Vacancy for Head of Independent Assurance

Job Reference: GTR/2497
Job Title: Head of Independent Assurance
Job Status: No
Job Status:

Safety Critical - click here to find out more

Training Salary: .
Salary: competitive + excellent benefits including free travel on GTR services
Location: Croydon (Flexible with travel across GTR Network)
Hours of Work: office hours + flexibility when required
Job Expires: 24 Jun 2019 at 11:45PM

About Govia Thameslink Railway


Our Ambition

GTR is creating a new business strategy and organisation to deliver its aspirations for the franchise.
These are:

  • Define the industry standard in service delivery and customer experience
  • Build a sustainable high-performance organisation
  • Deliver on our commitments to our stakeholders

This will be achieved by:

  • Delivering ‘brilliant basics’ – doing what we do exceptionally well, day in, day out
  • Shifting perceptions – making our customers, colleagues and stakeholders vocal advocates and promoters of GTR
  • Building strong partnerships and relationships – developing true partnerships and strong relationships with all those we work with and for


The Head of Independent Assurance will be responsible for strategic development and delivery of GTR’s Safety Assurance programme. This individual will be responsible for building a layered assurance programme throughout GTR which helps establish the brilliant basics in health and safety management; assesses the effectiveness of GTRs Health and Safety Management System; validates legal compliance; as well as supporting the company’s Zero Harm Ambition.

Building on their expertise in carrying out complex investigations, the role holder will drive a consistent methodology for root cause analysis and investigation methodology across GTR. They will lead the delivery of independently led investigations for significant incidents, accidents and near misses.

The Head of Independent Assurance will act as the principle point of contact for the ORR and RAIB for all queries relating to safety concerns, incidents, accidents and near misses and will co-ordinate appropriate communications in response.

They will also have excellent people management skills and will be responsible for leading a team of safety assurance professionals.

Principal Accountabilities

  • Lead in the development and delivery of GTR’s safety and health assurance strategy and programme.
  • Drawing on GTRs performance insights, risk profile and industry, the role holder will develop and deliver value-adding independent assurance activities including audit to determine levels of compliance, maturity and improvement opportunities. The role holder will oversee the management of outputs from assurance activities ensuring that learnings, recommendations and corrective actions are appropriately embedded in a timely manner.
  • Lead the team who will carry out investigations into significant safety or environmental related incidents, accidents or near misses. Ensuring best practice investigation techniques are adopted and casual factors are determined in all investigations.
  • Line management responsibilities for the assurance team
  • Oversee the process for managing and investigating safety liability cliams
  • Be the first line of contact for the ORR and RAIB on all safety related concerns, accidents, incidents and near misses, overseeing that GTR responds accordingly in a suitable and timely manner
  • Provide regular and insightful assurance reports for the Safety Executive
  • Oversee the confidential Reporting System (CIRAS) ensuring that all reports are logged, investigated, tracked and responded to appropriately
  • Support the collaborative development and delivery of GTR wide Safety & Environment Standards, Processes and Procedures ensuring the Company’s compliance with all legislative and industry standards.  

Key Deliverables

  • Development and delivery of the annual assurance programme in line with agreed timescales
  • Delivery of Zero Harm ambition targets and tangible improvements in safety culture maturity
  • Investigations driving learning and continual improvement
  • Outputs from assurance activities delivered to agreed timescales
  • Positive feedback from external stakeholders, mainly the ORR and where applicable RAIB, on the level response provided in responding to safety concerns and investigations
  • Strong compliance levels across GTR against the company’s Health and Safety management system and applicable safety legislation
  • Safety liability claims successfully investigated and defended
  • Successful certification of relevant externally accredited systems such as ISO 45001 and ISO 14001
  • All CIRA reports managed in a timely manner and an overall reduction in the number and severity of reports raised against GTR

Experience, Knowledge & Qualifications

The job demands the following blend of experience/knowledge, skills and behaviours (all are essential, unless otherwise shown and will be assessed by application and/or interview/assessment):

  • Strategic thinker, able to develop compelling strategies and plans
  • Excellent communication, facilitation and presentation skills
  • Strong ability to engage, influence and manage internal and external stakeholders
  • Experience in driving innovation and change in an established industry or organisation
  • Excellent knowledge of general business processes and organisational frameworks, such as goals, strategy, culture and structure
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Strong leadership, people and team management skills
  • Comprehensive knowledge of applicable safety and railway related Legislation and industry standards
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the rail risk model and experience to support the making of safe risk based decisions
  • Comprehensive knowledge of ISO 45001 and ISO 9001
  • Understand and practically apply the ORR Rail Maturity Model to enhance the application of both the CMS and SMS both internally and externally
  • Holding a recognised qualification, an expert in Root Cause Analysis and Accident Incident Investigation techniques, with ability to investigate operating occurrences and submit clear detailed reports with recommendations.
  • Hold a recognised formal lead auditor qualification
  • Hold a NEBOSH Diploma or equivalent (or be working towards)
  • At least five years’ experience in a senior health & safety management role, preferably within the Rail Industry or a highly regulated and hazardous industry
  • External contacts to include ORR, RSSB, RAIB, Network Rail, ATOC, all TOC’s and FOC’s

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