A Challenging and Momentous year for CIRO…

Our 2021 News Round Up

2021 proved to be a truly momentous year for our Institution, gaining recognition for our value in the industry being awarded the Queen’s Charter to become the Chartered Institution of Railway Operators. Our CEO Fiona Tordoff said: “The Chartership signifies the entrance into our new chapter, allowing us to elevate our profession even further and positioning us as the standard for railway operations globally.”

Howard Smith, Chair of Trustees added: “Our organisation represents all groups, across the UK and beyond, and is playing its full part in increasing the diversity that is so vital as we move forward.”

Membership continues to strengthen, and 2021 saw us welcome our milestone 10,000th member, Andrew Love, Head of Train Control and Signalling at SNC-Lavalin Atkins. Andrew was delighted to learn that his membership application brought our institution to 10,000 members and we are equally thrilled to have reached this substantial milestone in the same year that the Institution was awarded Chartered status. Andrew said: “Good operational practice is constantly evolving in different ways on different types of railways. I want to be able to keep my operating knowledge up-to-date and have a view of how the users of railway control systems see the world. Hopefully, I can feed what I learn back into the design of railway systems to create infrastructure that assists the operator in doing their job well.” He added: “I also see CIRO’s events as an opportunity for informal discussion with others in our industry where we can share the issues that we’re facing in our different corners of the industry and work out how to help each other.”

In October 2021, we also welcomed our newest corporate member. Lumo is a new, 100% electric rail service owned by FirstGroup that will run up 10 services everyday between London King’s Cross, Newcastle, and Edinburgh Waverley along the East Coast Main Line. Matthew Lee, Commercial Director at Lumo said: “I’m delighted that Lumo has joined CIRO as Corporate members so that we can share the benefits as we come together to reimagine rail.” We look forward to working with Lumo and assisting their employees on their career development by supporting them with the many learning resources that are available to members.

We also were very excited to launch The Game, designed to bring greater interactivity to the learning experience. Our new game can be accessed through Rail Academy, the Online Learning Management System developed specifically for rail operational staff to further their learning in notoriously fast-paced sections of the rail industry. The Game provides its members with an interactive facility to learn by working through a series of tasks and challenges across differing operational functions. Working through levels including Control Room Operations and a Planning Department, it tasks members to develop their knowledge of these sectors through a mixture of learning methods. Members can access The Game through the Rail Academy platform by entering individual login details and following the on-screen prompts.

In October 2021, we were delighted to welcome our annual intake of new students to our Academic Programme Launch. This London event marked the first cohort of students since our Institution was awarded Chartership and provided an opportunity for students to meet both CIRO and GCU staff while also networking with their fellow students from across the industry.

New POD (Professional Operators Development) experience events are set to launch this year. These events, designed to assist members with their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) can also be used to supplement membership upgrade applications. The first event will be based around Delivering Customer Services (POD Section 5) and will cover elements including Station Approach & Access, Ticket Purchase & Collection, Gateline, Platform Moving & Waiting, Boarding, On-Board Experience and Disembarking. The POD experience will be held at a station and a walking tour will stop off at several points of interest and visit key staff members. After this first event has been rolled out, we will look at developing events for each of the remaining eleven POD sections.

2021 proved to be a fantastic year full of key milestones for our institution. We’re very excited to see what 2022 brings, we’ve already got brilliant events in the diary and new projects underway to support our members.