Network Rail has created a new role to head its asset protection and optimisation (ASPRO) teams as it seeks to implement reforms to the way ASPRO works, to break down barriers and make it easier for other organisations to invest in and build on the railway.
Network Rail’s ASPRO teams are in charge of making sure any work on or near the railway is done safely and to the right standards, yet these standards and practices can sometimes mean it is difficult for third parties to deliver railway projects.
A national ASPRO framework has been produced and is in the process of being rolled out across the business. This will support a consistent approach for third parties working with Network Rail, meaning there will be clearly defined processes, working practices, responsibilities and contacts right across the business.
All ASPRO teams at Network Rail have been requested to be compliant with the newly created framework by September 2018.
To raise the professional competency, assurance and drive consistency within Network Rail’s route ASPRO teams, a new national professional head of ASPRO role has been created. Mona Sihota has been appointed to the role, bringing nearly 30 years of railway experience spanning design, construction and asset management.
Additionally, Network Rail has created roles for a head of ASPRO in each of their eight geographic routes, who will work with project sponsors on third party requirements. The positions are in the process of being recruited.
Mona Sihota, Network Rail’s new national professional head of ASPRO said: “The path to changing the culture and behaviours of a large organisation such as Network Rail will take time, however we are committed to becoming open for business and the journey has begun. We’ve published our high-level national framework and have begun drafting the processes and procedures to support the variety of external party projects we will engage with. In addition, we’ve produced our national policy around ASPRO so that we maintain line of sight to our national ASPRO objectives.
“Supporting these documents, we will revamp our ASPRO website and build in the systems and tools to monitor and measure our internal performance indicators. I look forward to the opportunities ahead and I will be open and transparent with our journey. Network Rail ASPRO will continue to listen to the industry via regular meetings so that we can share our progress and learn where we can improve.”