The Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS) is a supplier pre-qualification service used by buyers of products and services throughout the British rail industry. The scheme enables McNicholas and other contracting organisations to both buy sub contracted services with confidence from other organisations which have undergone the rigorous third party assessment and to offer our services to Network Rail, Transport for London and other major contractors. The scheme helps suppliers by providing an open, fair and transparent way for them to be formally assessed and recognised as capable providers of products and services and in so doing helps facilitate the management of supply chain risk.
Qualifying for the RISQS scheme involves the completion and maintenance of an on line questionnaire which covers a range of topics such as health and safety, sustainability, social responsibility and corporate management. Also included is an itemised list of activities or services which the organisation carries out. These are referred to as product codes and cover the technical capabilities of the organisation. McNicholas currently hold 146 different product codes which cover a range of diverse activities such as DC cable installation, points heating, civils works, building and telecoms.
Each year a comprehensive RISQS audit is carried out and the McNicholas audit commenced on 15th May and lasted four days. The protocol includes three key modules:
• Industry minimum requirements,
• Sentinel scheme rules
• and Railway Interface Planning
The Railway Interface Planning audit looks at the systems we have in place to keep people safe from trains whilst working on railway infrastructure. During the four days of audit, sixteen people who perform various roles from different parts of the McNicholas rail business including Source Design Services were interviewed and assessed. The audit required people to provide evidence that they were working to a controlled company standard, that they had the required training or competence to undertake roles safely and could provide evidence that the procedures they described had been followed. The inspection also covered support functions such as HSQE and training as well as technical activities relating to design and construction.
This year’s audit was passed with no NCR’s or observations. We retained our 5 star rating and extended our scope of approval to include a number of additional track related product codes.