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Certification is mind(ful) of the gap this Rail Week!

Thu, 07 October, 2021

October 4 saw the start of Rail Week and a full week dedicated to addressing the skills shortage in rail-related roles. Here at TWI Certification Ltd (TWI CL), through our work as an End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) we are steadfast supporters of STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Maths) subjects, but also about encouraging young people to “explore every opportunity” when it comes to their career choices, as according to the Young Rail Professionals (YRP) “many children, parents and teachers don’t realise the variety of jobs and opportunities available [in the rail sector]”[1]

To answer Rail Week’s call to “showcase big or small rail engineering projects"[2], TWI CL has placed the spotlight on two of its certification schemes - Certification for Welding of Railway Vehicles and Components (CWRVC), and the Welding Fabricator Certification Scheme (WFCS) with Welding of Rail and Track Components. 

Certification in accordance with the CWRVC scheme shows a company’s compliance with EN 15085: Railway Applications - Welding of Railway Vehicles and Components, and is a high profile, clearly visible way of demonstrating a company, and its personnel’s ability to produce railway vehicles and their components. Companies certified against CWRVC are able to conduct the welding of metallic materials in the manufacture and maintenance of railway vehicles and undertake the manufacture of new parts and repair work. All of which is important in the maintaining of the railways that are becoming more “modern, technologically advanced and highly sustainable”[3].

Our WFCS with Welding of Rail and Track Components, provides certification in accordance with ISO 3834, compliance with Network Rails Track Engineering Maintenance Audit Checklist Q17 and assurance of welding capability and personnel competence requirements of the RISQS audit. This certification is relevant to a range of welding applications in the rail sector, such as, welding for new track installation, track renewal, maintenance and repair, of plain rail, switches, crossings, and transition pieces. In addition to assessment of compliance with ISO 3834 requirements for welding of mainline track, the WFCS is also applicable to underground mass transit rail networks, embedded light rail systems, and heavy rail systems for cranes.

Not only do those companies and their employees, certified within these schemes have to have relevant knowledge of the rail industry, but those who work for TWI CL, who conduct their assessment must do too. TWI CL has specialist assessors who ensure clients’ compliance with the standards, and that their facilities, operations, products, processes, materials and personnel, are competent to conduct the work so vital within the industry. Just another example of the many different ways you can work within the rail industry!

Emma Freckingham, Head of Company Certification, TWI CL said “The looming skills gap in engineering is a concern for every aspect of the industry, and as such, it is important that everyone, from individuals to global multinational companies step up to help demonstrate the diverse range of careers in engineering. By participating in Rail Week, and highlighting the myriad of ways young people can work within, and contribute to, the rail industry, we hope to do our part with bridging the gap!”

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