What Happens In A PTS Medical?

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INFRA Skills provide a comprehensive range of workplace medicals, but the Network Rail PTS Medical is the most popular. It is required for anyone who wishes to work on, or around, the railway network, and assesses a person’s fitness for the specific environment.


What does Network Rail Personal Track Safety involve?

Personal Track Safety consists of two core elements – a health assessment and rail safety training.

The first step on your journey into rail is completing your PTS medical. Once that has been completed, you will commence your PTS training.

The Network Rail PTS Medical is a health assessment that ensures anyone working on or around the railway, meets the industry’s medical standards to work safely.

The PTS Medical is conducted by our Occupational Health team and led by our nurse. The assessment usually lasts around 30 minutes but can extend to 45 minutes if a drug and alcohol test is required by your sponsor.


What is covered in a PTS Medical?

A PTS Medical will cover the following areas:

  • Completion of a general health questionnaire to understand past medical history, employment history, recent sickness absence and attendances for medical treatment. We also need to understand if you are taking any medication
  • Blood pressure, pulse
  • Height, Weight = BMI
  • Audiometry testing
  • Visual acuity and colour perception testing
  • Urine test for detection of glucose or protein
  • Mobility assessment (spine and limbs)

At the end of your appointment, we may also provide general health advice on BMI, smoking, alcohol use, and high/low blood pressure.

If you do not meet the required standards during the PTS Medical assessment, we may also notify you that additional information is required before issuing an outcome, for example, information from your GP or an optometrist.

Only occupational health providers accredited by RISQS can carry out PTS Medicals and D&A testing for the railway industry. You will need to have completed this before booking your PTS training.


Is a PTS Medical mandatory?

A PTS Medical is mandatory for anyone who wishes to undertake PTS training, covering all aspects of railway safety, from understanding the system to responding to emergencies.


How long is a PTS Medical valid for?

The maximum expiry date of medical certificates issued shall be:

  • 10 yearly until age 40
  • 5 yearly until age 65
  • Annually thereafter

The Occupational Health examiner may issue a shorter expiry date dependent for medical reasons.


Do I need a drug and alcohol test?

We may also conduct a drug and alcohol test (if requested). Your sponsor’s specifications will determine this. A urine laboratory drug test and a breath alcohol screen are a mandatory part of the Network Rail drug and alcohol test.


What happens after my medical?

When the medical review is completed, and any results returned, we will upload the results to Sentinel or request additional information. This usually happens within one to two business days of your medical appointment. We will send any notifications to you via email or phone.

If you complete your training and obtain your Personal Track Safety card, it will be issued by your training provider.


Understanding Network Rail standards

You must understand that we adhere to Network Rail standards when performing and reviewing medical assessments. Any failure to meet the criteria could endanger lives on the rail network. If your medical results need to be referred to our doctor, we will keep you fully informed throughout the process.

If you do not pass the PTS Medical for any reason, INFRA Skills can provide feedback to help you understand the results and identify future steps.


What is a PTS course?

INFRA Skills are proud to have been NSAR Gold awarded twice in succession to deliver rail training. Approved trainers run the PTS course or Personal Track Safety course to make you aware of health and safety issues related to working on or around the railway network. You will learn what to do in an emergency, how the PTS system works and what is expected of you.

Personal Track Safety training has an e-learning element that candidates can do online. The rest is classroom-based, with practical training sessions either on track or in a purpose-built training area like INFRA Skills has at their Birmingham site.


How much does a PTS Medical cost?

A PTS Medical only at our Birmingham site costs £70 per candidate.

A RISQS Approved Drug & Alcohol Test site costs £75 per candidate.

The cost of a PTS Medical with a RISQS Approved Drug & Alcohol Test at our Birmingham location is £140 for one candidate. We can provide the same service on-site with a minimum of 10 bookings. Our on-site service incurs an additional £150 to cover any travel costs.


How do I make a booking for a PTS Medical?

Call our Birmingham office at 0330 113 0006. One of our Advisors will evaluate your needs and gather the necessary information to confirm your appointment. They’ll also go over everything you’ll need to bring to your PTS medical appointment.

You can also submit an online appointment request via our website. We’ll contact you within one business day to discuss your PTS Medical requirements.


If you need any further information, please call INFRA Skills on 0330 113 0006 or visit www.infraskills.co.uk/pts-medicals.

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