Safety on the railway is the number one priority of Network Rail and NSAR and both organisations work tirelessly to ensure that training and competence of individuals working on the railway is constantly improving and meeting the standards set out in the RTAS rules. Training Providers and Trainers who fail to follow the prescribed routes to competence for individuals that they train are investigated.
During 2016 Thompson Training Limited and Mr Stephen Thompson, trainer, were believed to have committed a number of serious breaches of the Rail Training and Assessment (RTAS) Rules and after lengthy investigations a 4 year period of suspension was imposed.
Thompson Training and Stephen Thompson were found to have issued competencies to individuals who had not completed the relevant training sufficiently to warrant the award.
The breaches related to the following:
- delivering training to more delegates than the maximum number prescribed;
- delivering training in less hours or days than the minimum number prescribed;
- shortening the duration of courses;
Mr Thompson and Thompson Training Ltd subsequently appealed the decision to a panel convened by Network Rail. The Appeal Panel upheld the original decision to suspend Thompson Training and Stephen Thompson due to systemic deliberate deviations from the RTAS Rules posing risks to the Network Rail Managed Infrastructure that also constituted serious continuous contravention of the RTAS Rules.
The suspension will run until June 2020.