Under National and European legislation no one is allowed to operate a railway or manage railway infrastructure in the State unless they have obtained the appropriate safety certificate or authorisation from the CRR as the National safety Authority.
Those operating a railway require a certificate, and those who operate infrastructure require an authorisation.
Currently for mainline railways, the safety certificate is issued according to a European harmonised format and comprises of two parts:
Part A – a 'European portable' certificate demonstrating that the National Safety Authority (the CRR) has accepted the SMS components. This sets out the organisation's general safety management arrangements.
Part B – a certificate demonstrating that the National Safety Authority has accepted the national provisions adopted by a railway operator.
Railway organisation or Infrastructure manager Safety Management Systems (SMS) are evaluated through the conformity assessment process which are carried out in compliance with the Railway Safety Directive and the Railway Safety Act 2005 amended by SI 444 of 2013. Specific criteria for assessing conformity are detailed in EU Regulation 1158/2010 Safety Certification and EU Regulation 1169/2010 Safety Authorisation.
The CRR has produced guidelines for the development of an SMS for heavy rail (RSC-G-029) and for light rail (RSC-G-028). The process for conformity assessment to obtain certification or authorisation of an SMS is contained in RSC-G-030.