Latest News

Network Rail – High Output

Monday, March 2nd, 2020

Work Group Leader Training

A very busy start to 2020 continues into March with the successful design and initial delivery of a new programme of professional development for 60 x Work Group Leaders responsible for leading front-line contractor teams in support of the national High Output capability.  The training is being delivered at NR High Output depots across the country and will provide the Work Group Leaders (primarily working for McGinley) with a wide range of skills, knowledge and tools to further improve safety and performance across this critical element of the national rail infrastructure.  The learning programme is highly practical and participative and focuses on developing several key areas of capability including decision-making and impact, the management of interfaces and information, site access and welfare, health and hazards, managing plant and tools and preventing and investigating accidents and incidents.

Network Rail – Scotland  

Monday, February 3rd, 2020

Person in Charge (PIC) Forums

We have just concluded the first phase of a new work package with Works Delivery Scotland to support them in creating and initiating a progressive series of route-wide forums to ensure the requirements of the recently introduced Person in Charge (PIC) capability are fully identified, understood and met.  Our coach is working actively with key operational staff within Works Delivery Scotland to ensure the forum becomes the platform from which the PIC concept is supported and implemented successfully by all operational managers and staff.

Network Rail – Southern Region

Friday, January 10th, 2020

Behaviour Safety Training (BeST) – Update

Our programme of practical training and support to deliver Network Rail Southern Region’s BeST training programme continues at pace.  A succession of continual improvements has seen revisions to the structure of the programme.  BeST now includes additional workplace coaching and support sessions with our coaches and the training-room based element is completed now in just one day.  A total of 550 delegates have attended 70 courses with a further 200 delegates attending courses by 31st March 2020.  The feedback continues to be excellent and the on-track safe behaviour of the teams continues to improve significantly.


The BeST programme has also now been expanded to include:


  • The High Speed One station staff from St Pancras, Stratford International and Ebbsfleet International stations respectively.
  • The SE Route Possession Support staff including supply chain staff.

Tactical Incident Leader (TIL) Training

Friday, August 9th, 2019

We are delighted to report excellent progress with our contract with Network Rail to deliver tactical-level incident management and leadership training to relevant operations staff in Network Rail.  The Tactical Incident Leader (TIL) training programme is designed to better enable key Operations staff to lead incidents professionally, safely and effectively and return the railway to full operational status as soon as it is practical and safe to do so after an incident.


Each TIL training course is three days long and is delivered collaboratively by Benchmark and Network Rail trainers at sites across the UK including Wattisham, Tunbridge Wells, Wakefield and Preston.  A total of fifteen (15) TIL courses will be delivered in 2019 with further courses being booked already into 2020.  The TIL training is designed to enable rail incident response staff to:


  • Improve their incident management knowledge.
  • Enable them to practice and improve their incident management planning and implementation skills in a safe and supported learning environment.
  • Provide an opportunity for their knowledge and skills to be assessed in order to identify their further development needs to be addressed in the workplace.
  • Develop their leadership skills and give them increased confidence to manage incidents successfully.

Siemens Powerlines Limited – Safety Critical Communications (SCC) Training

Monday, May 20th, 2019

The demand for high quality, practical and contextualised Safety Critical Communications (SCC) training across the rail industry has rarely been higher. Benchmark is currently delivering a four-month programme of SCC training to 150 x staff across Siemens Powerlines Limited. The courses are being delivered at SPL’s premises in Wellingborough and incorporate both day and night courses to match the delegatres shift patterns.
The training focuses upon both the generic requirement to communicate effectively and also upon the specific circumstances and environment within which SPL’s critical communicators are required to operate. Each training course is highly interactive with delegates continually practising and demonstrating their skills and assessing their performance against the competency standard adopted across the rail industry. Delegate feedback is exceptional with many reporting a significant sense of achievement when their communications are judged to sit at the very highest end of the SCC grading spectrum. As ever, our trainers use a coach approach throughout each course which is, we believe, a major factor underpinning the success of the training.

Network Rail – South East Route – Behavioural Safety (BeST) Programme

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

Following the successful design, development and piloting of a series of behavioural safety (BeST) courses for front-line maintenance teams in Network Rail South East Route, Benchmark has now been awarded a contract to deliver circa 200 x two-day courses over, initially, a two-year period. The two-day courses are complimented by a series of one-day workshops for line managers and post-training impact sessions to ensure the learning is fully embedded and sustained on the delegate’s return to the workplace
Each two-day BeST course is attended by a formed maintenance team, sometimes with the addition of a local Operations & Customer Service colleague. The training is conducted in the workplace and is highly interactive and very practical in nature. To maximise engagement, all the learning is contextualised to the workplace with the final practical activity conducted on the infrastructure and led by the delegates. BeST courses are run both day and night to fit the roster pattern of the team attending. On completing the training, each team produces a team action plan to ensure the learning is carried forward into the workplace. The training objectives enable delegates to:
• Look at how short-term memory works & how it shapes behaviour & decision-making.

• Identify & practise techniques to improve awareness & reaction to hazards & risks to help keep everyone safe by reducing accidents, incidents & near-misses attributed to lapses in concentration.

• Understand & practise Risk-Based Commentary to heighten everyone’s State of Preparedness and ensure everyone remains Situationally Aware at all times.

• Understand and practice Safety Conversations and how to challenge unsafe behaviour effectively.

Network Rail – London North West Route

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

HSEQ Team Conference
26-27 March 2019
As part of the HSEQ Team Conference, involving 50 staff from across LNW Route (from Carlisle to Watford), Benchmark facilitated a team integration event, using operational rail incident scenarios, to help teams work together more effectively.
The event used 4 x rail incidents using the excellent rail training facilities at the Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh. Each team of 12 worked together to carry out a risk assessment of the scene they encountered and then produced a tactical level (Silver) brief using the Emergency Service’s METHANE format.
Key learning from the activity included the importance of individuals and teams being continually Situationally Aware of the whole environment within which the specific incident had occurred; the utility of team dynamics to delegate effectively, control tasks and maximise the team’s output; and the use of effective communications to negotiate, challenge and win trust.

Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprise (RAF CTE) Capability Transformation Programme

Monday, March 18th, 2019

Since January 2019 Benchmark has been engaged in a systemic review and transformation programme with the senior leadership team of the charitable organisation that delivers the world class ‘Royal International Air Tattoo’ at Fairford. The aim of the programme is to further develop collective leadership and team capability across all the functional areas within the organisation; further improve collaborative working with stakeholders; and continue to deliver an event that exceeds all others.

The transformation programme is dynamic, fluid and output driven. It combines consultancy, team coaching, 1:1 coaching, group facilitation and L&D interventions. All are designed to create maximum inclusivity and engagement and deliver the wide spectrum impact that the RAF CTE senior leadership team is working towards. The programme is being conducted in phases: early engagement and inquiry; co-design of the agenda with short-medium term priorities; implementation across all levels of the business; resilience building with targeted action plans; and review of outputs against business objectives.

Benchmark is enjoying this highly dynamic and output focussed programme where the centre of interest is placed firmly upon collective engagement, development and improvement across all business functions.

Section Capability Improvement Programme for Infrastructure Maintenance

Friday, December 14th, 2018

Network Rail – Wessex Route
We are now in month two of a four month programme to deliver a safety and performance improvement programme to a track section in Wessex Route. Working in close collaboration with the Section Manager, we have co-created a dynamic, practical, work-based programme of learning support interventions that individually and collectively enable the Section Manager to deliver a more effective service to the Section’s customers. The programme is bespoke to the Section and incorporates outcome-focussed coaching, discussions, workshops and training events for each defined area of capability within the organisation.
The programme’s extended period is enabling team members to develop a greater awareness of, and confidence in, each others inputs, outputs and challenges and provides the time and space to enable new ways of working to be identified, explored, tried and adjusted. Facilitated Action Learning Sets are being used to provide every participant with the opportunity to identify, raise and share improvement ideas in a safe and supportive environment with agreed ideas being incorporated into the Section’s highly visible continual improvement plan. The programme is being dynamically defined, created and led by the Section Manager with very close support from the Benchmark facilitator.

Network Rail Apprentice Programme

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

ILM Level 2 Programme Update

In early October Benchmark Training Ltd delivered two days of leadership development activities on behalf of Babcock International Group for Cohort Five of the Network Rail Apprenticeship scheme. A total of 157 apprentices participated in a series of highly practical leadership development activities over two days, during their induction week at Network Rail’s Westwood Training Centre.
The aim of the two days was to give the apprentices a flavour of what to expect during the ILM Level 2 Certificate in Team Leading element of their apprenticeship. Each activity focussed on fun and engagement and involved the apprentices applying many of the skills and behaviours underpinning effective leadership including assessing, planning, briefing, coaching, motivating and reviewing. The programme was a great way to introduce the new apprentices to the very positive impact that great leadership has on the business and further encouraged their interest and understanding in this key capability that typically underpins successful individual and team safety and performance.