When your organisation is planning on making a change to your rail activities or a change to your organisation that may affect your rail activities, and that change has an element of safety risk involved with it, you’ll need to notify us.

A ‘Change notification form’ is sufficient if your organisation’s safety case adequately covers the safety management aspects involved with the change. However, if updates need to be made to your safety case document in order to cover these safety aspects, an ‘Application for a safety case variation form’ will need to be submitted for approval. The agency may determine that change notifications are safety case variations, which will then need to be submitted for approval before the variation can be implemented.

Note: You won’t be charged for change notifications and may not be charged for minor safety case variations.

Specific examples

We have provided some examples of the decisions, events or changes that you’re required to notify us of below. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and the examples only apply if they have an element of safety risk involved with them. As mentioned above, in some cases these examples will be a notification and in others a variation – it all depends on the content in your approved safety case document.

Examples of changes that will require either a notification or variation

A decision to design or construct (or to commission the design or construction of) new rail vehicles or tracks

The introduction of a new rail vehicle type not previously operated, or the reintroduction of a rail vehicle type not currently operated

A change to a safety critical element of an existing rail vehicle

A change to one or more of the classes of rail infrastructure used in your organisation’s rail operations

The decision to adopt a new safety standard for the design of rail infrastructure or vehicles

A change to the frequency of, or procedures for, the inspection or maintenance of rail infrastructure or vehicles

A change to the rules or procedures relating to your organisation’s rail operations

A decision to introduce a new rule or procedure relating to your organisation’s rail operations

A decision to change any work scheduling practices or procedures that potentially introduce new fatigue risks

We’ve also provided some examples of situations that will require either a variation to your existing safety case, or a complete replacement.

Examples of situations that would require a safety case variation or replacement

The commitments and goals identified in your safety case are altered (either by organisational choice or legislative requirement)

You discover that your approach to safety isn’t effective and you need to change systems, processes or policies to improve your management of safety

The capability of your management control arrangements or safety system needs to be changed or increased