Relief Production Manager - North West & Midlands


Location: Cheshire East

Job Type: Full time


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 for a Relief Production Manager, reporting to the Head of Operations you will contribute to the achievement of day-to-day UK rail operations. You will be responsible for the development and provision of a suitably trained, equipped and assessed rail operations team (principally train drivers and ground staff where applicable), in order to meet on-going business requirements.

There is a requirement to undertake an on-call commitment with this role, however this will be for your home depot only and when away at other depots you will maintain your place in your home depots On-Call Link.

As this is a relief role, you will be expected to work anywhere that the business requires you to do so, for any specified period of time, which includes lodging away. You may be required to undertake both short and long term coverage of existing managers due to absence, or due to their own excessive workload.

Your primary role is to allow the business to support areas for specific lengths of time, where there are vacancies, absence or projects which require support for the substantive role of a Production Manager.

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.


                Guide, support your team through leadership, teamwork, motivation and involvement; Provide support and advice to your teams, and using all tools at your disposal, to include the development and maintenance of an effective briefing structure to address general business, safety, performance and other company issues;

                  Ensure that all staff and drivers in your report line receive adequate health and safety training;

                    Ensure employees are appropriately monitored and managed to address unacceptable levels of attendance, performance or conduct;

                      Co-operate with the commercial teams to plan future route learning priorities with special reference to the changeable infrastructure programme. Liaise with rosters to ensure efficient use of rostered days at work, minimising dependence on free day working.

                        Where required, carry out formal/ informal competence development / attendance or disciplinary warnings in accordance with relevant policies, procedures and agreements;

                          Ensure that all staff welfare issues are dealt with to conclusion in accordance with appropriate polices and standards.

                          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 paperwork in relation to competence assessment process is completed correctly and acted upon as and when required;

                                    Liaise closely with your Manager and other Production Managers on driver assessments/ groundstaff assessments;

                                      Ensure all groundstaff, Driver Instructors and Minder 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/ groundstaff 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;

                                              Actively manage, through the drivers and groundstaff, effective and timely train performance working in unison with other members of staff to a common aim of minimising late running/ delays;

                                                Ensure that the manpower plan/ budget within your area of responsibility is managed proactively, and that staff numbers and overtime is managed to budgeted/ authorised levels.(note para 10 and 11 above)

                                                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;

                                                    Be prepared to lodge away from your home base as and when required and undertake assessments at other locations around the UK extent of Freightliners Rail Operational Network.

                                                      Liaise with various Deputy General Managers and group Standards as necessary, in order 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 driver and shunter records/ certification and develop/ implement a rolling programme which ensures total compliance where appropriate;

                                                              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 form 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; Interpret and analyse down load 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 5 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;

                                                                                                      Good IT knowledge e.g. Microsoft packages, and ability to use and interpret data sourced from job-related software (e.g. TOPS/ ERIC/ Qtron);

                                                                                                        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.

                                                                                                              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.

                                                                                                                        Qualifications and training (including safety)

                                                                                                                          Good standard of education

                                                                                                                            Full UK driving license

                                                                                                                              TOPS, TRUST, DMS knowledge, IRMA platform or equivalent

                                                                                                                                Dangerous Goods Awareness

                                                                                                                                  Personal Track Safety to Network Rail standard

                                                                                                                                    Effective incident management training

                                                                                                                                    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!