The SPICOP Initial course is a 3-day classroom-based course designed to train persons who have been nominated by their line manager/sponsor to enable them to attain the Senior Person in Charge of Possession (SPICOP) competence. The SPICOP competence is required to be held by anyone who is required to set up and manage an engineering possession on the rail infrastructure. This includes the management of on and off-tracking multiple items of On Track Plant (OTP) and managing movements of multiple trains within an engineering possession.

Course Objectives

  • Welcome & Introduction
  • Know the role and responsibilities of a PICOP compared to SPICOP
  • Demonstrate a high level of written and verbal communications
  • Describe the planning process and discuss best practice at meetings
  • Obtain information required for a published possession and worksites
  • State the procedure when a possession is taken and what arrangements used and recorded
  • Demonstrate the procedure for authorising work to start
  • Demonstrate the procedure for authorising multiple train movements
  • State the requirements for using radio communications to control movements
  • State changeover procedures
  • Demonstrate the procedure for suspension & handback of a worksite
  • State the procedure for giving up possession
  • Theory Assessment
  • Practical Assessment
  • Post course objectives

Course Prerequisites

  • Candidates must be a minimum age of 18
  • Candidates must hold a Sentinel Card endorsed with a valid IWA/COSS and PICOP competence.
  • Candidates must hold a valid Medical and Drugs and Alcohol certificate issued by Network Rail
  • Candidates must have a good command of the English language
  • Candidates must be primary sponsored

Course Outcome

Successful candidates will be notified to sentinel as being trained and assessed as competent and their sentinel card will be endorsed (P) SPICOP. The competence will be valid for four months initially under a probationary mentoring period whereby the primary sponsor is responsible for ensuring the candidate is mentored. Candidates need to undertake a workplace assessment within four months to ensure they can safely and effectively undertake the role of the SPICOP. Once the probationary assessment is completed the SPICOP competence will be valid for 2 years – with a workplace assessment required within 9-15 months. To recertify, candidates must ensure they complete a minimum of four shifts from their interim assessment and have them recorded within their work experience book.


3 days

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