Rail safety issues and actions

Oversight of the train driver maintenance of competency process

Issue number: RO-2018-002-SI-02
Issue owner: Queensland Rail
Transport function: Rail: Passenger - metropolitan
Background: Investigation Report RO-2018-002
Issue release date: 07 April 2021
Current issue status: Closed – Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB acknowledges the significant increase in assurance activities undertaken by Queensland Rail in this area and is satisfied that, if such activities continue to be undertaken, the risk of the safety issue will be reduced.

Safety issue description

Queensland Rail’s management oversight of the Citytrain driver maintenance of competency (MOC) process did not include planned assurance activities or regular and effective auditing of how the MOC assessments were being conducted, even after there were multiple indications that the process was not being conducted as designed.

Proactive action

Action number: RO-2019-002-NSA-053
Action organisation: Queensland Rail
Action status: Monitor

In March 2021, Queensland Rail (QR) advised the ATSB that ‘robust assurance had been put in place to provide oversight’ of the maintenance of competency (MOC) process, with ‘continuous review and periodic external audits scheduled’. More specifically, QR advised:

In October 2018, Queensland Rail completed a quality review of written maintenance of competency assessments: Q1 2018-19 1 July - 30 September 2018. 181 Written Maintenance of Competency (MoC) Assessments were reviewed.

In December 2018, Queensland Rail completed a quality review of written maintenance of competency assessments: Q2 2018-19 1 October - 30 November 2018. 173 Written Maintenance of Competency (MoC) Assessments were reviewed.

In February 2019, Queensland Rail completed a quality review of written maintenance of competency assessments: 1 December 2018 – 31 January 2019. 189 Written Maintenance of Competency (MoC) Assessments were completed.

In June 2020, Queensland Rail undertook an assurance activity to determine the adequacy and effectiveness of:

- Train Service Delivery’s (TSD) new Rail Traffic Crew (RTC) Monitoring Lifecyle Procedure MD-19-235

- Assess Compliance with SEMS training requirements eg Rail Safety Workers (RSW) Competency (Safeworking Training Standard MD-10-199)

- Risk Trigger Commentary Driving (SEQ Train Drivers) TSD Professional Driving – Risk Triggered Commentary Driving MD-13-165)

- The adequacy of any related 1st line assurance activities.

Outcomes from the assurance activity confirmed:

  • In September 2019, the MD-19-235 TSD Rail Traffic Crew Monitoring Lifecycle Procedure was formally issued to clearly set out the amendments to the MOC process. MOC assessments were moved to a three-year cycle and included observations in-between assessments at the 12 and 24 month mark.
  • TSD Training issue a weekly MOC Compliance Report that is provided to TSD Management and Training Managers. The report includes SEQ 12/24 Months Observation completed, tracking of all RTC MOC due dates, SEQ MOC Assurance Checks and Expired MOCs. The Regional TSD team also maintain a MOC register tracker for when the Drivers 12/24 Month Observations and MOCs are due.
  • Processes were put in place from July 2020 in the Manager Regional TSD SEMS Planner to review a sample of MOCs and Observation effectiveness once a quarter as first line assurance.
  • Processes were put in place from August 2020 for SEQ TSD to complete 1st line assurance on TSD MoC both theory and practical, that occurs each month on at least 5% of MoC completed that month.
Last update 15 April 2021