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Approved & Designated Body Services

NCB is an experienced and accredited ApBo and DeBo you can trust to deliver

NCB has been accredited as an ApBo (formerly NoBo) and DeBo since 2012, and has produced more than 90 technical files for projects requiring an authorisation under the regulations.

We work closely with the regulator to on behalf of our clients to ensure that authorisation happens smoothly.


Approved and Designated Body Services

A railway approved body (ApBo) is an independent organisation accredited by UKAS and approved by UK government to undertake conformity assessment of a project against relevant national technical specification notices (NTSNs).

A railway designated body (DeBo) is an independent organisation accredited by UKAS and approved by UK government to undertake conformity assessment of a project for compliance with national technical rules (NTRs). To help you, further information on NTR is available here.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy appoints approved bodies and designated bodies for UK and UKAS assesses them as meeting certain criteria, including competence, independence and integrity under the Statutory Instrument No. 3066 The Railways (Interoperability) Regulations 2011 (as amended).

UK regulations apply to work on new, upgraded or renewed structural subsystems (vehicles and infrastructure) with some exceptions defined by scope of work and activity. Further information is available on the scope of rail interoperability.

NCB as an ApBo and DeBo

The scope of our accreditation covers all of the subsystems, all national technical specification notices, and associated interoperability constituents and assessment modules.

We are usually appointed as DeBo as well as ApBo and produce combined technical files for efficiency.

Our staff have extensive experience in the UK rail industry, many of them having come from the main national infrastructure manager. As such they have a deep understanding of the provenance of the UK’s NTRs and NTSNs, making us an ideal choice as a ApBo and DeBo.

Interoperability Constituents

The GB Railways Interoperability Regulations (RIR) describe interoperability constituents as, “any elementary component, group of components, sub-assembly or complete assembly of equipment that is incorporated or intended to be incorporated into a subsystem upon which the interoperability of the rail system depends directly or indirectly”.

Interoperability constituents are defined in each of the GB National Technical Specification Notices (NTSNs), along with the permissible assessment methodologies (assessment modules). The assessment methodologies range from design and construction conformance to quality management system assessment and verification.

As a fully accredited GB Approval Body (ApBo) with the scope of accreditation covering all subsystems, NCB can assess and certificate the full range interoperability constituents from all corresponding NTSNs:

Control Command and Signalling (CCS):

  • ETCS Onboard
  • Odometry equipment
  • Interface of external STM
  • GSM-R Voice Cab Radio
  • GSM-R ETCS Data only Radio
  • GSM-R SIM Card
  • RBC
  • Radio in-fill unit
  • Eurobalise
  • Euroloop
  • LEU Eurobalise
  • LEU Euroloop
  • Axle Counter

Infrastructure (INF):

  • Rail
  • Rail fastening system
  • Track sleepers

Energy (ENE):

  • Overhead contact line

Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRM):

  • Displays
  • Platform ramps and platform lifts
  • Interface of door control device
  • Toilet modules
  • Baby nappy changing table
  • Call for aid devices
  • Internal and external displays
  • Boarding devices

Rolling Stock – Locomotive and Passenger (LOC and PAS):

  • Automatic centre buffer coupler
  • Manual end coupling
  • Towing coupler for rescue
  • Wheel
  • Automatic variable gauge systems
  • Wheel slide protection system
  • Head lamp
  • Marker lamp
  • Tail lamp
  • Horns
  • Pantograph
  • Pantograph contact strips
  • Main circuit breaker
  • Driver's seat
  • Toilet discharge connection
  • Inlet connection for water tanks

Rolling Stock – Freight Wagons (WAG):

  • Running Gear
  • Wheel
  • Wheelset
  • Axle
  • Automatic variable gauge systems
  • Friction element for wheel tread brakes
  • Rear-end signal

If you would like to discuss the assessment and certification of any of the above interoperability constituents, please get in touch at, NCBEnquiries@networkrail.co.uk

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