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2016 17 Aug

Operations update – August 2016

Posted in Newsletter

1. Sentinel Helpdesk profiles

Helpdesk profiles

Read their profiles here


2. Competence management

We listen to feedback provided by those who use Sentinel and take this internally to the accountable departments at Network Rail for decisions to be made. Please see recent issues and resolutions below:

Controller Of Site Safety (COSS) & Individuals Working Alone (IWA) alignment

  • Issue: For a long time now, there has been a mismatch of the competence lifecycles between COSS and IWA which has inevitably caused confusion and additional workload for many people.
  • Resolution: The Track Safety Competence Design Group (CDG) agreed that Sentinel can automatically extend the IWA competence (up to a maximum of 4 months) when the COSS Post-mentorship Assessment is notified to a record where IWA is also currently held. This will be handled by a task set up on the Midnight Maintenance Schedule. Sentinel will retrospectively apply the same rule to all Non-Network Rail cardholder records where the expiry difference between the COSS and IWA is between 0 – 16/17 weeks. The CDG will review the COSS and IWA competences based on who should hold them with certain medical levels and whether or not they should be separate competences.


Allow Personal Track Safety (PTS) re-start

  • Issue: When individuals change primary Sponsors and are on ‘learning support’ for PTS, the new primary Sponsor may not be ready to remove ‘learning support’ and requests that they attend a re-certification, however there is no process for this. The individual remains in ‘learning support’ until their competence ends, which can be years.
  • Resolution: The most practical solution to this issue was to allow the recording of an ‘Allow PTS Restart Event.’ Relaxation of the rules to ‘Allow PTS Restart Event’ will be: 1. An ‘Allow PTS Restart Event’ to be logged against any Non-Network Rail PTS Holder at level 2 or level 3 (Fully Competent) at any time. 2. ‘Allow PTS Restart Event’ to then end the current PTS Competence for any Non-Network Rail PTS level 2 or level 3 Holder (the same effect as setting a PTS to Not Competent)


Controller of Site Safety Conductor Rail Permit Live Line Tester – COSS CRP LLT (P)

  • Issue: Any full COSS who has attended the Conductor Rail Permit Live Line Tester training module to gain the new competence has been incorrectly awarded at probationary (P) level. This is due to the system being unable to recognise the difference between initial training following an initial COSS course, or a full COSS attending the bolt on module only.
  • Resolution: This will be fixed within Sentinel in September with the release of Site Access and we will let you know when the adjustments have been made. Changes are also being made to the ‘Expire’ reports that were directly affected by the last system upgrade.


3. Sponsor administrator review

With the recent Data Protection Act changes (read here), we are reviewing who can have Sponsor Administrator access rights to the Sentinel system. The change will mainly affect Network Rail Sponsor Administrators, however the industry will be impacted as we turn off the function for one Sponsor Administrator to set up another. Going forward, this will have to be requested via the Sentinel Helpdesk.

4. Card photographs

When Sentinel was upgraded in 2013 to a smart solution in newly formatted cards, the photograph guidelines were set and these have not changed. Guidance is shown on the image upload page in Sentinel (illustration below) and you can also look here if unsure:


During a recent review of photographs we have noticed several with hats, sunglasses and non-plain backgrounds, making it incredibly difficult to accurately identify someone in poor track-side conditions. The Sentinel Helpdesk are now able to review all new or replacement card orders and will reject any that do not meet the criteria, which could result in a delay. Please note if you are ordering a replacement card it is advisable to upload a recent photo as this will extend the life of the card.