The purpose of these units is to define the competence requirements for candidates who are required to undertake Protection Controller (PC) activities.

This competence is made up of 2 units.


These competence units apply in all circumstances where an individual is required to undertake the activities of a PC on the Network Rail managed infrastructure.

The level and extent of responsibility includes their own safety and that of others who might be affected by their work. The candidate is expected to refer to others for authorisation when required, is be responsible for the implementation of the instructions and work within set procedures and specifications. The candidate is responsible for the quality of their completed work.

  • Competence units

This competence is made up of 2 units.

Unit 1: Implement and withdraw protection arrangements for more than one group of workers.

This competence unit comprises four elements:

Element 1: Review overall protection arrangements for more than one site of work.

Element 2: Brief all COSSs on the overall protection arrangements.

Element 3: Protect the blocked line from trains.

Element 4: Restore the line to operational status.

Unit 2: Support safe and effective engineering activities across more than one group of workers.

This competence unit comprises three elements:

Element 1: Authorising the setting up of work sites.

Element 2: Monitoring the progress of activities across more than one group of workers.

Element 3: Adapting overall protection to meet changing conditions.

B.10.4 Assessment

B.10.4.1 Initial assessment.

Evidence will be used from satisfactory completion of training, gathered from an end of training assessment which shall include:

  • practical demonstrations of competence where indicated in the competence requirements
  • a test of the knowledge essential for Protection Controller
  • assessing the candidate’s ability to apply the essential knowledge in a range of conditions and practical situations appropriate to their activities, including uncommon situations

B.10.4.2 Re-assessment

Competence will be re-assessed at least once every 24 months and an interim assessment will be completed between 9 and 15 months.

The interim assessment will confirm:

  • that the competence has been used on sufficient occasions for it to remain valid;
  • there have been no incidents, or accidents as a result of the candidate completing the activities
  • the candidate has the knowledge defined in the relevant units of competence.

If the candidate has not carried out the role of Protection Controller at least twice over the previous 9 to 15 months, the competence will be withdrawn or no longer valid.

The results of the initial, interim assessments and re-assessment will be recorded together, including any actions taken to remedy deficiencies.