Rail – Safety Assessment


Safety Assessment Rail is the leading international tool for the assessment of train drivers’ fitness to drive. It identifies whether train drivers meet the requirements of the European Train Driver’s License. As well as being used to test train drivers, Safety Assessment Rail can also be used to select drivers of other rail vehicles (e.g. rapid-transit train, metro, tram) and applicants for safety-related jobs in the rail sector.

The EU’s Directive 2007/59/EC of the European parliament on the certification of train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the railway system in the Community of European Railways stipulates that would-be train drivers must undergo psychological assessment and that active train drivers must also be tested periodically.  As a minimum, testing of train drivers must cover the following dimensions: logical reasoning, memory, ability to react, attention and concentration, perception, eye-hand coordination and relevant personality dimensions.

The aim of the Safety Assessment Rail is to improve the selection and monitoring of train drivers in terms  of  both  economy  and  quality  by  making  use  of  state-of-the-art  technological developments. The  Safety Assessment Rail provides an economical means of obtaining important information about driver characteristics that cannot be reliably obtained using other suitability assessment instruments. It therefore makes an enormous contribution to the reliability of the decisions that are made.





The Safety Assessment Rail test set comprises of the following dimensions and abilities:


Ability Definition

Duration in minutes


Capacity to store and remember procedures, processes and technical information in manuals, as well as memorise routes and location of safety critical signals on various sections of the track

approx. 13

Logical reasoning

Capacity to train and acquire new knowledge and skills such as functionality of all technical equipment and apply these in challenging and complex situations

approx. 15

Verbal ability

Capacity to express and comprehend verbal and written information (e.g. receiving instructions from a network controller or a guard)

approx. 7

Stress tolerance – Performance based

Capacity to respond to visual and auditory signals under varying time and/or cognitive pressure, using co-ordinated and simultaneous multi-limb responses (e.g. using a dead man’s pedal and leavers to control the speed of the train under normal and non-routine conditions)

approx. 6

Reaction time

Capacity to process information and react swiftly such as during emergency situations (e.g. taking power out of a vehicle by applying an emergency brake)

approx. 6


Capacity to maintain focus and avoid distractions such as side track events and passenger noise in order to attend to signals, speed boards and other targets

approx. 10


Capacity to maintain attention for a prolonged period of time under monotonous and routine conditions (e.g. operating at night with limited restricted signalling)

approx. 32

Eye-hand coordination

Capacity to move hands simultaneously to operate control devices (e.g. dynamically adjust the control of a vehicle or machinery in response to changes in driving conditions)

approx. 4

Visual tracking/perception

Capacity to perceive simple and key targets in a visually complex or distracting environment (e.g. operating a rail vehicle under heavy rain, fog or glare)

approx. 13

Safety orientation (personality traits)

Tendency to be: risk avoidant, to exercise self and impulse control, calm under pressure, and assertive under pressure

approx. 10

Total length of the test set

approx. 120