Director, Railway Safety & HM Chief Inspector of Railways

  • Job Reference: SEP20239763
  • Date Posted: 18 September 2023
  • Recruiter: Office of Rail and Road (ORR)
  • Website:
  • Location: London
  • Remote Working: Some remote working possible
  • Salary: £147,000
  • Sector: Senior Executive Positions, Other Rail Jobs, Safety & Health Management
  • Job Type: Permanent

Job Description

We are looking for a high-performing leader to join the senior leadership team and take forward some of the most interesting challenges facing the future of Britain’s railway and England’s strategic road network.

The Railway Safety Directorate (RSD) works to ensure duty-holders in the railway industry manage health and safety risks effectively and comply with their statutory duties. Britain has one of the safest railways in Europe – for passengers and for workers. We regulate health and safety for the entire mainline rail network in Britain, as well as London Underground, light rail, trams and the heritage sector. We want to make sure that our railways are safe for those who use and work on the network by:

• providing health and safety guidance and conducting research to promote continuous improvement;

• developing health and safety policy and supporting the Department for Transport with regulation, if necessary;

• publishing reports on the rail industry's health and safety performance;

• carrying out inspections to ensure that the train and freight operating companies and Network Rail, London Underground, light rail and trams manage both passenger and occupational health and safety risks appropriately;

• investigating breaches of health and safety regulation on the railways; and

• taking informal and formal enforcement action, including improvement notices and prosecutions.

The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate they meet the essential criteria and behaviours below


• Significant experience in the management or oversight of health and safety, in an infrastructure network or safety critical operations;

• Experience at a senior level of risk mitigation;

• Good understanding of a regulator’s role in the supervision of health and safety management in a safety critical industry with the ability to effect action in a decisive and timely manner;

• Experience in not only delivering results in your own area of accountability but also constructively influencing change with your colleagues across a wider organisation;

• Experience of publicly representing an organisation at a senior level and dealing with complex political, trade union and media issues;

• Commercial awareness and capability to contribute effectively towards a safe and efficient rail system; and

• Experience of successfully building and sustaining strong relationships with senior stakeholders - including interfaces between the private and public sectors – to deliver objectives. 


 • High intellectual capability and a capacity to move between strategic thinking and technical detail;

• Excellent communication skills, including the ability to distil complex technical messages and represent the organisation;

• Sound independent and impartial judgement, based on an ability to consider complex issues from an informed and balanced viewpoint;

• Very strong influencing skills, including the ability to manage complex and senior stakeholder relationships;

• Strong people leadership skills with the ability to attract, lead, motivate and develop colleagues at all levels to the highest standards;

• Confidence in leading change with the ability to navigate through ambiguity; and

• Ability to operate as an effective and strong team player. 

Working arrangements: Full-time. Flexible working will be considered. Benefits Whatever your role, we take your career and development seriously, and want to enable you to build a successful career within ORR and the wider Civil Service. It is crucial that our employees have the right skills to develop their careers and meet the challenges ahead, and you will benefit from regular performance and development reviews to ensure this development is ongoing. As a Civil Service employee, you will be entitled to a large range of benefits. 

These include:

• 25 days annual leave on entry, increasing on a sliding scale to 30 days after 5 years’ service;

• this is in addition to 8 public holidays; • this will be complemented by one further day of paid privilege entitlement to mark the King’s Birthday;

• a competitive contributory pension scheme that you can enter as soon as you join where we will make a significant contribution to the cost of your pension; where your contributions come out of your salary before any tax is taken; and where your pension will continue to provide valuable benefits for you and your family if you are too ill to continue to work or die before you retire;

• flexible working patterns and access to Flexible Working Schemes allowing you to vary your working day as long as you work your total hours;

• My Lifestyle benefits: we offer access to a range of benefits and discounts to suit your lifestyle. Savings include discounts at hundreds of retailers, gift card discounts, holiday offers and gym discounts;

• We offer an excellent occupational health service and Employee Assistance Programme. For example, we usually provide flu vaccinations every year, as well as workstation assessments and free eye tests; you also have access to 24/7/365 counselling.

We are working with Audellis, an executive search agency, who have been appointed to assist with this appointment. To apply for this post, you will need to submit the following documentation, CV, Statement of Suitability and a Diversity monitoring form to quoting, REF - ORR Director Railway Safety, by no later than 23:55 on the 9 October 2023. 

For an informal conversation about the role or your suitability, please contact Rachel Huggins at

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is an independent, non-ministerial UK government department, established by, and accountable directly to, Parliament. We protect the interests of current and future rail and road users, overseeing the safety, value and performance of the railways and monitoring the performance and efficiency of England’s strategic road network.

We regulate Network Rail, including setting the targets it has to achieve, and report regularly on its performance. We regulate health and safety standards and compliance across the whole rail industry. We oversee competition and consumer rights issues – driving a better deal for rail passengers and taxpayers and we regulate the High Speed 1 link to the Channel Tunnel. We hold National Highways to account on its commitments to improve the performance and efficiency of England’s strategic road network. ORR comprises a governing board appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport and over 360 professionals, spanning engineering, railway health and safety, economics, competition, statistical analysis and corporate services, operating from six offices across the country.