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The PTS Card, or Personal Track Safety Card, enables individuals to legally work on or nearby Network Rail train tracks.
DISCLAIMER: The PTS Card is not available to the public. The PTS Card is a qualification that you get through Network Rail as an employee of a rail engineering company with an allocated sponsor.
The card is issued by Network Rail's chosen identity card scheme called Sentinel and is valid for 5 years.
Having the PTS Card enures that you and those working alongside you have completed the necessary safety training, are medically fit and have passed a drugs and alcohol test.
What can I do with a PTS Card?
With the PTS Card, you can work as a Rail Track Maintenance Worker, where you inspect and maintain Network Rail infrastructure.
Do I need a PTS Card?
Network If you are working as an employee of a rail engineering company, you will need a PTS Card in order to be able to work on or near Network Rail train tracks.
✅ Sentinel Smartcard
The PTS Card is a Sentinel Smartcard, which means your qualification records are stored on the card's electronic chip. There is also a unique QR code which allows information about the card holder to be accessed on the Sentinel database.
The Sentinel PTS Card is only available to individuals who are employed or sponsored by rail engineering companies, and not to anyone in the general public.
To obtain a Personal Track Safety Card, you will need to be at least 16 years old and have completed relevant training, such as the Initial Personal Track Safety Course. It is also helpful to have engineering related qualifications.
✅ Medical test, drugs and alcohol screening
To be eligible for the Initial PTS Course, as well as your PTS card, you will need to pass a medical test and a drug and alcohol screening.
You will also need to have an approved sponsor before taking the Initial PTS Training Course - and obtaining your PTS Card from Sentinel.
Your Sponsor should assist you with applying and obtaining your Personal Track Safety Sentinel card. You will need to ensure that you complete the following steps and provide the necessary information:
✅ Find a Sponsor
You will not be able to obtain a PTS Card without a Sponsor. One way to find a sponsor is Network Rail's Careers Page.
✅Pass Medical Test, Drugs and Alcohol Screening
You will be required to pass tests to meet the medical requirements specified by Network Rail. These are straightforward. Click for advice by Sentinel on finding an approved provider.
✅ Attend and pass the Initial Personal Track Safety Course
The PTS Training Course takes 2 days to complete and is assessed by both a practical exam and a written exam. Upon completing the course, you should receive the following certificate: Valid Personal Track Safety (PTS) competence to work track-side.
✅ Provide proof of identity and 2 passport photos
Proof of ID can come in the form of your passport. For rules on Passport photos, click here to see what the Government says.
✅ Sponsor will contact Sentinel and provide all information.
Your 5 year PTS Card will take 10 days to arrive. There is a fee of £33 per year, per user. Sponsors are expected to cover this cost for you.
As part of obtaining your Sentinel PTS card, you need to complete the Initial Personal Track Safety Course. The training course takes 2 days to complete.
By the end of the training, you should have an understanding of the Sentinel Scheme and how the Track Safety Handbook is relevant to you. The contents of the Initial PTS Course will help you stay safe and maintain a safe working environment around tracks.
The units include:
✅ Introduction to working on the track
✅ Accessing and Exiting the Track
✅ Working Safely
✅ Communication and Teamwork skills
✅ Emergency Procedures
✅ Safe system of work
✅ AC Electric Equipment
✅ DCCR Electrification Equipment
Before taking the Initial PTS Course, you are required to complete an e-learning module. This will be sent by your training provider once you have booked your course.
The Initial Personal Track Safety Course is assessed by both a practical assessment and a written assessment. You will need to pass both to pass the course.
To be eligible for the Initial PTS Course, you will need to be above the age of 16, have passed a medical test, a drug and alcohol screening, as well as have a sponsor from an approved company.
Upon completion of the course, you will receive a Personal Track Safety (PTS) certificate which shows your competence to work track-side. You will need this to apply for your PTS Card from Sentinel.
No, The PTS Card is NOT available to the public. The PTS Card is a qualification that you get through Network Rail as an employee of a rail engineering company with an allocated sponsor.
The PTS Card is part of maintaining safety standards for workers who operate on or close to Network Rail tracks, as certain training is required in order to obtain the Card. It is a legal requirement. The PTS card is issued by Sentinel, which is part of Network Rail.
To obtain a PTS Card, you need to be sponsored by an employer who is registered with Sentinel. To be registered, they need to meet all the worker guidelines for Network Rail, such as working hours and conditions. Sponsorship helps you as a candidate, as training costs will be covered for you and you are guaranteed employment. Furthermore, the cost of the Sentinel PTS Card will also be covered.
To be eligible for a PTS card, you need to be over 16 years of age, have a sponsor, pass a medical test, pass a drugs and alcohol screening and finally successfully complete PTS Training, such as the Initial Personal Track Safety Course.
The PTS Card costs £33 per user, per year. Your sponsor will cover this cost. However, if you lose your card, you may be required to pay for a new one.
It takes up to 10 working days for your PTS Card to arrive once all the necessary documentation has been provided to Sentinel. You cannot work without your card, as it is legal requirement.
The Personal Track Safety Card is valid for 5 years.
To renew your PTS Card once it has expired, you will need to reapply and take fresh training. You will also need to take the necessary medical and drug tests.
The PTS Training Course is assessed by a written exam and a practical. You will need to pass both tests to obtain your certificate. The assessments are on the final day.
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