Competency Development Specialist


Location: Cheshire East

Job Type: Full time


Perfection not required
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Our commitment to you, once you join our team, is to foster growth and provide developmental opportunities to ensure you reach your utmost potential.

An opportunity has arisen to join our team at Crewe as a Competency Development Specialist.

Purpose of the role

Reporting to the Deputy General Manager you will contribute to the achievement of the day-to-day running of UK rail operations.

You will be responsible for the competence monitoring, development and assessment of the rail operations team (principally train drivers), in order to meet the on-going business requirements.

There is a requirement to undertake an on-call commitment with this role.

Main duties and responsibilities


You have specific responsibilities on a day to day basis for the occupational health and safety of employees in your area, and which includes all locations where your drivers or groundstaff visit.

  • Ensure a positive safety culture is developed within your area of responsibility, which is supported by robust safety processes in accordance with company, industry standards and legislation.
  • Ensure that all your drivers are trained in emergency procedures for major incident/a accident management.
  • Ensure that any operating or occupational accidents and incidents involving employees in your reporting line are properly recorded and investigated to a productive conclusion.
  • Ensure that safety arrangements are adhered to and protect the health and safety of employees, other rail users, and the public.
  • Compliance with your duty to take care of your own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by yours/ their own actions at work.

Compliance and Standards

  • Deliver the highest standards in connection with the company driver/ groundstaff assessment process, and in line with business requirements at all times.
  • Ensure that your drivers/ groundstaff are provided with timely training and continuous development in order to meet all competencies and standards.
  • Ensure that delivery of the assessment plan to strict timescales with emphasis on continuous improvement, to meet all competencies and standards.
  • Ensure all records in relation to competence assessment process is completed correctly and acted upon as and when required.
  • Ensure all groundstaff, driver Instructors and mentor Drivers are trained, briefed, and equipped to undertake all tasks associated with their roles.
  • Take proactive steps to retain personal train driving competences and compliance with appropriate internal and external “Group” standards in order to carry out this role.


  • To ensure the effective delivery of resources to deploy drivers to meet the train plan, within allocated budget and within performance and safety standards.
  • Ensure that processes are in place to reduce impact minutes, through TOPS/ TRUST, mitigate loco failures and reductions – working in conjunction with your colleagues, Control, and other stakeholders as appropriate.

Specific role-related tasks and activities

  • Deliver driver/trainee driver assessments utilising practical rides, written exams, computer-based assessment, and driver simulating scenarios in accordance with company and industry standards.
  • Liaise with your Deputy General Manager to ensure that driver and groundstaff training is being met consistently and effectively.
  • Assist with the delivery of other training activities outside of your area of responsibility when required.
  • Prepare and conduct assessments and examination of drivers and ground staff operations staff, from training stage, PQA and on an on-going basis.
  • Conduct bi-annual examinations in rules and regulations, traction knowledge and practical driving skills.
  • Maintain related competence records, certification, and route knowledge within EDS.
  • Review EDS to ensure all staff are within competence.
  • Undertake practical train handling and performance assessments - practical and theory, using locomotive data recorders.
  • Undertake classroom-based assessments and training to ensure safety compliance in accordance with Company Standards.
  • Undertake traction and route training / assessment of train drivers and location-specific training for groundstaff.
  • Where required, carry out investigations into operating incidents, including SPADs, accidents, local incidents, staff competence, staff attendance issues recommending and taking actions as necessary and as authorised (e.g. including removal from duties where competence concerns are identified.
  • Hold Safety Review Panels post incident
  • Create Competence Development Programs for staff and ensure agreed targets are met through defined review periods.
  • Interpret and analyse download data recordings (Qtron) and undertake investigations using Root Cause analysis.
  • Undertake routine location inspections as required (level 1, monthly), ensuring compliance with any LWIs, polices and standards.
  • Lead/ participate in all staff briefings, safety briefs, communications and initiatives to continuously improve safety across FL UK Rail Operations.
  • Represent the company when attending incidents, SPADs, derailments, signal sighting committees and assume the role of TOLO when necessary;
  • First Line ‘On Call’ commitment and when required attend to group incidents as requested;
  • Support and develop route knowledge and familiarisation strategies at local level, ensuring driver/ shunter productivity (e.g. examining and auditing route cards, maximising opportunities for new route learning and carrying out assessments in new routes as and where appropriate);
  • Conduct out of hours monitoring where necessary, to include weekend work;
  • Inspect drivers/ shunter weekly timesheet, claims for additional hours, and challenge when not satisfied;
  • To undertake additional/alternative work as requested by management;
  • Ensure all safety critical staff comply with their requirement of the company drug and alcohol policies (RG Gen 023);
  • Prepared to get involved in any other activities/ projects within your competence/ remit from time to time that add productive value to Rail Operations UK activities.

Key Job requirements

  • Thorough understanding of the principles of safe and efficient railway operation including but not limited to the application of operating instruction, policies, procedures, rule book, railways standards;
  • Experience of managing people within an operational environment;
  • Experience of working with unions at local level.

Qualifications and Training

  • Competent and medically capable of driving trains, with at least 3 years’ recent practical experience;
  • Hold industry standard training/ assessing qualifications;
  • Ability to work under pressure while maintaining high standards of safety and compliance;
  • Knowledge of Rules and Regulations as applicable to rail operations;
  • Competent in Level 3 & Level 4 NVQ Assessing;
  • Competent to undertake risk assessments;
  • Competent to undertake investigations using Root Cause Analysis, and to download and interpret Qtron data recorder information/TOLO
  • Good IT knowledge e.g. Microsoft packages, and ability to use and interpret data sourced from job-related software (e.g. TOPS/ ERIC/ Qtron).
  • Signal sighting desirable
  • SPAD management procedure and data collection desirable
  • Ability to write concise, factual-based reports to laid down standards, and with the ability to make clear recommendations based on factual evidence.
  • Diligent and self-motivated with strong interpersonal skills and effective people management skills;
  • A flexible approach to work is required, especially mobility in relation to training, as you may be expected to work away from the terminal at times which will involve some overnight accommodation in hotels;
  • Hold a full UK driving licence;
  • Ability to cope with occasional out of hours working requirements.
  • Good standard of education
  • TOPS, TRUST, DMS knowledge, 3SQ Railsmart, Q Pulse
  • Dangerous Goods Awareness
  • Personal Track Safety to Network Rail standard

Behavioural competences

  • Commitment to work safely, and that it is the first consideration in everything that we do;
  • Flexibility in respect of hours worked, location, application and output, dependant on the operational requirements of the business – you may be required to work out of hours, at weekends, or away from home on occasion;
  • Maintenance of trust, tact and confidentiality – any breach of confidentiality, pursuit of personal agendas, or expression of opinions not directly related to the requirements of this role will not be tolerated;
  • Awareness of the nature of our customers business requirements and an outward looking focus towards helping them achieve their objectives;
  • Ability to work to standardised instructions and processes and ensuring that others do the same.
  • Motivated to follow rules and procedures.
  • Influencing, persuading and motivating others.
  • Demonstrates interpersonal skill, empathy and understanding.
  • Demonstrates emotional control and management.
  • Demonstrates independence and fairness.

Statutory Duties

  • Health & Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974
  • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • The Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992
  • Data Protection Act 2002
  • ROGS, 2011

Safety Documentation and Equipment (which may be used)

  • Job description;
  • Rule Books and appendices;
  • Relevant Health and Safety Policies and procedures;
  • Alcohol and Drugs policy;
  • Freightliner train crew/ ground staff manuals;
  • Mobile phone and I-pad.
  • Freightliners RG-GENS/MIE’s/PSD’s

Please note this is not an exhaustive list of your duties and additional duties may be asked of you from time to time dependent on the business requirements.

We are looking for the most committed and reliable individuals who possess the knowledge, skills and experience needed for their roles.

In return we can offer competitive pay, excellent benefits, a competitive pension scheme and a rewarding career in an award-winning team

You’ve got this!