Frequently Asked Questions

How does this IRSE licencing scheme work?

This web-page on the IRSE website outlines the basic process and how it works from start to end. Our IRSE licencing page at the bottom outlines our approach to licences at any stage (new, surveillance/5 year point and renewal/10 year point). We aim to make the process as painless and simple as possible and we have years of experience catering for all individuals or companies. If you're really stuck don't hesitate to contact us.

What licence do I need?

This depends what work you do on the railway. You need an IRSE licence if you are doing safety-critical or safety-related work on signalling and telecoms equipment or systems. If you are employed by a company, you should ask your employer what licence they require for you to undertake work for them. There are 6 main groups of licences:

  • Signalling
  • Telecoms
  • Engineering Management
  • Signalling and Telecoms Factory Installation*
  • Power Supply and Distribution*
  • Technical Investigation**

*These groups only have 1 licence category

**There are only 2 licence categories for investigators- lead and non-lead


Under Signalling and Telecoms they are split up into:

  • Design
  • Installation
  • Maintenance
  • Team Leader
  • Testing

...and these are split into different licence categories depending on your own competence level. We and your assessor can discuss with you which licence category would be most appropriate as we know from experience which licence should apply.


A note on signalling installation- the old 1.2.110 Signalling Installer licence has been now split into two different categories: 

  • 1.2.210 Signalling Installation Operative - Slightly below the level of the old Installer licence
  • 1.2.220 Signalling Installation Technician - Slightly above the level of the old Installer licence

Please contact us and we'll be able to guide you towards the best new licence category for your level.

How fast can I get my licence?

This depends on a number of factors. If you are applying for a new licence, or your old licence has fully expired, you will need to have both a competence and a workplace assessment arranged along with all paperwork filled out and signed off. This will take longer than for those who have licences at the surveillance/5 year point who only need a remote competence assessment. A renewal/10 year point assessment could also take slightly longer if you need to be observed for your category.


The average time from starting the assessment to getting your licence is about 3 months. You should apply in plenty of time before your licence runs out, as if it does you may have to go through the longer assessment process!

What do I have to do paperwork-wise?

The most important things are completing the personal statements on your Competence Assessment Checklist (CAC) and making sure your IRSE logbook is up to date. We will provide guidance and examples to help you fill these in.


You'll need to complete an application form for the IRSE, indicating that PM Training and Assessing Ltd is your Assessing Agency.


We also require some additional forms plus a passport photo if this is your first licence. Please send your paperwork to [email protected]We cannot arrange an assessment for you until this step is complete.

How do I complete my personal statements on my CAC?

Our director Pam has put together a video demonstrating how you should construct your personal statements for each of the performance criteria in your competence assessment checklist (CAC). Check it out below:

How do I contact my assessor? I have a question/problem/query.

Your assessor's contact details should be in an email we sent out to you. We recommend speaking to them early on in the process to begin arrangements. If you have lost these details or didn't receive them please give us a ring on 01874 620704.