How Do I Get A PTS Certificate To Work On The Railways?


25 Answers

Neal Widdows Profile
Neal Widdows answered
You need to be sponsored by a rail company to gain your PTS for the railway. You can either ask the company you work for if you currently work for a railway company, ask a company you would like to work for, or see if any of the contractor companies will take you on. A PTS or personal track safety certificate enables a person to work on the railway network in the UK. You need to have a PTS before being allowed near the tracks. To get your PTS you must prove that you are capable and competent to work on the railways. You must not have any conditions that could cause you to suddenly lose consciousness because working on the tracks can be very dangerous. Applicants also need good vision and hearing to be issued the PTS. Colour blindness should not be an issue, but it may stop the worker performing certain tasks, for example coloured wiring. To gain your PTS the applicant will have to do a blood test, urine test, hearing and sight test to ensure that the applicant is fit for the job in hand. You need to prove that you are able to respond and react in the correct manner to any emergency or unexpected circumstances that may arise during the time that you are working on the railways. The PTS is the basic level that National Rail lays out to allow contracted maintenance workers access to the tracks that need working on. has a complete searchable list of companies that could sponsor someone looking to gain a PTS qualification. Once gained, the certificate is valid for two years before it has to be retaken.
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Ian Scott
Ian Scott commented
I've been on the the rail now for nineteen years working as a controller of site safety and not once have I had to give a blood test for a new sponsor urine test yes but not blood
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I work in rail recruitment. You can apply for a PTS card without a sponsor, it costs in the region of 350+. I would recommend it as there are currently a lot of opportunities arising in the sector, and it generally pays well.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
PTS certification is just like medical of a person, but the rules and regulations are defined by Rail Regulation Authority. Medical assessment for PTS requires following tests:
hearing test
blood pressure test
Urine  test
vision test
If you want to get the PTS certificate go to the Office of Rail Regulation. They will tell you from which medical center or even hospital you can certify that test.
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Anonymous commented
A Personal Track Safety (PTS) Certificate is required before anybody is allowed to work within the boundary of Network Rail tracks in the UK. Any potential employee must undergo a medical and a drug and alcohol test before attending a "personal track safety" course.

The PTS Certificate lists competencies held by the person named on the card. - this may include

Medical Certificate (expiry 10 years)
PTS (AC or DC) (expiry 2 years)
PICOP, COSS, IWA or others...
Deregulation in both the National Railway Service in the UK has meant that increasing numbers of subcontractors are being employed within the track environment. Contractors are often used for specific limited projects and are often from companies that have not previously been considered as having “railway pedigrees or culture”.

To work on or around the track involves certification for the individual employee of which there are several levels of competence and responsibility which are assessed.

The basic level for track access for Network Rail is the Personal Track Safety certificate (PTS) as defined by the railway safety standards GO/RT/8067. These levels of certification only assess the individual’s ability to work safely in the track environment. This means that the individual is able to respond and correctly react to circumstances which may arise in this potentially dangerous environment. Persons therefore should not have any condition or be taking any medication that may lead to sudden incapacity, loss of consciousness, dizziness, impairment of awareness, concentration, balance, coordination, or any significant limitation of mobility or impairment of hearing and vision. Persons with minor medical conditions (e.g. Colour blind) may still be issued a PTS - though the card will have an indicator, a red triangle, to inform the Controller of Site Safety (COSS) to that person ailment. Similarly, those who have only recently got their PTS certificate will have have a green square on their card to indicate their 'new' status.

The medical assessment undertaken for PTS certification does not address the medical specificity for tasks that an individual may be expected to undertake in their normal duties when actually working on the track. I.e. Operating machinery or responsibility for other staff requires a higher level of assessment for the job specification and procedures.

The medical assessment for these certificates must be undertaken by an accredited medical provider. In the case of PTS this is authorised by the “Link up procedure” under the authority of Network Rail.

Providers of this service are registered appropriately and regular audit is undertaken to ensure that they meet the quality control levels for the specific standards of performance and training needed to reliably undertake the medical assessments.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
First thing you have to do is get a company to sponsor you,then they will send you for a medical,If you pass that you will then be sent on the pts course,you cannot get a card without a company sponsor,thats the hardest thing because most of the subies are not rail approved so they can't sponsor you.Its the main contractor who is  approved and they don't want the hassle,If you get your card remember not to put a cv to every job you see because most of the time companies use you to tender for work,ie I have 15 squad's of pts brickies on my books.They use you to get work , pick your companies carefully so you are not wasting your time,these companies tell you what you want to hear.
swani motembe Profile
swani motembe answered
I really wish someone can give straight forward steps to getting a PTS card.Give example of agencies that do the training so we can call and get a way forward.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Being an unemployed construction worker who wants to work how can I get a PTS certificate
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I would find job first (easy said than done I know) and get the company you work for to sponsor to put you through PTS training - the last thing you want is to have spent £300+ on getting a card and then you cannot find work. Remember, as soon as you have passed a PTS medial and done the course, you are a 'blue hat'. This means you are limited as to what you can do (ie - cannot work alone, an IWA is needed on the sentinel card for this) and you must be deemed to be competant within 6 months (extendable to 1 year with 6 months experience) of passing the course in order to gain a 'white hat'. This means, if you get PTS but do not use it regularly for a continuous 6 month period during the first year of passing, your PTS competency is removed and you would have to take the whole  course again (costing a further £300+). Further more, even after gaining a 'white hat', Network Rail employees are subject to yearly assesment in the line in order to keep their PTS and employees for other companies are required to resit PTS every 2 years.
kev mclean Profile
kev mclean answered
I have had a pts card in the past but it ran out just over a year ago, do I have to do the full course again? My medical is valid untill 2018. And how do I find work?
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I work as a excavator driver and I hear the pay is very good I am a hard working man who will do what I am asked to do please tell me how to get a pts certificate
craig easter Profile
craig easter answered
Ccl in doncaster will put a package together for you if you want to get on the rail way.thats a sponsor and test and course.I have done it,I have a question for any to answer,,,,,,I have a pts but my sponsor has deregistered me ,can I still get a job with no sponsor or does some one else sponsor me when thay take me on ?
Ray Oakes Profile
Ray Oakes answered
If you are un employed or self employed and want to get a PTS Card then there are several training companies who can help - not only with arranging the Medical and D&A but also arranging sponsorship but also lending you the correct safety clothing when you go 'on track' for the training.
If you can't get started try looking at some training websites like Coursesplus and Emagister for 'PTS Training'
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I'm a bricklayer and looking to get a PTS certificate. I understand I need a sponsor, does anyone know of a company.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Need to phone some agy and reg with them . There put you through. For pts. 2 day course.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Why do you have to get an independent medical certificate done to be considered for a PTS, I thought all this came in with the cost of the PTS.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Who do I need to get in touch with to book my pts test I live in manchester if that is of any use, thanks, andy
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered

Hey guys, ok so this isn't about the actual certificate, but more about the test questions you will need to pass for the PTS.

Some are mandatory for all staff to know, while others  are from other tests. Anyway, have a look:

Remember your. Clearances,signs, badges eg coss lookout es. Emergency phone. Types of phone. Track lay out. Dc/ac

Read G1 module of the rule book available on rgsonline website

just pay attention in class and you'll be fine,

1/ How many lines are you allowed to cross that are open, whilst only holding pts and you are alone?

2/ Same question with a COSS and three PTS holders?

3/ When are you supposed to check railway fog signals (detonators)?

4/ Positions of safety at
a)0-100 MPH
b) 101-125 MPH
c) >125 MPH
Think about c)

5/ Separated green zone, minimum distance with COSS + 1 and no site warden?

6/ Level crossing, CCTV, bang road (wrong direction for all you newbies) what colored flag would you receive from the LC attendant?

7/ When is a route setting agent required to be appointed?

8/ In the 1950 edition of the rule book, was it allowable to raise two arms above your head to indicate to a driver to stop in an emergency situation?

9/ Whilst carrying out emergency detonator protection of the line, upon reaching a tunnel, what should you do? Answer in full without reference to th rule book module G1 page 33-35.

10/In engineers line reference, what does the following mean?
a) BHL
b) VOG
c) VON
d) DCL (easy one)
e) SWM (another easy one)
f) NDN

Q3 I was looking for the first week in September. But what other month did the rule book used to state?

Q4, now a position of safety is associated with red zone, what are you not allowed to do >125mph, work red zone. So to answer that correctly you should have said red zone working is banned over 125. However, there is no withdrawal of >125 position of safety, the ban on red zone working over 125 superseeds this and can be withdrawn at any time.

Q9, the correct answer is if the full protection distance falls within the tunnel, then place three dets (yes, 20yards apart) then proceed through the tunnnel. This means if the full protection distance is the other side of the tunnel, then you can walk around.

The other answers are correct.

Is that stated in module G2?

Anyway, to keep the ball rolling, some more easy ones...

1- Can a train Propel within a worksite and when?
2- When can a T3 possession be taken round a train?
3- Do AHB/CCTV/MCB crossings need to be taken under local control during a possession of the line?
4- How many types of T2 protection are there? Name them for extra credit
5- What is the maximum permissable speed for a train with a non operable headlight?
6- What is a RIO and whats is its function?
7- What is a RT3973 form and how many types are there?. Name them for extra credit
8- What must the driver of an engineering train have in his possesion before leaving a worksite/possession and who issues it?
9 -What is a command structure and what does it consist of?

Gold, silver and bronze, Gold what will be done, silver how it will be done and bronze is on site doing it.

Not, it is not stated in G2. There is no >125 stated, it has been withdrawn because the ban on red zone working has supeceeded this.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered


I would like to find out what the difference is between a ten day Pts course and a two day course?

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I'm a scaffold er and hope to work on the rail how do I go about getting the pts card

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