IRSE - Institution of Railway Signal Engineers > Licensing
  1. Licensing
  2. Membership
  3. Qualifications & Careers
  4. Publications & Resources
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  6. News
  1. Licensing
  2. Membership
  3. Qualifications & Careers
  4. Publications & Resources
  5. Get Involved
  6. News

The IRSE Licensing Scheme provides assurance about the competence of individuals to carry out technical safety-critical or safety-related work on signalling and railway telecommunications equipment and systems. 

It provides an accepted cross-industry benchmark of competence for personnel carrying out a range of activities from maintenance through design, installation, testing, project engineering and senior technical management. All licence holders must abide by the Obligations of Licence Holders, which set out the professional standards expected.

The scheme is accredited to the international standard for personnel certification, ISO17024. 

Competence standards and checklists

IRSE Licensing develops and maintains competence standards for a wide range of signalling and telecommunications activities, with assistance from scheme users and technical experts. Our competence assessment checklists (CACs) list the specific skills and underpinning knowledge needed to carry out any particular category or type of work.  For example, the licence categories for signalling maintenance personnel include assistant maintainer, maintainer, fault finder and maintenance manager. CACs are available to download from our licensing documentation pages.

Assessment

Individuals are assessed against the competence standards using a two-stage assessment process to ensure impartial collection and review of evidence. On successful completion of the process, we issue a licence for those specific categories of work. 

Learn more about the assessment process

Logbooks

Logbooks are used to record details of training, qualifications and work experience. IRSE licence holders are required to maintain their logbook, which assessors will review as part of the assessment process. You can buy a logbook from our online shop, or create your own using our tailormade logbook inserts

Complaints

If things go wrong, a complaint about a licence holder can be made to the Licensing Team. All complaints are referred to the IRSE Licensing Complaints Sub-Committee for technical review. Where a complaint is upheld, a licence holder may be given an endorsement on their licence or be required to undergo further training. In the most serious cases, the licence may be revoked.

Learn more about the complaints process

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information 

Please see our dedicated webpage for the most up to date information on IRSE Licensing's response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.