Neil Ovenden appointed new New RISAS Chair

​Neil Ovenden has been appointed as the new Chair of the RISAS Committee and is set to oversee a review of the scheme.

RISAS is the Railway Industry Supplier Approval Scheme, which ensures key suppliers can become recognised as best-in-class at delivering on the most challenging and high-risk aspects of rail vehicle maintenance, repair and overhaul.

With 20,000 passenger services running every weekday, the country relies on safe, high-performing rolling stock in order to achieve demanding levels of availability and reliability.

The scheme is managed by RSSB who accredit approval bodies to assess safety-critical, aftermarket rail vehicle component and services suppliers and award certification.

Neil has supported industry governance of RISAS as a Committee member since 2013 and brings a bank of significant experience to the table, as Engineering Supply Chain Lead at Rail Delivery Group, and prior to that as Engineering Change Manager at South West Trains.

The first task for Neil as new Chair is heading up industry’s governance of the Scheme and to act as sponsor for an independent review of RISAS set to conclude in April.

The review is expected to examine both the best means of improving the delivery of the existing Scheme, as well as explore new areas where trusted, deep-dive third party assessments of suppliers could help manage risk in and improve assurance of the rail supply chain.

New RISAS chair Neil Ovenden said: “I’m really happy to chair the RISAS Committee and help the rail industry better exploit the opportunities that the scheme can offer – both in terms of managing supply chain risk and in facilitating efficient procurement. The confidence train and freight operators can derive from being able to trust a single source of deep-dive assessments of rail vehicle maintenance, repair and overhaul products and services is huge.  I’m looking forward to helping the aftermarket rail vehicle sector fully realise the benefits of the RISAS philosophy, and its potential for contributing to the effective management of other areas of rail supply chain risk.”