Findings from the 2021 post implementation review (PIR) of The Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems (Safety) Regulations 2006 (ROGS).
In 2021 ORR conducted a PIR on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport with oversight from the Department for Transport (DfT). The purpose of the review was to seek the views of stakeholders, examine the extent to which ROGS has achieved its aims, and identify whether there have been any unintended consequences.
DfT published the final 2021 ROGS PIR report, which was based on the stakeholder survey and analysis of findings conducted by ORR. ORR has subsequently published its findings and conclusions document, which provides a comprehensive overview of the survey results.
The scope of the PIR concerned ROGS as originally made in 2006 and the subsequent amendments in 2011 and 2013. The PIR did not consider the impact of recent changes made to ROGS as part of the UK’s exit from the EU, but stakeholders were made aware of those changes and invited to comment on whether they foresaw any impacts for their business.
External evidence collection
ORR, as the independent railway safety regulator, conducted a stakeholder survey to provide evidence for the PIR of ROGS. ORR undertook the survey from November 2020 to January 2021, with a total of 32 survey responses received.
Feedback from a workshop/webinar organised by railway bodies (RSSB, Rail Delivery Group and Railway Industry Association) was also considered as part of the evidence. Some key findings from the survey are outlined below.
The findings and conclusions document provides a comprehensive overview of the survey results.
ROGS are working well
The review confirmed that ROGS are continuing to work well, with 74% of respondents stating that ROGS continue to provide an effective framework for railway safety in the UK.
The survey also identified that interfaces between ROGS and other legislation and standards are not always clearly understood, and that guidance on these interfaces would be helpful for stakeholders.
ROGS do not have negative impacts or unintended effects on stakeholders
68% of survey respondents said that ROGS had had a positive or very positive impact, with a further 29% stating that the impact of ROGS was neutral. 77% of respondents also said that ROGS had not had any unintended effects.
The costs of ROGS are proportionate to the benefits
74% of respondents agreed that the cost of complying with ROGS was proportionate to the benefits.
Only 9% disagreed, although one respondent indicated that the costs were disproportionately low when compared with other safety legislation – in effect agreeing that the cost is proportionate to the benefits.
Survey of ORR staff
ORR carried out an internal survey of staff who work with ROGS. Most respondents felt that ROGS provide an effective framework for railway safety in the UK and are well established.
Improvement suggestions focussed on adjusting ORR’s assessment process – this will be considered when ORR reviews its internal guidance.
Conclusions and next steps for ROGS
The survey indicates that ROGS continue to work well, are meeting their original objectives and have not led to significant unintended consequences.
The PIR report published by DfT recommended that ROGS remain in place unamended, as the objectives remain valid.
Legislative change is not required, and issues raised can be dealt with through publishing clearer guidance for duty holders.
ORR will take forward work to improve guidance for stakeholders:
- ORR will update its ROGS guidance to explain the legal framework and requirements following the legislative amendments made at the end of the EU Exit transition period.
- A consolidated version of ROGs will be made available to duty holders for guidance purposes. This will include the changes that took effect from the end of the EU Exit transition period.
- ORR will update its ROGS guidance to provide greater clarity on:
- the relationship between interoperability, National Technical Specification Notices and ROGS.
- matters for freight end users where ROGS affect their activities;
- the relationship between the common safety method (CSM) risk assessment process and ROGS;
- the relationship between ROGS and other legislation (e.g. Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974) and the relationship with industry standards.
- The PIR report notes that findings from a separate PIR of the Railways (Interoperability) Regulations 2011 should be taken into account when new guidance is under consideration.
The PIR report also recommends that DfT and ORR should:
- Consider how human factors requirements developed as part of the amendments to the Railway Safety Directive under the EU’s Fourth Railway Package (2016/798/EU, Article 9, and the Regulation on safety management system (2018/762/EU)) might be incorporated via a future amendment to ROGs.
- Review the requirement for duty holders to produce an annual safety report and whether the benefits of producing annual reports may be achieved by other non-legislative means.
Impact of ROGS – 2016 post implementation review
ORR carried out a post implementation review (PIR) in 2016 on behalf of the Secretary of State. The review assessed the effectiveness of ROGS and whether ROGS had achieved their original objectives.
The PIR considered ROGS as originally made in 2006, as well as following significant amendments made in 2011 and 2013.
Many of the requirements of the 2016 PIR were delivered through the findings of the 2010 Report.
A light touch approach assessed whether the 2010 conclusions were still accurate, and also evaluated the impacts of subsequent amendments to ROGS in 2011 and 2013.
The 2016 PIR concluded that ROGS were working well, and the objectives had largely been met with no unintended effects.
The 2016 ROGS PIR report recommended that ROGS should remain in place with some minor regulatory changes to improve clarity.
There has not been an opportunity to make changes to ROGS since the 2016 PIR but the following proposed changes will be considered at the next opportunity to amend ROGS:
- clarification that the term “mainline railway” represents the management and operation of the mainline railway
- replacement of the term “placed in service” (and cognate expressions) with “put in use” to align with the Railways (Interoperability) Regulations 2011 [S.I. 2011/3066]
- modernisation of requirements in regulation 21 of ROGS relating to making documents available to the public so that they can be made available electronically
- making the Common Safety Method for Risk Evaluation and Assessment (Commission Regulation (EU) 4012/2013) voluntary for non-mainline operators as an alternative to carrying out safety verification (this follows the removal of safety verification for mainline operators in 2013 because this Common Safety Method applies in a similar way).
ORR updated its Guide to ROGS in October 2020 to improve clarity on some of the terms and requirements of ROGS, and to account for some of the points arising from the 2016 PIR.
2010 Nobel Denton Report
In 2006, ORR commissioned Noble Denton Associates to carry out a baseline survey in 2007 on the performance and impact of ROGS as part of a three-year monitoring and evaluation exercise.
The report of the final survey (published in 2010) concluded that the majority of objectives of ROGS had either been met or were on their way to being met.
We were therefore confident that the legislation was helping to maintain national standards of rail safety in line with EU requirements and that we were striving for continuous improvement.