Electronic Competence Management improving critical safety standards for Light Railway

AssessTech lead the industry in Developmental Competence

Tram Operations Limited has recently taken their first step into electronic competence management. As the first light rail company to follow this path, we speak to Andy Wallace who explains the reasons behind why First Trams are pioneering this exciting new approach.

Tram Operations Limited operates the only tram network in London, transporting more than 29 million passengers each year.

“The level of dynamic risk is greater on a tramway than in a heavy rail setting. Trams operate in both segregated and mixed traffic environments (for example city centres) and as such our drivers find their trams regularly surrounded by pedestrians, cars, buses and bicycles. Each driver has to pass a rigorous selection, training and assessment process before they are allowed to drive a tram. At Tram Operations Limited we use National Occupational Standards to evaluate our driver performance, however we wanted to strengthen our risk controls even further by introducing a competence management system that is bespoke to our operation.
“It’s critical that our drivers are able to consistently make safe decisions so we decided to take a risk-based approach that allows our drivers to develop their competence whist demonstrating compliance to standards.

“For Tram Operations Limited, electronic competence management was definitely the ideal solution. We wanted to improve efficiency and visibility over our competence management arrangements to ensure the processes were slicker for both the candidate and the assessor. This would ultimately result in a much more cost-effective and (by eliminating the need for large paper-based files) environmentally responsible solution.

“Having worked in safety and been responsible for delivering complex competence management solutions for a number of years, I am aware of the various systems available in the market.

“AssessTech’s ACMS platform met the exact requirements of Tram Operations Limited. In my opinion they are the best providers of electronic competence management in the industry both in terms of the quality and functionality of their product; and the level of aftercare and support they provide to each business they work with. What really makes them stand out from the crowd is that they are the only company to provide developmental assessment. Other competitors claim to offer it but for me AssessTech are definitely the industry leaders in this area.
“Another critical factor in our decision making process was the collaborative approach AssessTech take with all their customers. Their platform evolves through consultation with the industry and the user forums really add value and provide a great place for sharing best practice across the industry. New and better ways of working often evolve from these forums.
“By adopting a developmental competence approach through ACMS, I believe Tram Operations Limited will benefit from a risk-based solution that is bespoke to our tram drivers competence needs. ACMS will help us achieve that, providing our leaders with full visibility of each driver’s current status and allowing us to analyse assessor performance – all remotely and at the touch of a button. This is critical to operating a successful, cost efficient competence management system.

Roll-out of ACMS will start in September 2018 and we expect to be fully operational by the end of the year. “