Information for Sentinel Cardholders
The Sentinel service is owned and run by Network Rail for the industry and is underpinned by the Sentinel Scheme Rules. The Sentinel Scheme Rules outline the roles, responsibilities, policies, and processes that must be followed, which apply to everyone who uses Sentinel and works for the Rail Industry. A copy of the Sentinel Scheme Rules can be found here.
Sentinel is the system used by the Rail Industry to enable the responsible role at the start of a work shift to confirm your credentials are relevant and valid, allowing you to safely access the infrastructure.
You and your Primary Sponsor are responsible for your safety whilst delivering work anywhere on or for the managed infrastructure. As a method of identification and authorisation, all individuals who access the rail infrastructure for the purpose of work, must hold a valid Sentinel card or be provided with a Track Visitor Permit (TVP).
Your Primary Sponsor will need to order and pay for your Sentinel card for you. An individual with sponsor administrator access to the Sentinel system will be able to raise the request for your Sentinel card, through the database.
- If you are sponsored by Network Rail, you can order your new or replacement card via a local Competence Delivery Specialist (CDS) or by contacting the Sentinel Helpdesk team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are sponsored within the Rail Industry, you request your new or replacement cards through an individual who has sponsor administrator access for your Primary Sponsor.
An individual with TVP administrator access to the Sentinel system will be able to raise the request for Track Visitor Permits when an individual needs access to the infrastructure less than 12 times per year.
Ordering a Sentinel Card
To enable a card order to be processed the following is required:
- Name (individual)
- Primary Sponsor
- Active Sentinel profile (not suspended)
- Delivery address (individual home address has been added due to COVID)
- Current and valid photograph (following the photo requirements)
Photo requirements for your card can be found here.
Personal Track Safety Competence (PTS)
You must have a valid drugs & alcohol certificate issued and uploaded in Sentinel within 12 months of attending your PTS course.
Sentinel cards are not automatically supplied on successful completion of a PTS course. The card request will need to be raised by an individual with sponsor administrator access to the Sentinel system.
Lost or Stolen Card
If your card has been lost or stolen, please report this immediately to your Sponsor. A Sentinel Sponsor Administrator will need to record the loss of the card in the database and order a replacement for you. If the card is cancelled when a replacement is ordered, the card can no longer be used. It will record a Denied Authority to Work when swiped.
Damaged Card or Expired Photograph
If your card gets damaged or the photo expires, please report this immediately to your Sponsor. An individual with sponsor administrator access to the Sentinel system will need to record the loss of the card in the database and order a replacement. If the card is cancelled when a replacement is ordered, the card can no longer be used. It will record a Denied Authority to Work, if used at a work site. Your Sentinel photograph is valid for 10 years, after which you will need to provide a new photograph and have a new card printed. Photo requirements can be found here.
Sentinel cards are sent out by 2nd class post and may take up to 10 working days to arrive, depending on seasonal demands. If your card has not arrived within 10 days, please contact the administrator who ordered your card, who will be able to raise an enquiry with the Sentinel Helpdesk Team through the email@example.com e-mail address.
When you receive your new or replacement card, please use this to swipe into the worksite. This will automatically cancel your old card and activate your new card in the Sentinel database. The old card should be securely destroyed and can be disposed of in the recycling waste, where local facilities are available.
Any individual who has a Sentinel profile, has full access to their Sentinel information through their MySentinel account which can be accessed here.
For more information on how to access and use MySentinel you can download our guide from here.
Authority to Work
The Sentinel system allows the card checker (the individual who is responsible for the safety of the work team) to confirm all the required credentials you hold are relevant and valid at the start of a shift. The successful checks permit you to access the infrastructure safely. Sentinel information can change daily, so Authority to Work checks must be carried out at the start of every shift to make sure you remain fit and competent, regardless of how well you are known. To do this, you must present the physical Sentinel card or valid TVP, at the beginning of each shift.
If you forget your Sentinel card, the card checker can still swipe you in, however this feature can only be used 3 times in a year before you are denied access. For more information on how to swipe in, you can download our guides or watch the training videos here.
You may have a coloured shape applied to your profile, these have different meanings:
- Blue circle – Colour deficient
- Red triangle – Must be accompanied
- Green square – PTS probationary / Learning support
- Red P – The competence this is next to is held at a probationary level