of activities.

Cherry Lam

My favourite things of my job is working closely with all the expertise within ORR such as our safety inspectorate and economists. The other rewarding aspect of my role has been seeing the contribution I make in engineering through the regulatory work in driving improvement to network performance that impacts people's lives and society.

Jenny Hamilton

One of my favourite parts of the job is when I train people on signalling and level crossings so they've got a better appreciation of how it works and it's rewarding when you see that they actually understand about it.

Howard Taylor

I was really amazed actually when I joined the job I thought regulation you're following a rulebook effectively, right? You're kind of enforcing the rules but those rules change all the time so the best thing for me about the job is that from one month to the next and definitely from one year to the next your role is always changing, you're always learning new things, meeting new people it's not a repetitive job certainly.

Jenny Hamilton

Anybody that wants to join ORR is going to find it very rewarding because there's a lot of backup, people are very helpful and the work is so varied that your interest is kept all the time. 

Howard Taylor

I imagine most people looking at a job at the ORR probably don't really know what we do. I can't think of anyone I've worked with at the ORR who came from a regulator before so it's a very unusual job, you're not managing construction projects anymore you're regulating them, you're trying to find ways they could improve or find something that they've done wrong and call them out on it.

Giles Turner

To someone looking to join, I say do! Come and be part of our team there's a huge amount of variety, we play a very
important role in influencing the industry and we get to work with a great team of people.