In 2015 an inter-continental industry subgroup on safety culture was offered the opportunity by the European Commission to develop and deliver a twinning programme across Europe to support learning and sharing across European Union/ European Free Trade Association (EU/EFTA) Member State rail infrastructure manager or an association of EU/EFTA rail infrastructure managers with a focus on safety culture. Part of this motivation for this activity was borne from the fact that in 2020-2024 safety culture will be included within SMS evaluation for member states, so this represented an opportunity to begin preparing ideas for this.
The twinning programme action was undertaken by a consortium of twelve member states across Europe. Consisting of rail infrastructure Managers from the Belgium, Croatia, France, Italy, Romania, Poland, Austria, Sweden, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands and the U.K., the consortium were grouped according to a matching criteria with a view to maximising the benefit and learning to be gained from experiencing the safety culture in each other’s organisation.
Throughout the course of 2017 safety representatives from these organisations exchanged visits to sample the difference in culture, and to share information, challenges, good practice and innovation. A further goal of the activity was for the members to use these visits to test drive maturity models on Close Calls and Safety Conversations as potential safety culture KPIs for 2020.
In December the visits programme drew to a close, concluding with a final conference where all participating organisations attended to present on key findings and learning. The presentation and programme for this event can be downloaded, as can a video of the day.