SAUDI ARABIA: Arcadis is currently supporting the Saudi government's Railways Commission as it moves from the set-up phase to full operation. According to Arcadis Safety & Risk Director Stef Scannali, the process involves an extensive transfer of skills and knowledge, which draws on Arcadis staff's global experience of safety-critical industries, including the transport, energy and nuclear sectors.

The Railways Commission has been established to provide a national rail regulatory body as the passenger and freight rail network expands and metro and light rail projects are developed in the major cities. Initially based in Dammam, it will issue operating licenses and safety certificates, grant and monitor concession agreements, regulate the complaints procedure and publish key performance data.

Over the past two years Arcadis has assisted with the development of the complex organisational structure required, along with job descriptions and operating procedures. The government has recently approved the Commission's structure, and specialist risk consultants from Arcadis are now providing mentoring and advice on best international practice to its staff to enable them to take the organisation forward independently.