HM Inspector of Railways – Trainee

Job Description

Team information

The ORR protects the interests of rail and road users by improving the safety, value and performance of railways and roads, today and in the future. Through our railway safety directorate work we:

Protect the health and safety of everyone associated with the rail industry by ensuring railway businesses have mature health and safety management in place. This includes identifying, assessing and controlling risks properly.

  • Seek assurances across all the sectors we regulate to confirm that duty holders are controlling risk.
  • Track risks and overall health and safety performance using data, industry risk modelling, and intelligence from our inspections, audits, and investigations. This gives us a picture of the risk control and management maturity of each duty holder, each sector and the rail industry as a whole, and how they are changing over time.
  • Look to identify where duty holders are not complying with the law, then take enforcement action to ensure that employees, passengers, and members of the public are protected.
  • Follow our Health and Safety Regulation Strategy which explains how we will enforce health and safety law.
  • Collectively, use evidence from our activities to help guide our strategy and priorities so that we can continue to ensure risks are effectively managed.

We are currently recruiting two trainee health and safety regulatory inspectors in our London, office.

Job Purpose

We are looking for enthusiastic, inquisitive, and highly motivated team-playing individuals, who want to work within our operational team to make a difference to health and safety on Britain's railways.

As one of His Majesty's Inspectors of Railways you will regulate health and safety for railway workers, passengers and others who interface with railway operations on mainline, non-mainline, tram and heritage railways, undertaking inspections, investigation, enforcement, and other front-line engagement.

You will sometimes work as part of a multidisciplinary team, including policy and specialist colleagues, and will be responsible for ensuring the railway industry meets the requirements of health and safety law, is working towards achieving zero industry-caused fatalities and delivers excellence in health and safety management.

As a trainee inspector you will work full-time and combine formal training and development with ongoing practical operational work. You will be supported by line managers to develop your skills in technical and regulatory competencies. The successful candidates will follow a 3-year structured training programme.

The intensive training and development programme will require you to attend courses and assessments at locations across Great Britain, with significant travel and time spent away from home.  You will be required to sign a formal training contract setting out these requirements including expected study time outside normal working hours.

After successful completion of the training programme, you will be assessed by a panel where you will demonstrate your competence and behaviours, and if successful, will be promoted to HM Inspector of Railways. As part of the Civil Service Reform, any existing civil servants who are promoted to HM Inspector of Railways will be moved to modernised terms and conditions.


Key responsibilities


Your key responsibilities, although not exhaustive, will include:

  • Carrying-out planned inspections and investigating accidents, ill-health & incidents.
  • Analysing information and assessing findings against legal requirements to determine the best way to influence duty holders to improve health and safety.
  • Providing advice to duty holders and when necessary, taking formal enforcement action.
  • Representing ORR to stakeholders in the railway industry including trade unions.
  • Contributing to ORR's overall assessment of industry performance.
  • Working collaboratively with your immediate team, and colleagues across ORR.

Essential Criteria

When assessing your application, these are the criteria that you are assessed against:



  • Making effective decisions
  • Communicating and influencing
  • Delivering at pace
  • Developing self and others
  • Working together




  • Broad experience of working in the railway industry or more in-depth experience in operations or engineering disciplines;or
  • Broad front-line health and safety regulatory experience includingan awareness of Safety Management Systems.





  • Ability to assimilate, analyse and communicate complex technical information to a range of stakeholders to support improved understanding and standards and/or legal compliance.
  • Ability to use theoretical and practical knowledge, including working from ‘first principles’ to identify practical, workable improvements in risk controls, including engineering controls, working practices, training, and maintenance requirements.
  • Problem solving skills and ability to work both independently and collaboratively, sometimes to tight deadlines.
  • Ability to manage a varied workload, deal with competing priorities, manage expectations, and deliver on time to a high standard.

Mandatory qualifications

  • Educated to level 6 standard (degree level or with appropriate equivalent qualifications or equivalent professional experience to be able to achieve chartered status of a professional institution).

Mandatory Licenses

  • Full UK driving licence


This job description provides an overview of key duties and responsibilities and is not exhaustive. You will be expected to undertake other duties and responsibilities within the scope of your role and as appropriate for your grade.

How we will assess your application

At ORR, we use the Civil Service ‘Success Profiles’ framework for our recruitment. Please refer to the Candidate Information Pack accompanying this advert for details.

  1. Pre-Sifting (Longlisting)

    We will assess you against these elements at pre-sifting:

  • Lead criteria: Experience


    Successful candidates at the pre-sifting stage will then progress to shortlisting.


  1. Shortlisting

    We will assess you against these elements at shortlisting:

    • Technical
    • Lead behaviour: Delivering at pace.


  2. Assessment centre

We will assess you against all criteria at an assessment centre including assessing you against strength criteria.