All UK rail engineers or maintenance staff who work on or near a Network Rail line must have a Personal Track Safety (PTS) certificate. PTS covers a series of safe working practices that protect workers against being hit by trains, electrocution, trips and falls.
PTS jobs include all those line-side engineering or maintenance roles for which track safety is required.
Obviously having PTS certification makes you more employable in a rail engineering role and implies you will have previous industry experience. However it is possible to acquire a PTS certificate as a newcomer to the rail industry.
Some recruitment agencies offer PTS courses for trainees sponsored by companies certificated to supply workers to the Railway industry under Network Rails National Competency Control Agency (NCCA) Sentinel scheme. Others can offer direct training.
All candidates will need to complete a medical examination that includes hearing, eyesight and blood pressure, along with drug & alcohol screening.
The rail industry is a leading UK employer, with some 159,000 people working for Network Rail and the 25 train operating companies. The main skills gaps in the industry are in operations and engineering, with team working, accident management and health & safety qualifications in particular demand.