Inspector of Rail Accidents

Department for Transport
Aldershot, Derby
Closing date
29 Sep 2022

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Rail jobs
Civil Engineer
Contract Type
Full Time
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Working pattern: Flexible working, Full-time

Business area: DFT - Aviation, Maritime, International & Security Group (AMIS) - Rail Accident Investigation Branch

About the job

We recognise the challenges that people with (multiple) protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We are keen to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and we hope to attract applications from underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities.


Are you interested in making a significant contribution to railway safety in the United Kingdom?

Are you looking for a job that enables you to travel and get out and about in the railway industry, as well as working in a highly collaborative and supportive office environment?

If the answer to all of the above questions is yes, and you have the experience and knowledge we are looking for, then you might be interested in applying to be an inspector at the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB).

Job description

The RAIB is the independent railway accident investigation organisation for the UK. Our aim is to improve the safety of railways and inform the industry and the public. We do not apportion blame or liability. We are a highly professional and widely respected investigation body with well-established links with every part of the UK industry, and international equivalents.

The scope of our investigations is wide and varied. Our remit extends to the whole of the UK and includes the mainline railway network, metros (including the London Underground), light railways and tramways, the Channel Tunnel, Northern Ireland Railways and heritage railways. It is independent of the railway industry, safety regulators and prosecution bodies.


You will be directly responsible for investigating accidents and incidents, which will include deploying to site, gathering evidence, conducting tests, detailed analysis and report writing. You will not work alone, but as part of an experienced, enthusiastic and collaborative team. You will also liaise and work with other specialists and industry parties.

Within your role you will:

  • Investigate accidents to determine the circumstances and the causes
  • Be accountable for the quality of your investigation
  • Prepare clear and accurate reports, formulate recommendations to prevent future accidents
  • Provide expert advice to colleagues
  • Represent the RAIB and liaise with the public and with external organisations

To enable you to become a rail accident investigator, the RAIB will train you and you will gain experience by working alongside other team members in support of their investigations. You will be expected to develop a detailed knowledge of relevant RAIB investigation processes and will be required to demonstrate competencies and experience to become qualified to lead an investigation.

On an ongoing basis you will be expected to keep abreast of developments in railway technology and operations to ensure the currency of your knowledge.

These roles offer exceptional job satisfaction, team working, personal challenge and a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in every aspect of a complex and dynamic industry.

Special Features of the Role

One week in every three inspectors are on-call and can be required to travel to an accident site anywhere in the UK with only 30 minutes notice. Although at first sight this might seem onerous, duty rosters are published well in advance to enable you to plan ahead, and can nearly always be flexed to accommodate family events and other commitments.

Although we welcome applications from all interested candidates, you must be aware that you will be required to live within approximately one hour’s travelling time from the relevant operational centre (Aldershot - GU11 2HP or Derby - DE21 4BA) once in post. If you have to relocate to take up a position with us, you may be eligible to claim relocation expenses up to a maximum of £5,000, in accordance with Departmental policy.

About You

You will have substantial experience at a senior level in one or more of the following disciplines:

  • Geotechnics
  • Crashworthiness
  • Rail Vehicle Dynamics
  • Railway Safety/Risk Management and Assurance
  • Causal Analysis and Consequence Modelling

You will have excellent communication skills both verbally and in writing, with the ability to adapt your delivery to suit a wide variety of audiences, maximising both impact and understanding. You are someone who gains rapport quickly with others as you build effective working relationships with both colleagues and stakeholders.

You will have confidence in your ability to come in and make a real contribution within our team where you will lead from the front and drive those around you to achieve the same shared objectives. You will have excellent organisational skills with the ability to manage multiple and often conflicting priorities to time and of a high standard.

Transport accident investigation is a specialist role, and we will provide comprehensive training for the successful applicants. The experience we are seeking is therefore focused on the attributes that will make a good investigator. We will be seeking people who have experience of:

  • Working in an environment where delivery of evidence-based output, based on structured analytical techniques, has been a primary requirement
  • Applying your empathetic skills to obtain the best possible information from people
  • Leading a team to solve a complex and/or multi-disciplinary problem, and then using the output of that work to successfully address a real-world challenge
  • Using your interpersonal skills to enhance collaboration with people outside your immediate team
  • Effective communication of a complicated or difficult message


Full Drivers Licence


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Applying Expertise and Technology
  • Written Communication
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