Ricardo Named Canada’s First Accredited ISA for Rail

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor

The Standards Council of Canada (SSC), a federal Crown corporation, has accredited Ricardo Certification Ltd. to ISO/IEC 17020:2012 under its new Independent Safety Assessor (ISA) for Railway Systems Accreditation Program.

Ricardo, a global rail engineering and environmental consultancy, is the first accredited ISA under the program, which SCC established in collaboration with Metrolinx and launched in November 2020 “to bring rail safety and risk management processes in Canada into line with global best practice,” Ricardo reported on Dec. 8.

The ISA for Railway Systems Accreditation Program “will help verify that the necessary requirements are met when organizations carry out independent safety assessments,” SCC said. “It is based on a third-party independent inspection model where Independent Safety Assessors (ISAs), who are accredited by SCC, will undertake assessments of the risk management process. This helps ensure all potential hazards are identified and well managed. Accredited ISAs can play a vital role, not only in ensuring that safety is considered during the designing and building process, but also for ongoing changes of the railway network once it is operating.”

SCC accreditation means that companies like Ricardo, “who have demonstrated their technical capability, can now be appointed to major rail projects to inspect the engineering system safety plans, processes and documentation, and ensure the highest standards are instilled from initial design through to manufacture, installation and ongoing operations,” according to Ricardo.

Ricardo explained that to secure accreditation, it “had to prove it could offer the relevant competencies and resources to perform assessments in accordance with the Canadian Method for Risk Evaluation and Assessment (CMREA) Standard for Railway Systems, as well as parts 1-3 of global standard EN 50126 – Railway Applications – The Specification and Demonstration of Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS).” The company also had to “demonstrate the qualifications of our assessment teams—such as their understanding of relevant international standards (for example, EN 50128 and EN 50129)—as well as our documented practices for training, record keeping and internal auditing.”

SCC will conduct audits of accredited companies annually, with reassessments held every fourth year.

“SCC is proud to have Ricardo as our first customer accredited to this brand-new program,” SCC Vice President, Accreditation Services Branch Elias Rafoul said. “Accreditation is a valuable tool in the standardization system, and we are proud to play our part by ensuring that conformity assessment bodies meet the highest national and international standards.”

“This accreditation enables us to support many of the projects being lined up and we look forward to bringing our expertise to Canada’s rapidly growing rail sector,” said Paul Seller, Managing Director of Ricardo’s Rail Division.

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