First Peer Review for the Twinning II European project

The team of the European project Twinning II (whose objective is to “enhance the cooperation between railway stakeholders for improving safety culture”) carried out its first peer review from 20 to 25 November, thanks to ÖBB INFRA’s commitment, who decided to actively participate and be the first stakeholder to organise one.

As the project coordinator, UIC would like to give its thanks to the ÖBB Board for making this peer review possible, and especially to Ludwig Koschutnig (Safety expert, Safety and Quality department) for being so thorough with its organisation.

UIC and the Twinning II project team would also like to thank all of the ÖBB’s operations and management staff, who gave their time and for their willingness to share views on how safety culture should be.

What is a peer review for? To explain in a few words, it is a methodological approach and tool that helps members to benchmark themselves through a thorough and objective review of their activities, by an independent team from outside their organisation (in this case, the Twinning II team). The result is a report that highlights strengths and areas for improvement in safety culture.

The peer review in ÖBB was carried out using 3 types of sessions:

  • Focus groups (with 3 or 4 ÖBB staff members) answering questions and giving feedback
  • Interviews (with one person)
  • On-site observation to analyse the workplace reality within certain activities

For ÖBB peer review , we were able to meet with staff from shunting and dispatching, and with executive staff at management level.

In terms of methodology, we followed the ERA Safety Culture Model with support from the agency’s Kim Drews, when preparing the peer review, conducting it, and producing the report.

One of this peer review exercise’s strengths is that it encourages and supports the sharing of expertise between consortium members and raises awareness levels and the commitment to safety within host and visiting organisations. Through peer review, members learn and share general knowledge on safety culture and improve their own performance.

The second peer review will take place at CFL Cargo in Luxembourg at the end of February 2023 and the third one at the end of March in Gant with Infrabel. We look forward to seeing you there!

Finally, the UIC would also like to wholeheartedly thank the Twinning II team for its outstanding work:

  • INFRABEL (leader of this peer review)
  • SNCF Réseau,
  • EPSF (French NSA),
  • ACF (Luxembourgish NSA),
  • DB CARGO France,

In conclusion, the ultimate objective of this project will be for the consortium to draw up a draft guide for positive practices within safety culture for operators to use, in order to implement this exercise within a company’s SMS framework.