What Happens In A PTS Medical?

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Working on or around the railway requires meeting specific medical standards to ensure safety. A PTS Medical, or Personal Track Safety Medical, is a crucial health assessment for individuals involved in the railway industry. This article provides a comprehensive guide to understanding what happens during a PTS Medical, its significance, and the subsequent training required.

What Does a PTS Medical Involve?

A PTS Medical comprises two core elements: a health assessment and rail safety training. Before commencing PTS training, it is essential to complete the medical assessment. The PTS Medical, conducted by accredited occupational health providers, ensures that individuals meet the industry’s medical standards. The assessment typically lasts around 30 minutes, with an extended duration if additional drug and alcohol testing is required.

Covered Areas in a PTS Medical

During a PTS Medical, the following areas are evaluated:

  1. General Health Questionnaire: Past medical history, employment history, recent sickness absence, medical treatment, and medication usage are assessed.
  2. Vital Signs: Blood pressure, pulse, height, weight (BMI calculation), audiometry testing, visual acuity, and color perception testing.
  3. Urine Test: Glucose and protein detection.
  4. Mobility Assessment: Evaluation of spinal and limb mobility.
  5. General Health Advice: Guidance on BMI, smoking, alcohol use, and blood pressure may be provided.

If the required standards are not met during the assessment, additional information from a GP or optometrist may be requested before issuing an outcome.

Mandatory Nature of a PTS Medical

A PTS Medical is mandatory for individuals intending to undertake PTS training, which covers all aspects of railway safety. This training equips workers with the necessary knowledge to understand the railway system and respond to emergencies effectively.

Validity of a PTS Medical

Medical certificates issued after a PTS Medical are valid for specific periods based on age:

  • Up to age 40: 10-year validity
  • Between ages 40 and 65: 5-year validity
  • Age 65 and beyond: Annual validity, subject to medical reasons

Drug and Alcohol Testing

Depending on the sponsor’s specifications, a drug and alcohol test may be conducted during the PTS Medical. This test includes a urine laboratory drug test and a breath alcohol screen, ensuring compliance with Network Rail regulations.

After the PTS Medical

Once the medical review is completed and results are available, they are uploaded to the Sentinel system or additional information is requested. This process usually takes one to two business days, and notifications are sent via email or phone. If successful, individuals will receive their Personal Track Safety card issued by the training provider.

Adhering to Network Rail Standards

During the PTS Medical and review process, strict adherence to Network Rail standards is maintained to guarantee the safety of railway operations. If a referral to a doctor is necessary, INFRA Skills ensures clear communication with the individual throughout the process. In cases where individuals do not pass the PTS Medical, feedback is provided to help them understand the results and identify future steps.

PTS Course Overview

The PTS course, or Personal Track Safety course, is an essential training program provided by INFRA Skills. This course raises awareness of health and safety issues associated with working on or around the railway network. It covers emergency protocols, understanding the PTS system, and expected responsibilities. The course includes online e-learning components as well as practical training sessions conducted on track or at INFRA Skills’ purpose-built training area in Birmingham.

PTS Medical Costs and Booking

INFRA Skills offers PTS Medical services at their Birmingham site. The prices* for these services are as follows:

  • PTS Medical: £95 per candidate
  • RISQS Approved Drug & Alcohol Test: £99 per candidate
  • PTS Medical with RISQS Approved Drug & Alcohol Test: £175 per candidate

Bookings can be made by calling the Birmingham office at 0330 113 0006 or submitting an online appointment request on the INFRA Skills website. The required documentation and preparation for the PTS Medical will be discussed during the booking process.

*Prices are correct as of February 1, 2023, and exclude VAT. They are subject to change.


A PTS Medical is an integral part of ensuring the safety of railway workers. By undergoing this health assessment and subsequent training, individuals can meet the industry’s medical standards. INFRA Skills, an accredited training and assessment provider, offers comprehensive PTS Medical services in Birmingham. Contact them to schedule your PTS Medical and embark on a safe and successful railway career.

At INFRA Skills, we’re passionate about delivering high-quality training and assessments tailored to the infrastructure sector. Our dedicated team is always here to help and guide you. If you have any questions or want to chat about our courses, don’t hesitate to reach out!

📞 Give us a call at 0330 113 0006

📧 Or drop us an email at info@infraskills.co.uk

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