Vacancy for Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents

Dai Corner

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In April 2021, in RAIB’s Annual Report, Simon French, the Chief Inspector of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, announced his intention to retire after 39 years in the railway industry and 17 years at RAIB. Although Simon will continue in the role for the time being, the Department for Transport is now in the process of recruiting a successor.

Should you wish to be considered for this exciting and challenging role, you can apply via the Civil Service Jobs web site.

Anybody fancy this position?
 
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RailUK Forums

swt_passenger

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From the job spec:

Ability to read RailUKForums for advice on what RAIB are supposed to be doing - essential. :D
 

Highlandspring

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It would be quite something if someone from this forum decided to apply and got it....

I had a good chat with Simon French once. He's a nice guy; very approachable, knowledgable and a genuine railwayman.
 

Dai Corner

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It would be quite something if someone from this forum decided to apply and got it....

I had a good chat with Simon French once. He's a nice guy; very approachable, knowledgable and a genuine railwayman.
I wonder if applicants will be asked to disclose any forum pseudonyms? :D

And is Simon any relation to Roger French, the retired bus company manager and now public transport blogger?
 

tiptoptaff

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Does it need to be a railwaymen applying?

And by that I mean, as I don't know, could it potentially go to one of the senior investors from one of the other accident investigation branches?

Seems to me that it's the experience in managing investigations and investigators that's more essential than specific railway knowledge, although it would help
 

Highlandspring

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Does it need to be a railwaymen applying?

And by that I mean, as I don't know, could it potentially go to one of the senior investors from one of the other accident investigation branches?

Seems to me that it's the experience in managing investigations and investigators that's more essential than specific railway knowledge, although it would help

I've mentioned it here before but a couple of RAIB inspectors I've dealt with didn't have backgrounds in the rail industry but had been safety professionals in other industries. Once you're applying for civil service jobs at that level your everyday 'work experience' becomes much less important.
 

Taunton

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I've mentioned it here before but a couple of RAIB inspectors I've dealt with didn't have backgrounds in the rail industry but had been safety professionals in other industries. Once you're applying for civil service jobs at that level your everyday 'work experience' becomes much less important.
The Health & Safety Inspectorate got hold of rail accident investigations for a while in the 1990s, and the resulting reports from non-industry professional inspectors who were slid in were sometimes, quite frankly, a joke. It was a significant part of why the RAIB was set up in the first place in 2005.

It's like saying does The Pope have to be a Catholic ...
 

Highlandspring

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The Health & Safety Inspectorate got hold of rail accident investigations for a while in the 1990s, and the resulting reports from non-industry professional inspectors who were slid in were sometimes, quite frankly, a joke. It was a significant part of why the RAIB was set up in the first place in 2005.

I certainly agree with that statement. Some of the HSE investigation reports were lamentable.
 

FGW_DID

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Plenty of ‘experts‘ here on RUKF it amazes me how the majority of them aren’t in the rail industry already!!
 
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greatkingrat

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The Health & Safety Inspectorate got hold of rail accident investigations for a while in the 1990s, and the resulting reports from non-industry professional inspectors who were slid in were sometimes, quite frankly, a joke. It was a significant part of why the RAIB was set up in the first place in 2005.

It's like saying does The Pope have to be a Catholic ...
I doubt the Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents actually writes the RAIB reports himself. The job is more about overall management of the organisation and there is no reason why someone from, say, an air safety background could not potentially do the job.
 

Dave W

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I think the issues Taunton outlined have largely been resolved in setting up RAIB (although I'm sure they'd say they weren't perfect). I'd fully expect his successor to be from the transport industry - in the last few years RAIB have worked more closely with the other AIBs so not beyond the realms a deputy chief at one of those branches might go for it - or of course a deputy chief at RAIB (which Simon French was)

Interesting that it's only at Deputy Director level - although the salary is significantly higher than a "standard" deputy director job across most of gov (the starting salary for a DD in Cabinet Office is £71,000). This is often the way in agencies, arms length bodies, etc - the grade will just be so the new chief will fit snugly into the hierarchy.
 

Yfg132

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Unfortunately most would have to relocate I'd imagine, unless you don't have to be in derby often!
 

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