An article by 3Squared Commercial Director James Fox in this month’s edition of RailStaff magazine looks at the way in which the digitalisation of competency management can contribute towards the reduction of SPaDs (Signal passed at danger).
Reducing SPaDs is a big focus for the rail industry and the best way of doing this is by is by improving driver competency levels and reducing human error. Many operators are implementing paper-based competency systems for generating Safety Critical Portfolios, however these can consist of huge amounts of paperwork for each driver. Not only is it time consuming to sift through this data, but planning and identifying areas for improvement becomes a very difficult task. This makes for a time consuming process with added financial cost and potential safety risks.
RailSmart is 3Squared’s Queen’s Award winning software which helps to tackle the issues faced by rail operators when managing competencies. Railsmart is available as a web-based app and provides a centralised overview of an employee’s competency data. This information is available through mobile devices meaning managers can access the data in real-time, while working on site or remotely. This cuts down on administrative and logistical burdens of having to update or access physical competency documents, giving managers time to support and develop their employees. Targeted training and in-line management can be directed at those with lower competencies, reducing the risk of safety incidents.
One assessor has said of RailSmart:
“Having all the details about the candidate I need with me on the iPad is great when I’m out doing an assessment, as it has stopped me missing areas that need support”.
The risk of administration errors are eradicated as the real-time reporting of compliance is shown against standards and the quality of assessments, giving the most accurate results and information possible. Understanding how assessors are grading their teams is extremely useful when looking to improve a business too.
Investing in software systems such as RailSmart can reduce risks and empower competency managers, who can in turn improve their staff. Depending on the size of the organisation, competency software can save thousand work hours per year, increasing productivity and saving money.