iESM News

New Application Notes Available

New Application notes available now. To support the existing AN6 on Maintenance a comprehensive audit checklist has been produced as an appendix. This checklist is designed to help people who are using AN 6 by presenting the main points of the existing guidance in a checklist format. You can use the audit checklist to assess existing maintenance arrangements or arrangements that you plan to put in place and how best to interpret each checklist item in your own particular context. In responses to requests a good practice example has been developed to support AN8 to show two methods that have been used successfully to derive SIL for safety functions. Finally AN10 reviews EN50128 design activities and general principles and links them to the specification and design activities of HDL generated code for gate array applications. These are popular in railway applications but there is limited guidance in assuring their safety. We welcome suggests for future areas of guidance.

Find the Application Note downloads here.

iESM training course in Korea

TIRS / TuV Rheinland Korea / TPD JV recently provided the second iESM training course in Korea. It was attended by staff from Seoul Metro, Rotem, Daeti, KORAIL, KNRA, TS and TuV Rheinland. Congratulations to all who passed the exam.


New Application Notes are Published by iESM

iESM Working Group with the support of MTR and TPD Group are pleased to publish three new and updated Application Notes to help users of iESM apply it to their own situations.

AN2 – This is a very practical Application Note that has been much requested. It contains document outlines and suggested contents for many of the plans and reports that iESM and the CENELEC standards call up. AN2 consists of 34 pages of content currently covering the following documents:

· Safety Plan (CENELEC style)
· Safety Case (CENELEC compliant)
· Independent Assessment Remit
· Independent Assessment Plan
· Independent Assessment Report
· An extensive glossary of terms

Up until now all iESM Guidance has been published free of charge for users through the generosity of our supporters network. For most content, it has not even been necessary to enter an email address. Whilst this has been well received and hugely successful, it is unsustainable if we wish to continue to develop iESM Guidance to meet user needs and emerging requirements. We are therefore asking for a small payment for access to this document. In the currency of your choice this has been set at GBP £90, AUD$150, USD$110, EUR110. Please make your payment by Paypal (using credit/debit cards) to, or go here to pay through Paypal. Once payment has been received we will email a copy of AN2 to you at the email address provided as soon as reasonably practicable. It is an express term of purchase that you do not copy, reproduce or republish the document in any other form. This is similar to the obligation when you buy a copy of a published standard and enables those who create the standard to continue the work to keep the guidance up to date and relevant. We hope to be able to automate the payment and download on the website but for now please make the payment manually. If this is successful we will look to enhance and extend AN2 and of course produce a wider range of guidance. We still strongly recommend that users attend the training courses offered by our partners around the world to ensure an understanding of the iESM processes and the best ways of applying them to specific situations. Re-using template documents to manage safety is not recommended as a robust but it can provide a useful starting point and helpful checklist.

AN7 - This describes the interface between the existing iESM guidance and what we call security engineering with reference to existing external guidance. We published it last year at “Provisional” status. In the time since there has been great interest in and need for guidance in this area so we have updated it with latest good practice. Our intention is to allow for a unified approach to safety (protecting people from the system) and security (protecting the system from people). Currently freely available to all users.

AN9 - This AN is aimed at explaining what is one of the more complex and misunderstood areas of engineering safety. It expands on the guidance provided on Safety Integrity in Section 9.2.4 of Volume 2 of the iESM guidance. Historically, safety thinking categorized things as “safe” or “unsafe”, “vital” or “non-vital”. Experience shows that the goal of eliminating risk and bringing about a state of absolute safety is not attainable, even more so with complex systems. Safety is therefore not binary but a spectrum and the more significant the impact of a failure, the greater the need for dependability of function and the lower the hazardous failure rate. This AN explains the Safety Integrity Level (SIL) concept and highlights their use and possible misuse on projects. Currently freely available for all users.

Find the Application Note downloads here.

"iESM from Start through to Operations” – the 4th iESM Conference and iESM Training Course

With the kind support of MTR Corporation, TPD Group, TuV Rheinland and TIRS KORSA, the fourth iESM Conference was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 18 May 2016. This year’s focus was on extending iESM into the Operation and Maintenance phase. This was also to be the launch event for iESM in Korea and there was a special dinner in the evening. In the morning of the conference there was a visit to KORAIL KTX depot.

iESM Volume 0 Now Available in Korean

Volume 0 of the iESM Handbook, which is already available in English, Chinese, and French, is now also available in Korean.

Download a copy here.

New Application Notes are Published by iESM

iESM Working Group with the support of MTR, TPD and Liv Systems are pleased to publish three new Application Notes to help users of iESM apply it to their own situations.

AN6 - This is aimed at people involved in railway asset maintenance, who have to use their judgement to take day-to-day decisions about the safety of the railway. Typically, these are rolling stock maintenance engineers, infrastructure maintenance engineers and senior managers who control organisations that have responsibility for railway maintenance. It takes the iESM Principles and processes and applies them to the operation and maintenance phase of the lifecycle. We hope to publish it in the future as a second Volume 2 – the equivalent of the guidance for Projects.

AN7 - This describes the interface between the existing iESM guidance and what we call security engineering with reference to existing external guidance. The intention is to allow for a unified approach to safety (protecting people from the system) and security (protecting the system from people) but not to repeat guidance that is available elsewhere.

AN8a – This is published as an Annex to AN8 published last year. It gives practical examples from real life situations where people have dealt with human factors affecting safety.

Find the Application Note downloads here.

Making Human Factors User Friendly – the 3rd iESM User Group and iESM Training Course

With the kind support of MTR Corporation and TPD Group, the third iESM User Group will be held in Hong Kong on 19 May 2015. Join us to hear about the latest developments in iESM with this year’s focus being on dealing with the human interface in system safety. Please contact us for a booking form or you can download one here. You can also download the conference program here.

Stay on for another day and attend the iESM Overview Course and take the optional exam. This Course provides project managers, engineers and others involved with new railways or changes to existing railways with a understanding of iESM Principles and Processes and guidance on how to implement them successfully on a project. Passing the exam will enable you to be added to the Approved Practitioners’ list on this website. Book your place and pay with PayPal or a credit card here.

Early bird booking price available NOW.

***Update - please see below for pictures of the 3rd iESM User Group Conference that was held in May***

First iESM Training in India

Paul Cheeseman, Director of TPD Group, delivered the first iESM training course in India during December. The participants were from Atkins Rail in Bangalore and Gurgaon (see picture) and took the iESM Overview one-day course supported by a one-day practical application to a realistic case study on a City Metro railway extension. All the participants passed the examination with high marks and their names are recorded on the Approved Practitioners List here. Later that week delegates from Radharani Rail in Lucknow and their clients attended the Overview course and achieved six passes in the course examination. Paul Cheeseman said “We are really pleased with how participants have grasped the risk-based approach to modern Engineering Safety Management. This training, when supported by mentoring and experience, has huge potential to improve the safety of Indian railways and railway-related products.”

iESM training can be delivered to companies in India by arrangement and can also be integrated into a week long course on railway system integration. Contact us for more details.

The iESM User Forum is now open!

We are pleased to announce that the iESM User Forum is now opened as a pilot at Also see the link in the iESM webpage (at the right most of the orange menu bar [User Forum]).

The User Forum is intended for colleagues who are involved in the safety industry to share their views on the iESM guidance. Colleagues with less experience are encouraged to share their questions/views on the guidance as well. In addition, colleagues are also welcome to share their experiences from daily work/problems encountered.

We hope that the User Forum can provide another way to share our ideas/questions, if there is anything that you wish to see on the User Forum, you can either post a thread on the User Forum or email Adrian Ng (

Thank you for your interest and we look forward to seeing you on the User Forum!

New Training Course

First public course in India will be run on 10th Dec in Lucknow. This will be the one day overview of iESM and will include an exam. Successful participants will have their names added to this website. The cost starts from GBP £125 per person – please see here. The course has been timed to give attendees at the first InnoRail India 2014 exhibition and conference initiated by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in association with Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO) the chance to attend and learn good practice in the field of system safety management. The course is organised and run by TPD, the authors and publishers of iESM in association with Radharani Rail Engineering Services.

New Application Note

A new application note, AN5 which supports the main body of the handbook by describing hypothetical examples of putting some of the guidance in volume 2 into practice has just been published on behalf of the iESM Working Group. It provides a “real life” example of the processes of estimating risk and evaluating its acceptability, leading to the formulation of additional control measures and, all being well, to the decision that any residual risk is acceptable. The Application note can be found here.

2nd international Engineering Safety Management (iESM) User Group in Shenzhen, PRC

iESM at Shenzhen

Shenzhen, 2nd April 2014; Following the successful launch of the iESM Handbook for railway safety in Hong Kong last year, more than 180 delegates gathered at MTR (Shenzhen) Headquarters Building on 2nd April. Supported by MTR Hong Kong and MTR (Shenzhen) together with rail transport technology consultancy Technical Programme Delivery (TPD) the conference attracted railway safety specialists from 11 countries and 45 companies, including USA, UK, France, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and throughout mainland China.

In his keynote speech Adi Lau, MTR Corporation’s Deputy Director - Operating of MTR Corporation, said: “I am extremely pleased with the successful launch of iESM Handbook over the last year. In that time iESM has been built into MTR’s safety processes and many of our staff have been trained in its application. Holding this event in Shenzhen enables the sharing of good practices with our team operating the Shenzhen Longhua Line and safety professionals elsewhere in Mainland China.”

Mr Nelson Ng, MTR Corporation’s General Manager – Safety & Quality added that MTR was very pleased to have sponsored the working Group for iESM, which had brought many benefits to participants and the railway industry. He said: “I have two dreams – one that there is one railway safety bible for the world. The other is to connect iESM with the American Public Transport Association (APTA) and bring iESM to China.”

iESM at ShenzheniESM at Shenzhen

In a video presentation, Dr Rob Davis, TPD Director and Chair of the iESM Working Group said: “The aim of the iESM Working Group is to support the international rail industry deliver acceptable levels of safety both efficiently and cost effectively by sharing and documenting good practices in railway Engineering Safety Management from around the world. We remain grateful to MTR for their continued sponsorship of the iESM Working Group, which has enabled a growing group of supporters to contribute their knowledge and experience.”

Mr Paul Cheeseman, Director TPD, introduced the latest detailed guidance consisting of three new Application Notes describing how to use the iESM guidance and at a detailed level. These cover:

1. Independent Assessment – life saving second opinions

2. A worked example of using the iESM Risk Assessment processes based on a metro line extension

3. Accounting for Human Safety within Engineering Safety Management activities.

“We have developed the detailed Application Notes to broaden the scope of the guidance and help users apply it with practical examples of delivering projects cost effectively,” Mr Cheeseman said. Development of the new iESM has been guided and adapted by expert practitioners from around the world in response to strong demand from railway clients and suppliers to have a single handbook that can be used internationally. Dr Rob Davis’ team in British Rail started the work on an engineering safety management handbook called “Yellow Book” in 1992 and published the first version in 1996. Issue 4 of Yellow Book was withdrawn in 2012 as it had become out of date, leaving a “missing piece” for safety practitioners around the world.

Members of the iESM Working Group supporting the conference included representatives of MTR Corporation, Technical Programme Delivery Group, London Underground Limited, Crossrail, Lloyd’s Register Rail, Electrical and Mechanical Services Department of the Government of Hong Kong, EC Harris, Abbot Risk Consulting, Bombardier Transportation; Australian National Rail Safety Regulator, CRSC (China), Rio Tinto, Saudi Railways Regulatory Commission, Beijing TCT, Certifer, Systra and MIW Consultancy, Sweden.

The iESM Guidance and latest Application Notes are available on and can be freely downloaded.

2nd iESM User Group announced

This will take place in Shenzhen, PR China, on 2nd April 2014. There is no change to attend but you must register by emailing for a brochure and booking form. On 3rd April there will also be an opportunity to attend an iESM training course in Shenzhen at a reduced rate. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided for the User Group. Copies of the latest Application Notes on ISA and Accounting for Human Behaviour in ESM should be available at the event. book now by requesting a brochure and booking form by emailing . For those coming from outside China, visa invitation letters can be provided but these must be request as soon as possible in order to allow time for processing at the embassy in your country.

iESM at the International Railway Safety Conference, Vancouver

iESM at the International Railway Safety Conference, Vancouver

Dr Rob Davis and Paul Cheeseman presented the iESM guidance to an audience of 200 railway safety professionals in Vancouver, Canada at 23rd IRSC gathering.

There was considerable interest from the audience and an appreciation of the iESM approach that allows greater flexibility and robustness in the management and closure of hazards.

A number of people expressed interest in helping the iESM Working Group as they move forwards and will join the next WG meeting on Thursday 10 October 2013.


iESM Launched in Florida and Hong Kong!

During the week of 8th April, the new iESM was launched almost simultaneously on both sides of the world emphasising its international reach.

iESM Training in London - December 2013!

Anyone wishing to expand or refresh their ESM knowledge can attend official iESM training planned for the 10th & 11th December in London. The One-day Overview Course will be run on Tuesday 10th December with the half day refresher and conversion course on Wednesday 11th December.  Training course participants can have their name added to the list of official iESM practitioners on this website and will receive a hard copy of Volume 1. Contact us for more details or a booking form by emailing:  Please make sure you complete and return the booking form to secure your place. If you wish to pay via PAYPAL please click here.

iESM Official Training Providers

iESM training is now available from TPD and Lloyd's Register Rail in Europe, Asia and Australia.

Lloyd's Register Rail are the only organisation apart from TPD, to be approved to deliver the new iESM training through their Training Academy.  Contact them at or TPD at  Courses available and further details can be found under Training.

A list of those who have been successfully trained to date can be found here.

INCOSE London hears about iESM

On 1st May Dr Rob Davis and Paul Cheeseman presented the new iESM Guidance to the UK Chapter Rail Interest Group of INCOSE

Over 40 people heard the presentation discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with integrating good practice in Systems Safety Engineering, as exemplified by the iESM handbook, with good practice in Systems Engineering.

Safety is an emergent property of the railway. In principle, Systems Safety Engineering (also known as Engineering Safety Management) is a branch of Systems Engineering. In practice, Systems Safety Engineering is subject to specific legislation and regulation which prescribes certain processes that are not generally appropriate for managing other emergent properties. Systems Safety is included within most Systems Engineering frameworks and this presentation introduced the new international Engineering Safety Management (iESM) Handbook. This contains guidance for the worldwide railway industry, developed by Technical Programme Delivery Ltd (TPD) and reviewed by an international Working Group of senior practitioners, supported by MTR Corporation, Hong Kong.

Activities to manage system safety and non-safety emergent properties interact because:

  • Some non-safety emergent properties are aligned with safety and can be pursued together.
  • Some non-safety emergent properties may be in conflict with acceptable safety and these conflicts must be resolved.
  • In general, the activities use similar data and there is scope for reducing costs by integrating systems engineering and system safety work.

Launch Presentations Available Here For Download!

A number of safety management professionals gave excellent presentations at our launch events and these can be downloaded by clicking on the relevant links as follows: iESM Launch Presentation - What's New?, Integrated Systems Assurance, iESM Working Group, Alarming Design, Application of Safety Assurance in China, iESM Training and the Future, Aviation Safety Risk in The Live Environment and Efficient Safety Engineering Processes. We hope you enjoy reading them.

Volume 1 Updated & Volume 2 has now been launched! Visit the iESM download area & get your copy.

We are proud to announce an update to Volume 1 and the complimentary launch of Volume 2 of the iESM Handbook. Please visit the iESM Download area of this website to download your own personal copy of each volume, free of charge.