Plant Assessment Body

We are a UKAS accredited Plant Assessment Body offering assessment and certification services for your on-track plants and on-track machines.

What is the Plant Assessment Body process?

A Plant Assessment Body, or PAB, independently assesses and certifies rail plant against the applicable GB railway industry standards to enable operation in railway possessions. Plant in scope of a PAB assessment includes:

  • On-track plant (OTP), including road-rail vehicles such as MEWPs, excavators and dumpers, and trolleys and trailers, assessed against RIS-1530-PLT.
  • On-track machines (OTM), such as tampers, rail grinders and rail cranes, assessed against RIS-1702-PLT.

The rail industry standards define a wide range of technical requirements, such as:

All OTP and OTM require certification before being able to operate in a possession. OTM certification usually has no expiry date. OTP certification is valid for a maximum of 7 years, after which time the machines must be reassessed against the latest version of the standard before they can be recertified for another 7 years. That’s where we can help.

Only UKAS-accredited PABs can assess and certify OTP and OTM.

Why choose NCB?

We are a proudly independent assessment body and an industry leader in railway assurance. Working with us will give your project:

  • Technical experts with the depth and breadth of knowledge needed to assess your vehicles against the wider railway system context.
  • Reduced costs and complexity, with the opportunity to combine the PAB assessment with our other relevant services – such as plant product acceptance assessments and Design for Reliability (DFR) certification.
  • Our uniquely flexible approach to project delivery, aligning assessment activities to your project’s key milestones.

Being part of the Network Rail group, we are focussed on the safety and long-term civic benefits of GB railways, instead of profit.

What does an NCB PAB assessment involve?

From the very start, we’ll make sure the scope of your project is fully understood before developing our independent assessment plan. This will include areas like the approach to certification, the testing methodology and key milestones.

We will provide you with a checklist listing all the requirements from the applicable Rail Industry Standard and invite you to add compliance commentary and references to associated evidence. This will form the basis of our review.

Our engineers will assess your machines against the checklist criteria, working with you to identify any additional evidence requirements and providing regular feedback. We may also conduct a site visit to complete any necessary inspections and test witness as part of the assessment.

Upon completion of the review, the project will be reviewed by a certifier. The certifier is a suitably competent person who is independent from the lead assessor and who conducts an independent review of the assessment carried out. The certifier is also responsible for signing the PAB certificate. In additional to sending a copy of the certification to you, we will send a copy to Network Rail for records.

If you would like to know more please get in touch.