Business Critical Rules (BCR)

Business Critical Rules (BCR) is changing the way we manage our risks in Network Rail. They will make how we work safer, simpler and more effective, to make sure everyone gets home safe every day. Our Lifesaving Rules are the first 10 Business Critical Rules.

BCR is replacing the existing Standards framework with the simpler, risk-based, BCR framework. This new framework is underpinned by the BowTie methodology of risk management that improves our understanding of threats and how we control them.

The result is a clear line of sight from our risks to how we control them. This will improve the way we manage the risks to our people, our assets and the success of our business.

The BCR framework will help us understand the things that can go wrong, and have clear plans in place to effectively manage the risk. It will be clear what needs to be done, and who needs to do it. It will enable people to know how best to manage the risks that they are responsible for, and give Network Rail a process for reviewing and continually improving risk management.

You can watch the following video for more information:

What has happened?

In July – September 2016, BCR underwent a reorganisation which resulted in a permenant organisation being put in place as part of the Safety, Technical and Engineering (STE) Health, Safety & Quality organisation, led by Lisbeth Fromling, Chief Health, Safety & Quality Officer. The recruitment into this permanent team began in July and is almost complete.

During the reorganisation, the programme continued to progress the programme following a planning review in conjunction with STE Engineering. Individual plans for each asset’s future delivery have been created, and milestones fixed for the remainder of CP5.

BCR have also re-established engagement with Route Change Management Offices (CMO) colleagues, receiving updates on the progress made, and to move forward with a collaborative approach when implementing BCR in the business.

The programme achieved a key milestone in completing the roll out of the Plain Line Track trial in all Routes. Colleagues are now utilising the new way of working to  support their local ways of working.

What’s happening next?

  • New release of BCR Online. The system which provides access to the BCR products will be re-launched with improved functionality and business wide capacity for access. This is due to go live 17 October 2016.
  • Completion of recruitment into the permanent BCR organisation.
  • Post Implementation Review of Plain Line Track (PLT). The team will be conducting a review of the PLT implementation, and feeding back on lessons learned to our colleagues.
  • Network Rail Acceptance Panel (NRAP) submission for Geotech. With Geotech products nearing completion, the programme will be submitting to NRAP for approval to implement Geotech into the Routes. Once approval is granted, BCR will engage the CMO’s in the Routes to start preparing for implementation.

If you have any queries related to BCR please contact

Network Rail employees can find further information on Connect under ‘Communities’ and ‘Business Critical Rules Programme’.

Case Studies

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