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Supplier assurance

We ensure all principal contractors are subject to the highest safety standards

Suppliers who operate as principal contractors (PC) must hold a licence issued by Network Rail to discharge these duties on Network Rail managed infrastructure.

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 define a Principal Contractor as, ‘The main or managing contractor for a construction project appointed by the client to assume the duties of Principal Contractor’. The Principal Contractor licence is governed by NR Standard NR/L2/INI/CP0070 v4 and applies to all organisations, internal or external.

Our Principal Contractor Licence Assurance team manages the risk of PCs discharging their duties on our behalf.

It assures that PCs have appropriate and robust Health & Safety, Quality and the Environment (HSQE) management systems to effectively discharge their duties under the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007. The team also provides continued assurance of an organisation’s ongoing suitability to effectively discharge its duties.

When working with a PC, the team’s core remit is as follows:

  • Assuring that an organisation has the necessary HSQE management systems in place to discharge its duties effectively as a PC by way of audit.
  • Confirming the effective application of management systems during a live construction phase where the organisation is acting in the capacity of PC.
  • Confirming the effective application of management systems through continued intervention at the point of highest risk, with a programme of on-site audits during the construction phase.
  • Undertaking an annual risk assessment and assurance questionnaire to form an opinion on the risk, capability and culture of an organisation.
  • Monitoring and assessing various sources of management information, publications and other reports or notifications for issues that may positively or negatively impact an organisation.
  • Ensuring that any changes do not affect an organisation’s ability to discharge its duties.

Sanctions and revocations

To prevent PCs discharging their duties ineffectively and importing increased risk to the infrastructure, we may apply sanctions to improve performance. Where there are fundamental or persistent problems, we may revoke a licence.