Our product acceptance process

What is product acceptance?

The product acceptance process gives us the assurance that products accepted for use on or about our infrastructure are:

  • safe
  • compatible
  • reliable
  • fit for purpose
  • do not export unacceptable risks to Network Rail infrastructure.

Only accepted products, except those allowed by NR/L2/RSE/100/05, shall be used on the rail infrastructure.

Do I need to apply for acceptance?

Network Rail standard NR/L2/RSE/100/05, Product introduction and change, governs the process for the acceptance of products.

This includes:

  • new or modified products, materials, equipment, and systems
  • changes of application
  • road-rail vehicles or attachments, and rail-mounted machines, on-track machines, road plant and portable and transportable work equipment that could affect or interact with the infrastructure.

You can view the examples of items that require approval (PDF). Please note that this list is not exhaustive and advice may be required to determine whether your product requires approval.

Please also refer to the guidance document – How to decide what needs product acceptance (PDF) for further details on the products that this process applies to.

See the attached Product Acceptance Service Guidance Note (PDF 2 MB)  for more information on the Product Acceptance process and for information on how to obtain our standards.

For further guidance please email us at prodacc@networkrail.co.uk.

My application status

View the latest list of live applications and recently approved products (PDF)

Periodic statistics  
Applications received45
Certificates issued (full and trial)30
% certificates issued in less than 40 days (13 period average)85%
% certificates issued in less than 180 days (13 period average)13%
% certificates issued in over 365 days (13 period average)2%

How to find an approved product

The catalogue of accepted products is available on the PADSnet website.

PADS (Parts and Drawings System) is owned by SERCO and the data is managed by Network Rail. This includes the creation and revision of PADS numbers.

There are more than 85,000 products accepted for use on our infrastructure.


If you have any queries relating to catalogue numbers or PADSnet, please contact the Catalogue Management team at cataloguequeries@networkrail.co.uk.

How to apply for product acceptance

Applications need to be submitted by a Network Rail operative (applicant), who is prepared to act in a sponsorship capacity and who can demonstrate a Network Rail business requirement.

You will need to provide justification by demonstrating monetary, safety and / or performance benefits to Network Rail.

Applications should be submitted when products or systems have been fully developed and have reached Rail Industry Readiness level (RIRL) 6. Definitions of the Rail Industry Readiness levels are available within section 8 of the Guidance Note (PDF).

If your product has not yet reached RIRL6, please refer to our Challenge Statements.

Acceptance is subject to standard terms and conditions, which are available in the sample Certificate of Acceptance (PDF)

To apply, complete our online application form.

You will receive an email notification when we have processed your application. This will include your unique product acceptance reference number and details of the next approval steps.

Supplier quality assurance

Suppliers and manufacturers of controlled products are required to engage in our supplier quality assurance process.