What is a Sentinel Card and do I need one

What is a Sentinel Card and do I need one?

The Sentinel Card is a passport scheme issued by Network Rail. It’s in place to ensure the safety and quality of works carried out on the UK’s rail infrastructure.

The Sentinel passport scheme has is in place to host a real-time database of people working in rail. It tracks when and where people work, what competencies and training they have, and which companies are sponsoring them. It also tracks medicals and drug and alcohol tests to ensure people working on rail are fit to do so.

What is a Sentinel Card?

With improper safety protocols, the railway can be a hazardous place to work. There are 1000’s of people working on the UK rail infrastructure every day. Located in various locations across the nation, Network Rail has to keep track of where they are to manage their safety. That’s why they decided to upgrade the passport scheme to the Sentinel system.

Everybody that steps foot on an active rail construction site requires a Sentinel Card and be a member of the Sentinel scheme.

This allows Network Rail to track what competencies they have, what training they have, whether they have a valid Drugs and Alcohol test and which companies are sponsoring the individuals. A big factor in health and safety is worker fatigue. The Sentinel system means that sponsors, site leaders, and Network Rail can monitor workers’ rest to ensure that workers are alert.

When workers report to site, they must sign in by scanning their Sentinel Card. If they do not have their Sentinel Card on them, they will not be able to work. By utilising smartphone technology, site leaders can scan Sentinel Cards to check-in workers and check data. This saves them having to carry paperwork with them to site.

There are two qualifications required when applying for a Sentinel Card. Applicants will need either a Personal Track Safety (PTS), if working trackside or an Industry Common Induction (ICI), if working non-trackside.

Once they have one of these, they can apply for a Sentinel Card through their sponsor. By requiring a basic qualification, it means that every person that works on the railway has the basic knowledge of the railway.

Why get a Sentinel Card?

Being part of the Sentinel Card safety scheme means access to work on the railway system in the UK. This opens a new industry for to work in. After receiving a card, there is a range of extra qualifications someone can work towards and begin to earn a larger salary.

How do you get a Sentinel Card?

To start working in rail, and get a Sentinel Card, the first step is finding an employer or recruitment agency willing to be your primary sponsor. They will need to put you through a PTS or ICI qualification with a licensed training provider. They will then apply to sign you up or the Sentinel scheme, which can be found online here.

Only sponsors can purchase a card, it is not open to the general public.

If the application is successful, Sentinel Cards will arrive within 10 days. They must then be scanned when you arrive and exit the site.

Are you part of the scheme? Quick register now to let us know you’re available.