Rail Independent Assurance

Trusted independent scrutiny

An internationally renowned portfolio of independent assurance, accredited certification, and product testing services for the rail sector.

Extensive experience

Since 2005, we have issued more than 2,000 certificates and assessment reports to client railway projects around the world. 

Collaborative tools

Our clients have access to the Ricardo Compliance Tool to reduce administration and gain efficiencies during the approvals process.

Ricardo Compliance Tool
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Accredited assurance and certification

Ricardo Certification comprises a set of companies within the Ricardo group accredited against inspection and certification standards to perform assurance and testing services in line with national and international rules and approval processes.

Our teams are globally recognised for their detailed understanding of railways around the world, leading to their appointments on some of the world's most challenging and high-profile railway engineering programmes.

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In the rail sector, a Notified Body (NoBo) is an organisation accredited to provide conformity assessments of products and subsystems against the relevant requirements of the European Directive on the Interoperability of the Rail System.*

We help clients achieve a Certificate of Conformity by deploying multi- disciplinary teams of specialists to compile the Technical File and offer objective feedback throughout.

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Ricardo Certification Limited is also accredited to provide Approved Body (ApBo) services in the UK.

Following the UK's departure from the EU in January 2021, much of the legislative landscape remained unchanged, although some terminology was updated. The TSIs were replaced by National Technical Specification Notices (NTSNs). The term 'Notified Body' was replaced with Approved Body (ApBo). In the UK , it is the responsibility of an ApBo to assess the railway sub-systems against the NTSNs.

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Ricardo's railway product certification service provides third-party product approval attesting to a product’s conformity with EN17065 - or equivalent client-nominated standards or specifications - and verification of an appropriate quality system.

The service is based on a design review and type testing and analysis, and is available for a wide range of systems and equipment across conventional, light rail and metro applications, with teams based across Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

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A Designated Body (DeBo) in the rail sector is an organisation accredited to undertake assessments of a project for compliance with notified national technical rules (NNTR).

Ricardo Certification companies that are accredited as a Certification Body to ISO/IEC 17065 are also appointed/recognised as a Designated Body (DeBo) and can carry out conformity assessments against national rules in a range of European territories, or collaborate with local organisations to provide the necessary services.

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The European Commission Common Safety Method on Risk Evaluation and Assessment Regulation 402/2013 (CSM RA), as amended by Regulation 2015/1136, provides a legal obligation and mandatory framework for assessing the risk associated with significant engineering, operational and organisational changes to the EU and UK mainline railways.

An Assessment Body (AsBo) is an independent party appointed to assess the application of the hazard management safety risk process applied during a project, culminating in a Safety Assessment Report.

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Ricardo Certification Limited offers an accredited service against ISO/IEC EN 17065 for the verification of conformity of an engineering change against applicable requirements, for all types of On Track Machines (OTM) in the UK.

This service can be used to demonstrate conformity with Railway Group Standards (RGSs) applicable to rail vehicles.

Our verification process is designed to objectively confirm that your projects comply with relevant legislation and regulations (including those relevant to safety), your management systems, and associated requirements or processes that you adopt.

Safety and quality assurance services

Like many safety-critical sectors, railways have influential stakeholders — governments, regulators, financial institutions and passengers — who expect a degree of third-party assurance on issues related to safety and quality.

In addition to our accredited certification services, we provide clients with experts who undertake objective assessments throughout the development of a product, subsystem or entire railway

By requesting the continual oversight of a third party with no financial interest or connection to the project, clients are sending a reassuring message of transparency to passengers, regulators, investors and employees alike.


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Performed as either an accredited or unaccredited service, an ISA confirms if a product, system or entire railway meets industry, legal and regulatory standards related 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.

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Our software assurance services can help organisations across the rail sector reduce the risk of failures and cost overruns, whilst ensuring appropriate levels of security, reliability and functionality.

We ensure that client software meets the requirements of international standards - such as IEC61508, EN50128, ISO17894, IEC 61511, ISO/IEC 12207, DEF STAN 00-56, MILSTD- 882D and ISO/IEC 15408 – and can also provide guidance on hazard management, design review, change control, configuration management and administration of geographic/configuration data.

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Major railway programmes benefit from Independent Verification and Validation (IVV) support as it allows project owners to identify high-risk areas and decide cost-efficient interventions at the earliest opportunity.

IVV involves audits and assessments performed by experts who gather evidence throughout the project lifecycle. The process concludes with formal certification to confirm the project has been delivered with due care and attention to factors such as safety and quality throughout its development.

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Railway vehicle and infrastructure testing

With more than 20 years' experience in testing and measurement services, our ISO/IEC 17025 accredited team can help define, plan and action your entire programme, bringing extensive experience of vehicle test runs on both in-service track and test rings.

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To secure the authorisation of a vehicle or infrastructure asset, the manufacturers and/or owners must provide evidence of compliance with relevant regulations.

We have extensive experience of assurance testing -  the type tests required for authorisation –  to demonstrate compliance with TSIs, UIC and EN standards, as well as to local regulations. We have worked with many major rail product manufacturers, helping them execute complex test programmes and delivering results on time for certification.

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To help reduce costs and lead time, we offer virtual testing as an alternative to physical testing programmes, or as an aid to early design & engineering stages. Based on your needs, we will advise on the appropriate approach - from a simplified mathematical model to a complete digital twin - with all validation undertaken in accordance with industry standards.

Recent assignments include virtual simulations of fire safety and evacuation in vehicles, tunnels and stations; traction energy supply; pantograph and catenary behaviour modelling, and structural analysis (FEM).

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Test programmes often require extra precautions to ensure they are performed safely and under the required operational conditions, especially when using in-service infrastructure.

Our teams can support you through every aspect of a test programme, including:

  • Application for temporary authorisation from the NSA to perform the test programme
  • Provision of Intermediate Statement of Verification
  • Risk assessments
  • Coordination with key stakeholders
  • Provision of safety supervisors

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We provide monitoring and measurement services that help asset owners improve operational performance.

Using a tailored approach for each situation – with technologies ranging from IoT sensor networks to semi-permanent data loggers – we can deliver detailed analysis of emerging defects, assist your teams in optimising maintenance processes, or monitor a range of operational matters such as track condition, energy efficiency and noise reduction.

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We conduct measurement programmes of electrical and mechanical quantities - including currents and voltages, accelerations, forces, temperature and air pressure – supported by specialist analysis that draws on an in-depth understanding of rolling stock and network infrastructure behaviours. 

All assignments are planned and delivered to the highest professional standards - accredited according to ISO/IEC 17025 - and overseen by a dedicated and experienced team using state-of-the-art measuring equipment.

In many cases, we can offer remote and fully autonomous programmes that help minimise the impact on asset availability.

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Drawing upon many years' experience of conducting railway asset test programmes, we frequently provide clients with a range of specialist advice and support, including:

  • 'Quick scan' sense-checks before testing starts, providing input and advice on the most efficient way to perform a test program
  • Test programme project management
  • Compliance matrix to determine what needs to be tested and keep track of the provided proof

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Our experience

Case studies
Elizabeth Line Crossrail London Railway Safety Tour

Elizabeth line - Crossrail

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Utrecht tram integration testing

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Ricardo Appointed To Support Transformation Of The Greater Toronto Rail Network

Metrolinx safety assessment

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Further information

Digitalsec Rail

Ricardo Compliance Tool

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Rail Testing Services

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Introduction to CMREA (Canadian Method for Risk Evaluation and Assessment) image

Introduction to CMREA (Canadian Method for Risk Evaluation and Assessment)

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