pts card jobs

PTS Card for Railway Jobs

By 02/07/2024 General Blog

The , Known as the PTS Card

In the United Kingdom, everyone who works on or near Network Rail rails must have a Sentinel Card. It's also required in the Republic of Ireland. Before taking “personal track safety” training, each potential employee must pass a medical examination as well as a drug and alcohol test.

The Sentinel Card is a smartcard that links to an online database, providing details of the holder's competencies and other information. This may include:

Medical certificate (expiry based on age).
PTS (AC or ) (expiry two to five years)
PICOP, , IWA, and others.

Deregulation of the UK's national railway service has resulted in an increase in the number of subcontractors working on the tracks. Contractors are frequently utilized for certain restricted projects and are frequently from organizations that were not previously thought to have “railway pedigrees or cultures.”.

To work on or near the track, the individual employee must be certified, and multiple degrees of competence and responsibility must be examined.

Network Rail's minimum level of track access is the Personal Track Safety Certificate (PTS), as established by railway safety regulations NR/L2/CTM/021. These levels of certification simply examine the individual's ability to work safely on the track. This indicates that the individual is capable of responding and reacting appropriately to situations that may develop in this potentially harmful setting. Individuals should not have a condition or be taking any drug that might cause abrupt incapacity, loss of consciousness, dizziness, impairment of awareness, concentration, balance, coordination, or any major limitation of movement, hearing, or vision. Persons with mild medical impairments (e.g., color blindness) may still be granted a PTS, but the card will have a blue circle to notify the (COSS) of the person's condition. Similarly, individuals who have just received their PTS certificate will see a green square on their online record indicating their ‘new' status, as well as a blue hard hat instead of the standard white hard hat.

The medical examination required for PTS certification does not address the medical specificity of actions that an individual may be expected to do in their daily job while working on the track. For example, handling machinery or being responsible for other employees necessitates a more thorough evaluation of the job description and processes.

A licensed medical professional must assess these certifications medically. In the case of PTS, Network Rail has given its approval to RISQS.

Providers of this service are duly registered, and they are audited on a regular basis to verify that they fulfill the quality control requirements for the specific performance criteria and training required to conduct medical evaluations reliably.

The Office of Rail and Road has been responsible for overseeing the PTS requirements since 2006.

The PTS Card, or Personal Track Safety Card, enables individuals to legally secure on or nearby United Kingdom Network Rail train tracks. Sentinel, Network Rail's chosen identity card program, is responsible for issuing the card. The Sentinel card is valid for 5 years, and it is the doorway to TFL careers, network rail careers, HSS2 careers, and other . But the PTS card endorsement is only valid for 2 years, after which the worker will have to do a PTS refresher course.

The Personal Track Safety Course, or PTS Course, discusses a number of safe working procedures that guard against falls, trips, electrocutions, and train strikes.  Having a PTS card makes you more employable within the railway.

If you're new to Track Safety, it's best to start by knowing what a PTS card actually is.  Technically, when people refer to the PTS card, they're really referring to having the PTS competence on their Sentinel card.

Anyone looking to work on or near the railway line requires a Personal Track Safety card, which is obtained by completing the Initial Personal Track Safety Course, or PTS, from an approved training provider.

When you've completed your PTS course, your Sentinel profile will be updated, and updates will be uploaded to your Sentinel card to reflect your new competence, allowing you to access work trackside.


Who Needs a PTS Course?

Any rail staff who wants to work near or on the railway line in the UK will need a PTS card to do so.  It is not possible to work trackside without it.  This will need to be presented to the Controller of Site Safety (COSS) via your Sentinel smartcard to gain access.


How Long Is The PTS Card For?

Currently, Personal Track Safety competencies are valid for two years, at which point you'll need to take a PTS Renewal or re-certification course, which will take one full day to complete, unlike the initial PTS course, which lasts for 2.5 days.


How Much Does the PTS Card Cost?

If you've never taken or completed a PTS course before, you'll need to take the PTS Initial, which will consist of e-learning modules and a practical day being tracked before being certified. The cost depends on the approved railway training centre.


How to Apply for a PTS Card

You need PTS sponsorship—this can be the rail company you work for, a company you would like to work for or a rail recruitment and training company.

You will need to undergo and pass a medical, drugs and alcohol test before attending a PTS course.

Attend and pass the Initial Personal Track Safety course. This will be 2.5-day course covering a practical and written exam.

Upon passing both exams, you'll need to provide proof of your ID and 2 passport photographs.

Your Sponsor will initiate proceedings to order your Sentinel card, which can take up to 11 working days to arrive once the order has been placed.


Training Course for the PTS Card

As part of obtaining your Sentinel PTS card, you need to complete the Initial Personal Track Safety Course. The training course takes 2 days to complete. By the end of the training, you should have an understanding of the Sentinel Scheme and how the Track Safety Handbook is relevant to you. The contents of the Initial PTS Course will help you stay safe and maintain a safe working environment around tracks.


The units include:

Introduction to working on the track

Accessing and Exiting the Track

Working Safely

Communication and Teamwork skills

Emergency Procedures

safe system of work

AC Electric Equipment

DCCR Electrification Equipment

Network Rail E-Learning module for PTS

Before taking the Initial PTS Course, you are required to complete a network-based learning module. Once you have registered for your course, your training provider will send it to you.

A written assessment and a practical assessment are both used to evaluate the Initial Personal Track Safety Course. You will need to pass both to pass the course.


Course eligibility

To be eligible for the Initial PTS Course, you will need to be above the age of 16, have passed a medical test and a drug and alcohol screening, as well as have a sponsor from an approved company.

Upon completion of the course, you will receive a Personal Track Safety (PTS) card, which shows your competence to work track-side. You will need this to apply for your PTS Card from Sentinel.


Here is a list of some of the and certifications you can obtain:

PTS Personal Track Safety for non-electrified lines

COSS Controller of site safety

PTS AC Personal Track Safety for AC-Electrified Lines

PC Protection Controller

PTS DC Personal Track Safety for DC-Electrified Lines


LKT Lookout and site warden

PICOP: Person in charge of possession

LKT (P) Lookout trained to use Pee Wee


LKT (K) Lookout trained to use kango warning equipment

NP OLE/AC-i Nominated person

AOD: HS Handsignaller

AP OLE/AC-i Authorized person

AOD: LXA Level crossing attendant

RIO Rail Incident officer

AOD: PO Points operator

BSN1 Bridge strike nominee grade 1

IWA Individual working alone

BSN 2 Bridge strike nominee grade 2

TRKIND Track induction

BSE Bridge strike examining engineer

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