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SSMG - Safety System Management Group

  • Chairman: Jean-François Meunier, SNCF
  • Vice Chairman: Hans Vogt, SBB-CFF
  • Secretary: Isabelle Fonverne, UIC


Meetings: As the ERA ERA European Railway Agency ’s (European Railway Agency) work programme is wide-ranging and crucial due to the deadlines set by the Commission, this WG is generally convened every month.

 General information

SSMG deals with such questions as:

  • How is safety management to be organised?
  • How is safety to be assessed/measured?
  • How are decisions to be taken on the acceptance of safety?
  • How is safety to be demonstrated?
  • How is risk to be controlled or monitored when changes occur?

The group assists the “speakers” (nominated by CER) participating in ERA (European Railway Agency) working groups focusing on safety issues, to wit:

  • Common Safety Methods for Risk Assessment (CSM CSM Common Safety Methods -RA),
  • Common Safety Methods for monitoring (CSM for monitoring),
  • Certification of Entities in Charge of Maintenance (CECM),
  • Common Safety Performance (CSP),
  • Safety Certification (SafeCert).

In addition, "Task Forces" are set up to deal with specific issues.

The SSMG/CER Safety Support Group drafts summary documents on subjects addressed by the ERA and responds to questions raised by spokespersons for ERA working groups in order to defend the interests or RUs and IMs vis-à-vis the ERA’s proposals and explain the corresponding operational safety consequences.

The group’s work in 2014 made it possible for CER to take position on every ERA project in the field of safety and for experts to collaborate.

 Activities of the UIC/CER joint working group

1. Risk Acceptance Criteria for Technical Systems (RAC-TS):

Major issues: Make sure the future severity/frequency scale to be included in CSM-RA does not lead to safety requirements relaxation nor cost increases, Validate ERA proposal or propose an alternative one, based on concrete facts.

Recent activities: CER/EIM task-forces to clarify the underlying concepts : 27/01, 28/02, 06/05; next scheduled 04/07, CER/UNIFE UNIFE Union of European Railway Industries meetings 28/02, 06/05, SSMG prepared a position paper “RAC Way forward” endorsed by CER 14/03, ERA workshop 01&02/04; next scheduled 18/07, Ongoing discussions around concrete cases proposed by SNCF and DB

2. Joint Network Secretariat (ERA + NSAs + Sector): Tasks and roles of actors on safety in the railway system

Major issues: Avoid lacks and inconsistencies in the legal framework Ensure RUs and IMs are not made “responsible” of operational activities they are not able to control

Recent activities: 2 GRB workshops involving ERA on 25/04 and 16/05, next scheduled 03/07, SSMG prepared a position paper in response to ERA paper on “The Vision for Roles and Responsibilities in the European Safety Regulatory Framework” SSMG prepared a table on roles and activities, to be submitted to JNS on 01/09/2014, and to NSA network.

3. Single safety certificate

Major issues: Part B contents and functions must be kept in the future, Clarification of interfaces between ERA/NSAs/RUs and IMs, Make sure the CSMs revisions include the sector representatives Keep the “cooperation agreements” possibility.

Recent activities: Response to ERA Guide « Issuing a safety certificate or safety autorisation » 03/03, Participation to Commission task-force kick-off meeting, 10/06.

Related item: CER response to the ex-post assessment ERA questionnaire on ECM certification for wagons => input for certification extension to other vehicles.

4. Quick Response Procedure, QRP (after accident or serious incident)

Major issues: Avoid new national rules, Set a quick process ensuring coordination and relevance of immediate measures following an accident or incident taken by NSAs, according to each member state regulatory framework.

Recent activities: A CER letter to ERA on QRP was sent to ERA 30/04, insisting on: respective roles of ERA and of representative bodies, relationship between QRP and JNS, « voluntary » application of QRP outputs?

New related item anticipated in JNS: Harmonised sanction regime and NSA decision making process.

other subjects depending on ERA and CER.


Isabelle Fonverne: fonverne uic.org