Network Rail Client Study


About Network Rail

Network Rail is the owner and operator of the UK’s railway network. This covers 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts, thousands of signals and level crossings, as well as 20 of the UK’s largest stations. Sentinel protects the extensive workforce of contractors and employees.


The Requirement and Solution

To replace its legacy Sentinel scheme with the best possible technology solution to further improve safety on site, provide a scalable solution for new safety and HR initiatives, and cut costs.

The Sentinel system launched in 2013 replaced a legacy system with a useable technology approach to enable real-time, trusted checks of worker credentials. This was delivered by combining a powerful, online database with individual long-life smartcards for the workforce that can be checked on site electronically in a variety of ways, including dedicated mobile apps.

By using a single smartcard for each worker that can be updated electronically resulted in increased security and safety, as well as a cut in costs. In addition, the system (a customised version of SkillGuard) provided many new features to sponsors and contractors that were previously unavailable.

Using the latest technology means that information checked on site is always up-to-date, providing additional confidence to supervisors and the workforce alike.

Simultaneous checks are made on drug and alcohol test validity to ensure that the workforce have all the credentials required to work on the Network Rail estate.

The real-time Sentinel service provides:

  • Reduced site registration times due to smart technology
  • A single, long life (up to 5 years) smartcard
  • 100% authentication of ID and skills
  • Improved protection for lone workers
  • A live register of people and skills on site
  • Opportunities to improve and streamline frontline processes.