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RAIB Inspectors

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New Member
11 Apr 2021
Hi, I would like to potentially become a RAIB inspector in the future and have a few questions if anybody is able to help?

1. I am currently 18 and looking at
university options; I am likely to study either physics or engineering. I note that it is generally expected that RAIB staff hold a degree; would one of these degrees be more advantageous than the other, or is it simply a case of any degree?

2. Even with a degree, is it best to attempt to build up some operational experience before applying to RAIB? Either on PWay, signalling etc.

3. How often do RAIB Inspector jobs come up?

Thanks in advance for anybody who is able to help.
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Established Member
Associate Staff
Jobs & Careers
8 Sep 2019
Posts #91 - #97 in this thread had a little bit of a discussion about RAIB inspectors, but not much information. They are relatively specialised and niche positions and vacancies come up infrequently, although I do recall seeing some about six months back. Someone may have more knowledge here.

Getting operational experience can certainly be very useful (if not necessary), although specialist engineering knowledge may also be very good. If you take a look at the RAIB reports in detail you will see the varied fields that one could cover. It would probably be good to develop a railway or other career and then apply after you have some further experience under your belt.


29 Apr 2019
The AAIB recently advertised for investigators. They want people with flying experience, an engineering degree (and be Chartered), and a strong engineering background in an aviation field.
Id imagine the RAIB want a similar level of qualifications and experience in railway engineering.
infact I’ve just found this:

“Inspectors must:

  • have degree qualifications or demonstrate significant experience and achievements in a relevant professional field
  • hold a UK driving licence and be prepared to travel at short notice to anywhere in the UK
  • be fit to work on an operational railway and at accident sites and pass the Personal Track Safety medical examination
We expect them to live within 1 hour’s travel of either Derby or Farnborough, where our offices are based. We may offer help in relocation if this is necessary.

Our inspectors come from a variety of backgrounds within the railway industry, including:

  • operations
  • traction and rolling stock
  • signalling
  • civil and track engineering
  • other industry sectors where they’ve helped investigate complex issues
They’re usually members of a relevant professional body.”

so they are expected people to join after a successful career on the railways.


Established Member
14 Oct 2017
There are only 44 members of staff at RAIB in total so it’s a tiny workplace really. It’s a civil service job (with gold plated civil service T&Cs) so there’s a pretty intense interview process to go through. As I said on the other thread I’ve met a few RAIB investigators over the years, two of those came from outside the rail industry but both had health and safety backgrounds (the nuclear industry and HSE). The investigators undertake an on call rota so there’s always a north and south team ready to deploy 24/7/365. They’re interesting people to chat with if you ever get the chance.
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