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Change notifications

The Change notification form [DOCX, 76 KB] allows you to summarise the planned change to your activities or organisation, provide the rationale for the change, and then reference the sections of your organisation’s safety case that cover the safety-related aspects.

Provided those safety-related aspects are adequately covered, and the activities detailed are being followed, the change can be reviewed relatively quickly after the form is submitted to your licence manager.

Note: If you’re not sure who your licence manager is, send the form to railregulation@nzta.govt.nz

Applying for a variation

When submitting an Application for a safety case variation form [DOCX, 79 KB] to your licence manager for a variation, you’ll also need to provide copies of your planned change process, risk management process and any risk assessments performed in relation to the change. A key part of the change process is your communications with staff and affected parties, so a summary of this may also be required.

It’s important to understand that submitting an application is not the same as having the variation approved. If we’re not satisfied you’re managing the change in risk so far as is reasonably practicable (see our ‘So far as is reasonably practicable’ page for more information), we won’t be able to approve it and you won’t be able to implement the change. If this happens we’ll work with you to amend and resubmit the application.

If applicable, variations can also be approved in part or with conditions applied (Railways Act, Section 35(external link)). An example of this is provided below under the heading ‘Can changes be tested before a safety case variation is approved?’

Completing the form

After providing the identifying details of your organisation and its current approved safety case, the key information you need to provide in the application form includes:

  • A summary of the planned changes to your operation
  • Details of the proposed changes to be made to your safety case, referring to the relevant sections that require amendment
  • Details of any infrastructure involved in the change (eg tunnels, bridges, vehicles)
  • Details of any new type of service or operation you will be providing
  • A list of any other rail participants affected and the consultation that has taken place with them regarding the change

As mentioned, you also need to attach the following documentation:

  • A summary of your planned change process (change management activities)
  • Your risk management process
  • Your risk assessment results
  • A summary of communications with staff and affected parties (if required)

The supporting evidence needs to demonstrate that your safety case will remain fit for purpose after the change has been implemented.

Appliying for a replacement

Before you submit an Application for a safety case replacement form [DOCX, 81 KB] to your licence manager, you should have been in touch to with us discuss your intention to do so. This early engagement allows us to establish whether the replacement will primarily be the format and presentation of the document, or whether it incorporates substantial changes in content that will need further assessment.

It’s important to understand that submitting an application is not the same as having the replacement safety case approved. We need time to assess whether the new safety case is acceptable and whether the safety aspects of any changes to your activities or organisation have been adequately accounted for. If we’re not satisfied you’re managing any changes in risk so far as is reasonably practicable (see our ‘So far as is reasonably practicable’ page for more information), we won’t be able to approve it and you won’t be able to operate according to the new safety case. If this happens we’ll work with you to amend the safety case and resubmit the application.

Completing the form

After providing the identifying details of your organisation and its current approved safety case, the key information you need to provide in the application form includes:

  • The rationale for the replacement and the reason the application is not for a variation
  • Summaries of any organisational or rail activity changes that the replacement safety case covers that weren’t part of the current approved safety case
  • Details of any infrastructure involved in any changes (eg tunnels, bridges, vehicles)
  • Details of any new type of service or operation you will be providing
  • A list of any other rail participants affected and the consultation that has taken place with them regarding any of the changes

As mentioned, you also need to attach the following documentation:

  • A summary of your planned change process (change management activities) for any changes
  • A copy of your risk management process
  • A copy of any risk assessments performed in relation to the changes
  • A summary of communications with staff and affected parties (if required)

The supporting evidence needs to demonstrate that your replacement safety case will be fit for purpose after the proposed organisational or rail activity changes are implemented.

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