News from NSAR
Addendum to previous update
On 21st July the matter of UKRS v NSAR was restored to the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT). On the day before the hearing the parties received a letter from the President of the CAT, suggesting that a convenient means of dealing with the question of whether NSAR’s training and assessment auditing decisions are subject to competition law, would be for a Preliminary Issue hearing to determine the matter.
NSAR’s written submission to the Tribunal reiterated points made in an application to the CAT to strike out UKRS’s claim, namely that, in the context of the critical need to protect public and worker safety, NSAR’s obligations are not subject to review as a matter of competition law.
The CAT will provide the parties with an early date for the hearing of the Preliminary Issue.
For a full transcript of the hearing please refer to the CAT website (Case No 1258/5/7/16) or follow this link: http://www.catribunal.org.uk/237-9263/1258-5-7-16-UKRS-Training-Limited.html
On 17th May 2016 UKRS Training Ltd, an accredited training provider under the Rail Training Accreditation Scheme (RTAS), was suspended for three months with effect from 21st June 2016. NSAR concluded that UKRS had failed to demonstrate strong procedural processes, incomplete Safe System of Work Packs, the management of fatigue and working hours was ineffective and that the quality of the training pack verification was significantly below standard.
This is the second time that UKRS has failed an audit. It was previously suspended on 24th December 2015 after NSAR concluded that UKRS had failed to comply with close-out actions agreed during a standard audit in September 2015.
UKRS’s suspension came into effect once its appeal to NSAR was dismissed by letter on 17th May. During the period allowed for the appeal, NSAR postponed the commencement of the suspension.
NSAR declined further to delay the period of suspension when UKRS threatened legal proceedings. As a result, UKRS applied to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) for an interim injunction. At a hearing on 28th June 2016, the matter was adjourned on terms so that the injunction can be fairly heard on 21st July 2016. NSAR agreed that pending the hearing on 21st July 2016 or further order of the Tribunal, the period of the suspension should be postponed, so that UKRS will be entitled to register candidates for Sentinel Cards.
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NSAR-CONNECT: Rail’s New Apprenticeship Placement Service
NSAR’s analysis has shown a frequent loss of talented and willing individuals when applying to heavily-subscribed employer apprenticeship programmes. These could be the next generation of industry leaders whose skills, whilst not being suitable for one particular selection process, could greatly benefit another employer.
In light of the Government’s 2020 apprenticeship targets and continued pressures regarding skillsshortages and an ageing workforce, we believe there has never been a better time to introduce and launch NSAR-Connect for the benefit of the sector.
NSAR are pioneering the development of an online system that delivers Apprenticeship Placementsand will be for the benefit of either individuals looking to enter the rail market or to support employers looking for talent in the industry.
NSAR-Connect will support and maintain the wider attraction, development and retention of employees throughout their careers in the rail sector.
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To hear more, please register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org
New Rail Engineering Apprenticeships launched and ready for delivery
- Claire Perry congratulates the Rail Engineering Trailblazer Employers Group members and NSAR for the new standards.
- NSAR has been supporting the Rail Engineering Apprenticeship Employers Group in the development of new Apprenticeship Standards.
- Rail Engineering covers 7 pathways including Traction & Rolling Stock, Telecommunications, Signalling, Electrification & overhead line, Track and Rail Systems.
Rail Minister, Claire Perry has today (19 May 2016) welcomed the launch of new Apprenticeship Standards for Rail Engineering. These exciting apprenticeships are “ready for delivery” and employers will be recruiting soon. This is an unprecedented opportunity for young people to join a vibrant industry that pays well and offers excellent career prospects.
Claire Perry, Rail Minister said: “Training our rail workforce is essential if we want to build a transport network fit for the future. I congratulate the rail industry for putting together such a high quality range of engineering apprenticeships, which will create exciting pathways into the many highly skilled jobs in rail."
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NSAR is re-awarded with BS 11000 standard for collaborative business relationships
In March 2016, National Skills Academy for Rail was re-awarded the prestigious BS 11000 Standard for Collaborative Business Relationships. NSAR was the smallest organisation to achieve BS 11000, the new British Standard for Collaborative Working in May 2013.
NSAR’s successful re-certification of BS 11000 has been a result of the tangible benefits delivered to the organisations with which it partners. In the three-year period since initial certification in 2013, there has been regular audit of embedded best practice by the Standard’s regulative authority BSI. NSAR has consistently demonstrated adherence to the framework’s principles and exhibited the key behaviours that underpin the entire approach: trust and collaboration.
NSAR’s CEO, Neil Robertson said: “NSAR encourages greater use of quality systems in Rail. We work in collaboration with all parts of rail; hence we want to make sure we demonstrate consistency and good practice in our partnerships. BS 11000 helps us do that. “
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NSAR welcomes Nicola Shaw’s endorsement of the importance of skills
The Department for Transport has today (Wednesday 16 March) published Nicola Shaw’s review into the future shape and financing of Network Rail from the start of Control Period 6 (2019).
NSAR welcomes the findings of Shaw Report on skills and endorses the strong recommendations in support of rail future skills and diversity. On behalf of the industry, NSAR is already delivering the Skills Delivery Plan.
Neil Robertson, NSAR’s CEO said: "NSAR is already working with all parts of the industry on the skills plan- there is much to do."
Nicola Shaw said: "People are one of the railway’s greatest assets. But the industry as a whole needs to support and grow the pool of skilled and talented people working in the railway better."
Click here to download the full report from the DfT website.
Rail Sector Skills Delivery Plan Workshop
The Rail industry came together at Rail Skills Delivery Plan Workshops to to identify the sector skills approach, activity and interventions required to ensure rail businesses have the people and skills required to develop, maintain and operate the GB railway; now and in the future.
Now we will analyse the data and consider the whole trajectory from identification of skills needs and workforce planning through sector attractiveness, capability development requirements, qualifications, standards and assurance. The skills delivery plan will respond to the Government’s TISS Report, as well as the Rail Supply Group’s sector strategy and the delivery of CP5 & CP6 projects.
NSAR welcomes the Transport and Infrastructure Skills Strategy Report and supports the rail sector in stepping up to the challenge
28 January 2016
NSAR welcomes the launch of the Transport and Infrastructure Skills Strategy Report (TISS) published on 28th January by the Department for Transport under the leadership of Terry Morgan CBE and supports the vision, analysis and the challenging recommendations placed by the strategy.
Through a sector wide collaboration, NSAR will support the rail industry and its supply chain to deliver the step change needed.
NSAR will be holding three skills delivery plan workshops in March to identify the sector skills approach, activity and interventions required to ensure rail businesses have the people and skills required to develop, maintain and operate the GB railway; now and in the future. We will consider the whole trajectory from identification of skills needs and workforce planning through sector attractiveness, capability development requirements, qualifications, standards and assurance. The skills delivery plan will respond to the Government’s TISS Report, as well as the Rail Supply Group’s sector strategy and the delivery of CP5 & CP6 projects.
For more information how you can get involved in the sector skills delivery plan please contact Stefan Berci: Stefan.email@example.com
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Less is more. NSARE becomes NSAR – The National Skills Academy for Rail
1 December 2015
At NSARE’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, 1st December, attended by delegates from more than 50 Member organisations, the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE) changed its name to National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) to reflect that its service now extends to the whole rail industry, including operations, service delivery and digital technology.
This is not a strategic shift - NSAR will continue to focus on our pressing engineering skills shortages, providing skills intelligence, quality assurance services, supporting apprenticeship standards, and strategic advice on skills and workforce development. We are grateful for the generous support we have already had from RDG, individual TOCs and the ROSCOs. Rail now has the single focal point on skills it needs and deserves.
NSAR Skills Update
One of the highlights of this year’s AGM held at the National Training Academy for Rail in Northampton was the Skills Update. The event examined recent developments in rail skills and how the industry is responding.
Click here to see the Skills Update presentations
Click here to download the new NSAR logo
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