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The way you engage with us will depend on the scope of the change, and whether your safety case already demonstrates the capability to identify, control and manage all of its associated safety risks.

There are three levels of engagement and these are outlined below:

  • Change notifications
  • Safety case variations
  • Safety case replacements

Change notifications

A change notification is a formal way to let us know of a planned change or renewal your organisation is making that could affect the safety of your rail activities, and is within the current scope of your approved safety case.

By submitting a Change notification form [DOCX, 76 KB], you’re able to let us know of the change and confirm you’re managing it adequately by referencing the relevant section or sections of your safety case.

We require you to notify us before the change is implemented to avoid potential compliance issues should a variation be necessary. If you’d like to discuss it beforehand, please give your licence manager a call.

Safety case variations

A safety case variation is an amendment to your approved safety case which is normally associated with a planned change or renewal your organisation is making that affects the safety of your rail activities, and is currently outside the scope of your approved safety case. There may also be circumstances where a planned change or renewal may not be significant, but could impact upon a number of sections of your safety case.

When your organisation is planning such a change, you’ll want to get in touch with your licence manager as soon as possible. They can advise and guide you on the content updates required to your safety case, and assist you through the process for submitting an Application for a safety case variation form [DOCX, 79 KB], which involves providing copies of your change process, risk management process and any risk assessments performed in relation to the change.

Note: For more information, see our Risk management page.

An approval process must be completed under the Railways Act 2005 before the change can be implemented. You should allow 20 working days after you submit the application form, as per the Railways Act 2005, for the approval process to be completed prior to the change being implemented.

Safety case replacements

A safety case replacement is a rewrite of your organisation’s safety case containing substantial changes from the previous version – it may be a new approach to your safety case or simply contain too many changes to reference as variations. It doesn’t necessarily have to be initiated by changes in your activities or organisation, it could be due to findings from an assessment.

If you’re planning to do this, we recommend getting in touch with your licence manager as soon as possible. The approval process is the same as when a new safety case is assessed as part of a licence application, so submitting an Application for a safety case replacement form [DOCX, 81 KB] will also involve providing copies of any change process, risk management process or risk assessment associated with the new content. Allow for 40 working days after you submit the application form, as the changes must be approved, as set out in the Railways Act 2005, before you implement them.

Note: See the How do I structure a safety case? page.

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