Passenger using wheelchair (Photo ORR)

UK: Train operators and Network Rail are making progress with disability awareness refresher training, according to a review undertaken by the Office of Rail & Road.

ORR requires operators to deliver refresher training on disability and equality every two years, and specifies the competencies that staff must be able to demonstrate, including communications skills, accessibility at stations and providing safe assistance.

ORR reviewed operators’ plans, including whether training has been developed in consultation with disabled people and whether there is assurance that staff have understood and can apply the training.

ORR said Grand Central, Greater Anglia, Merseyrail and Network Rail exceeded its expectations by planning to deliver refresher training to all staff, not just those who are passenger-facing, with Grand Central singled out for providing in-person training for all staff.

However, an initial TransPennine Express proposal for training via a briefing document was not as effective as e-learning or classroom teaching, and ORR has received assurances that an e-learning module will be provided to all passenger-facing staff by December 31.

Responding to the ORR’s comments on June 8, a spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group said ’we want everyone to be able to access our rail network and to do that requires staff to have the right tools and training’.