Make your rail staff assessments simpler, speedier and more streamlined

There’s no room for cutting corners with competency management in rail – the stakes are simply too high.

Whether you’re assessing drivers, signallers, guards or engineers, you need to know they are performing each aspect of their role to a high standard, so you can maintain safe working practices.

With so many skills needed to carry out these roles, rail staff assessment can be an extremely complex and time-consuming process.

Skills for safety in rail

Put yourself in the place of an assessor observing an employee out on the tracks or inside the cab of a train. You have to check how people perform against a long list of criteria while they get to work in a busy environment, out in all weather.

To make life easier for assessors, as well as for management and staff, many rail companies have swapped their clipboards and spreadsheets for a competency management system like RailSmart EDS. The system allows assessors to use tablets to capture, record and manage each of the skills required for someone to do their job.

You can set competency cycles for each of the roles in your organisation, with specific criteria to assess the skills involved in that role.

Assessing against these criteria can help identify whether someone is showing expert, proficient competency in a particular skill or they need minor or major improvement.

Assessment criteria for all situations

We’re always keen to find out more about how our customers are using our solutions. So we were interested to hear that some customers would like to be able to group their assessment criteria in different ways.

For instance, when an assessor is observing a member of staff and an incident occurs.

If something unpredictable happens – a case of vandalism, or some empty containers becoming dislodged due to high winds – an assessor wants to evaluate how the driver performed in that situation.

To do this, it would be useful to be able to bring in criteria which were not part of the original assessment to measure how well the driver communicated with the control room, or how they responded to crew members’ questions.

Our new criteria groups feature allows an assessor to select additional sets of criteria relating to different scenarios which happen on the network. Assessors can instantly tap on these scenario-based criteria via their system without having to spend time searching around for them across all the different units of a competency cycle.

Rather than spending time scrolling through their tablets, assessors can focus on how the driver manages the situation at hand.

A tool for strategic improvement

While rail companies have many things in common, each organisation has its own differences too. So we know the importance of giving customers the flexibility to use our solutions in a way that works for them.

As part of the new criteria groups feature, we have created a management page in RailSmart EDS where the system administrator can build their own, customised groups of assessment criteria, which they can change as and when they need to.

This is particularly useful when looking at operational goals, whether that’s improving staff performance in customer communications, speeding up track repair times or making wagon loading more efficient.

There’s the option to create brand new criteria which relate specifically to your business, and to add them into existing criteria groups, so you can assess your teams on the skills they need in the situations they are likely to meet.

Assessors will be able to carry out their critical function much more quickly with minimum scrolling time and maximum observation. Meanwhile, management gain a better insight into the skills profile of their staff so they can fill any gaps, build a stronger workforce and drive up industry standards for the future.

To find out more about the new Criteria Groups feature of RailSmart EDS, please get in touch, or book a demo of RailSmart EDS.