Which licence category should I go for?
Having decided that you need a licence, you need to decide what licence category is most appropriate for you. The table below will help you decide. The scope of each licence can be found by clicking on the title.
- If you design, install, maintain or test signalling or telecommunications systems, then a specific suite of licences exists for your area of work.
- If you manage others who work in these fields, then there may be a specific licence appropriate for you (e.g. Design Manager). Alternatively, an Engineer or Lead Engineer category of licence may be appropriate.
- If you are involved in consultancy work, then the Engineer or Lead Engineer licence is likely to be most appropriate. A few people may be in roles appropriate for the Senior Engineer licence.
Do not be tempted to go for a higher licence category than is appropriate for the work you actually do. It may be tempting to do so, perhaps because it seems more prestigious, or because it gives you greater flexibility. In reality, however, if you do not do the work covered by the licence category, you are unlikely to be able to provide the necessary evidence in support of your licence application.
Do I need a licence that covers more than one category?
It is permissible to hold a licence covering more than one category. Thus, for instance, if you are a signalling Principles Tester and you also regularly perform Functional Testing, you would have a licence for both categories. You will of course need to provide evidence for, and be assessed for, both categories.
In some circumstances the IRSE licensing scheme requires you to hold a licence covering more than one category this will be stated on the Scope of the Licence standard. For example, if you are a signalling installation team leader, you will need to hold the Signalling Installation licence category, plus the Signalling Team Leader licence.
What if I cannot find a licence category appropriate to my work?
If you are sure you need a licence, then in all probability you will be able to find a suitable licence, and you should endeavour to do so. In the unlikely event that you cannot find a licence that is appropriate, then you or your manager should confirm with the rail organisation under which you are working.
It is important to note that, even if there is no suitable licence category available, an appropriate means of demonstrating your competence is still essential and it is suggested you seek advice in this situation.
Once I have gained my licence, how can I acquire additional licence categories?
If your role or job changes significantly after you have gained your licence, you may need to acquire an additional licence category to cover your new activities and responsibilities. This can be done, and the additional licence category is added to your licence once you have demonstrated competence in that category.
What do the Engineering Manager group of licences cover?
The “Engineering Manager” group of licences (Engineer, Lead Engineer, Senior Engineer) are mainly for those people whose work covers a range of engineering activities. Such people are likely to be either in consultancy roles, or in engineering management roles. A licence holder in this group of licences is required to demonstrate competence in two core units, plus competence in at least one of the optional units.