Independent Safety Assessment

Confirming your railway product or system fulfils relevant safety standards.

Independent Safety Assessment

An Independent Safety Assessment (ISA) is a service undertaken by a third party to confirm that a product, system or entire railway meets recognised industry, legal and regulatory standards that relate to safety.

It can encompass the safety assessment and audit of any design, manufacture, installation, testing and safety documentation for the engineering systems, and extend to any procedures, preparations and safety policies in place ahead of a railway's entry into service or a product's release to the market.

ISA can be provided as an accredited service (ie against specific/mandated regulations) by one of our registered certification companies, or unaccredited, which is typically as a voluntary exercise by a manufacturer or system developer seeking to demonstrate their commitment to safety.

Appointing an ISA demonstrates that your business is committed to operating in a safe, sustainable and efficient manner.

By proving that the safety aspects of your products or systems have been subjected to rigorous and continual oversight by a third party with no financial interest or connection to the project, you are sending a reassuring message of transparency to passengers, regulators, investors and employees.

ISA can be performed as either an accredited or unaccredited service.

Ricardo Certification Limited, Ricardo Certification Iberia S.L and Ricardo Beijing Company Ltd offer an accredited ISA service under their respective accreditations to ISO/IEC 17020 as an Inspection Body.

Ricardo Rail Australia is an Authorised Engineering Organisation, which can provide ISA services for Transport for New South Wales in Australia.

Ricardo Certification Limited is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) as an Inspection Body under ISO/IEC 17020 to offer ISA services in Canada. 

Ricardo's accredited companies have worked on the assessment of new products and systems, changes to complex products, overseen updates to existing systems, and supported new railways from initial design to commissioning.

The ISA service applies the CENELEC EN50126 and EN50129 standards as the basic criteria against which the safety engineering of railway products and systems are assessed. They define a systems and safety engineering lifecycle and the contents of safety cases for railway safety systems.

These standards call up a range of other relevant standards such as CENELEC EN50128 and EN50657 for software, CENELEC EN50121 for electromagnetic compatibility, and CENELEC EN50159 for communications.

However, ISA work can also be performed against other relevant standards, such as IEC 61508. We can also apply standards directly relevant to electrical and mechanical systems and civil structures for specific products and railway sub-systems.

Ricardo Rail Action 002
Independent Safety Assessment


This service is offered within the following sectors.

Discover our case studies

Toronto Subway Line 2 - Scarborough extension

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Doha Metro

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Toronto Ontario Line

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Independent Safety Assessment Resources

Ricardo providing safety oversight for extension of Toronto subway’s Line 2

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Ricardo providing safety oversight of new fleet for South East Queensland

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Ricardo to perform safety assessment role for Toronto’s new subway route

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