It can be revealed today that the new Ricardo Certification business has been formally accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to provide independent assurance services for the international rail sector.
This accreditation follows the successful completion of a rigorous 12-month global assessment process by UKAS and other European accreditation bodies. The occasion was marked by the formal presentation by UKAS CEO Paul Stennett and Chairman Lord Lindsay, to Ricardo CEO Dave Shemmans and certification director of Ricardo Certification, Richard Gibney, of a Certificate of Accreditation during a special reception at the UKAS head offices in Staines-Upon-Thames on 19 July.
The accreditation means Ricardo Certification, which operates as a separate and entirely independent business within the Ricardo group, can perform ‘Notified Body’, ‘Designated Body’ and ‘Assessment Body’ roles on any rail project that is required to comply with relevant international and national technical rules. The accreditation also covers Railway Product Certification services.
Furthermore, Ricardo Certification has become the first independent assurance provider in the rail market to offer a UKAS accredited Independent Safety Assessment service. Under this scheme its processes and structures were assessed against BS EN ISO/IEC 17020 Type A. This accreditation was voluntarily requested by Ricardo Certification and underlines its commitment to upholding the highest levels of competence, independence and consistency in its activities.
The Ricardo Certification business is headquartered in Derby, UK, with its services delivered by teams based here and in other key locations, including Madrid, Copenhagen, Beijing, Utrecht and London.
“We are delighted to have achieved this accreditation,” commented Ricardo CEO Dave Shemmans, speaking at the reception. “It is a significant development for Ricardo, but also further evidence of the high standards to which we operate across the group. Assurance and certification in the rail sector is a new area for Ricardo, but it is one that represents a significant opportunity. The establishment of an accredited, independent Certification service offer will help define us as a truly unique business within the transportation and energy markets. Over time, our intention is to bring the expertise and assessment methodologies honed in the rail sector to other sectors, and establish Ricardo Certification as one of the world’s leading multi-sector assessment partners.”
Richard Gibney, certification director of Ricardo Certification, added: “Throughout the intensive assessment process, we were able to demonstrate that across our global operation our competence and processes meet the complex needs of the underlying standards of accreditation. It was a thorough and important process to complete, and I extend my thanks to those colleagues across Ricardo who have worked extremely hard over the past 12 months to help us achieve this important milestone. We can now look forward to building upon our existing assurance service portfolio and continuing to deliver the highest possible levels of service for our clients.”
The occasion was marked by the formal presentation of the certificate to Ricardo by UKAS CEO Paul Stennett and Chairman Lord Lindsay. Paul Stennett commented: “Congratulations to everyone at Ricardo on becoming a Notified Body, Designated Body and Assessment Body for work in the rail industry sector. The UKAS assessment process is rigorous and independent, demonstrating that Ricardo is meeting the highest operational standards. This is a complex, multi-site accreditation that will help Ricardo service existing customers as well as provide a good foundation for future growth.”
Accreditation marks completion of transfer of rail business
Work to secure the accreditation of Ricardo Certification began following Ricardo’s acquisition of Lloyd’s Register’s rail interests in July 2015. During the sale of Lloyd’s Register Rail – which involved the transfer of more than 500 staff and the entire service portfolio – it was agreed with the relevant accreditation bodies that Ricardo would continue to deliver its existing assurance services to the rail market via the international accreditations held by the Lloyd's Register Group until a new, independent entity within Ricardo had been established. This was expected to take around 12-18 months to complete.
The accreditation from UKAS effectively removes the last remaining ties with Lloyd’s Register, enabling Ricardo Certification to take over the certification of its existing assurance projects. This includes Notified Body roles on major programmes such as London’s Crossrail, the Danish re-signalling programme, and the adoption of ETCS on ‘European Corridor C’ – projects that its teams have been supporting for a number of years – as well as the certification of technologies for clients such as Insigma Rail and CRSC in China.
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