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Occupation description

Safety is of critical importance to rail organisations, and rail safety management investigation has evolved as a specialisation within the safety discipline. Rail safety investigators conduct investigations in relation to accidents and incidents involving members of the public, passengers and rail employees.  Investigators are employed across Australia by rail operators and regulatory bodies. They are usually people with rail industry experience and who may, or may not, be qualified safety practitioners.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

Rail safety investigators need to be able to conduct investigations, interpret and apply relevant legislation and regulations. They must have a strong regard for safety.

Working conditions

As a rail safety investigator, you may travel to other locations including regional depots and train stations depending on the size of your organisation.  If you work for a freight company, you may find yourself in remote mining areas. Rail investigators operate autonomously and within a team environment. They are required to work outside normal business hours.

Entrance requirements and ongoing training and development

This is not a level entry role. There are no specific entrance requirements however audit and/or investigation qualifications and ICAM (incident/cause/analysis/method) qualifications are required as well as extensive industry specific experience. They also need strong knowledge of transport and WHS (work health and safety) legislations and statutory obligations.  Engineering or project management are good starting points to this career. A national competency framework for rail safety investigators and a masters level tertiary qualification for rail safety investigators is under development.

The value of a career in the rail industry

For even more details on what you might earn, the diversity of companies you could work for and the career opportunities available, visit the following careers and training websites. Careers in Rail by the Australasian Railway Association; About the Rail Industry by Rail Skills Australasia and Rail Training by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC).

For more information

Training Australia is the official national register of information on training packages, qualifications, courses, units of competency and registered training organisations (RTOs) and has been developed for experienced training sector users.

Career paths

Once in the rail industry, to progress your career you will need to complete additional studies or authorisations depending on organisational and state requirements. Safety is a high priority for rail and if you wanted to pursue a career in rail safety management you might study the Graduate Diploma of Rail Safety Management at Central Queensland University.

This information is generic. Job titles and the experience and qualifications needed to move into other jobs may vary slightly depending on the structure and needs of your organisation, and government rules and regulations.

Related Jobs

The jobs below may require additional qualifications as well as experience.

Career Path Flowchart

Typical career path for a rail safety investigator