Short Courses.

IRO offer an Attendance Certificate


Short Courses are not eligible for Apprentice levy funding.

How does it work?

Taught in-house, these are delivered face to face, take a day each and can be bought separately or together in pairs/series.

Principles of the subject are introduced and case studies used in a group setting to share learning and optimise reactions and decision making.


This short programme defines the preparations that can be made for emergencies and operational incidents on the railway and gets learners involved in scenarios to improve their knowledge
on: types of emergency, good practice with contingency planning and readiness, who is who in the command structure, evacuation procedures – Fire / Security / Crowd Control, civil emergencies,
response to operational incidents and events, Station evacuation planning. The programme refers to Approved Codes of Practice wherever possible and contains exercises on; Contingency
Planning, scenario of a mishap at a junction, scenario of a train fail on a mainline, identification of the worst disruptions for different rail companies (e.g. TOCs, Infrastructure).
In this introduction to the key concepts of Performance Management learners are given a chance to work with others on information analysis, pre timetable investigation and planning a special event to improve performance. The exercises all work on the fundamental principles of good performance such as accountability throughout the system, proactivity, understanding real time effects and identifying improvement targets. There is content on Public Performance Measure, business policy, engineering access and on the day and after the day measure.
This programme allows participants to experience scenarios where passenger and freight services are managed effectively. It takes aspects of delivery including safety, cost and change and looks at factors influencing delivery and how they interplay. Drawing on content such as corporate governance, Controlling Mind and balanced scorecard, it looks at the contractual environment and how to measure success. It contains exercises on locomotive maintenance, electrification and weather preparation.
This serves as a concise introduction to the key principles of Safety Management and their practical application on the modern railway. The programme has content on key legislation, Safety Management Systems; Railway Operating Standards and Principles; Principal Railway Standards, Safe Movement of Trains, Key Operating Principles, Railway Operating Logic, Risk Assessments, Managing Behaviour and People Assessments and Culture. It involves the learners with exercises on “ Who is Responsible?”, Managing Change, root cause analysis and Operations Standards Audit.
To outline the principles behind excellent customer service, how to recognise it and how to deliver it, this programme looks at Customer and Staff engagement, policies, internal customers, service level agreements, costs of poor quality, Passenger Information During Disruption, Serious Performance Incident Reviews, (how to make the findings count) and how to measure Customer Service Performance. It includes exercises on Service Level Agreements with Depot staff, going the extra mile, the costs of quality and conflict.
This packed 180 minutes offers an understanding of the principal aims of operations planning, the processes of operations planning and the balance between efficiency and effectiveness in timetable and resource planning. It has contents on timetable inputs and outputs, UK planning processes for permanent, engineering, short and very short planning, Timings, cost v efficiency debate, causes of failure in planning. It includes exercises in pathing, identifying terms and a comprehensive short term planning scenario with rolling stock and train crew diagrams to factor in to the solutions.
The programme begins with a look at what makes Rail people different than other sectors and includes sections on Employee Relations (Unions and Workforce Involvement, Key Procedures),
Safety Critical Work (Competence Management, Fitness, Fatigue and an introduction to rostering (efficiencies, effective cover, fairness).
There are exercises on gaining commitment for change in a given re-organisation scenario, train crew rostering and employee relations and managing conduct and performance in a safety critical organisation.
It is always helpful to understand the big picture and this programme helps learners to understand the industry they are part of. It showcases different models of rail organisation and looks at the evolving structures UK franchise system as one of these. With sections on geography, commercial or social, politics, regulation, stakeholders and finance and exercises on part funding modernisation projects, major city railway company costs and maintaining business continuity from the perspectives implementing a franchise.
This programme helps learners to understand how assets are managed on the railway and their impact upon operation. It begins by identifying and establishing ownership for the key components in track, civil engineering, signaling, electrification, plant and fleet and their potential impact on operational capacity, speed and ability to run. Looking at repair, maintenance, renewals and upgrades the programme also looks at productive times in possession and completes with exercises on radical solutions with a maintenance backlog, use of KPIs in partnership models.

Main Personal Benefit:

A good grounding of the principles involved in each topic, an appreciation of the role of colleagues in the railway system and insights into the rail system as whole.

Main Company Benefit:

You can put these into development centres (some of the exercises can be observable), use for team leader training, senior leadership events or management conferences. You have ultimate flexibility over your topics and are not tied to the whole IRO Operations Practitioner Diploma series or the assessment methods deployed, whilst being able to utilise the materials and gain attendance certificates for your attendees.

For more information or to register your interest, email Danny Stafford at or call 03333 440523