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Practice Director – Testing & Commissioning

  • Job reference: TR-002803
  • Sector: Construction, Rail, Transportation
  • Location: Birmingham, Derby, Manchester, York, London
This vacancy has now expired

Why not...

As part of our continued growth we are seeking a Practice Director Testing and Commissioning. The purpose of the role will be to lead the Testing and Commissioning function and staff, whose key role is to deliver robust testing of signalling systems to assure their safety, prior to commissioning into service.


The S&CS practice is a UK wide business and a key supplier to Network Rail on many of its major signalling schemes. We also have a developing relationship with TFL, London Underground and contractors. Its core activities consist of design, construction, testing, engineering and project management of signalling projects. Reflecting our technical expertise and scale, we are often involved in the largest and most complex projects which have a significant impact on the rail network.


Revenues are currently about £100m per annum with 550 staff including some overseas design staff based in Beijing and growing offices in Bangalore and Delhi.


Key Objectives

•Leading and developing the Testing and Commissioning Team within the business.

•Actively promoting and developing strong technical leadership skills in the Testing and Commissioning Team and the correct culture for successful technical assurance.

•Promote behaviours within the Testing and Commissioning Team which enable greater integration between different branches of signalling project delivery to enable overall optimisation of cost and risk.

•Leading the provision of testing engineering input to bids

•Delivery of agreed budget targets for testing and commissioning of projects

•Identification of future resourcing requirements for testing and commissioning to match expected workload and bid profile.

•Leading the recruitment and development of individuals to fulfil these requirements.

•Promote excellence and enhance our client reputation.

•Leading the identification of resources and prioritisation with Network Rail nationally for commissioning




•Widely visible across the rail business, championing the right cultural values to enhance technical assurance. Instilling the correct behaviours within the organisation to enable consistent delivery which is technically robust, on time and profitable

•Ensure that robust processes are in place for the delivery of testing and commissioning works in accordance with standards, industry Best Practice and clients’ contractual requirements including impact review of new or revised standards

•Recruitment, continuous professional development and succession planning to ensure that the skill profile of the Testing and Commissioning Team is aligned with Atkins’ current and future offer to the market.

•Lead and promote innovative approaches to signalling project delivery to improve efficiency and profitability, whilst maintaining or improving management of technical risk

•Development and review of testing and commissioning methodologies for inclusion within bids

•Review of resource plans for testing and commissioning works

•Develop, agree and deliver budget targets within testing and commissioning

•Project management of smaller testing and commissioning works and management of Labour Supply contracts.

•Acting as Bid / Project Technical Reviewer for nominated projects.

•Supporting regular reviews (including by audit where appropriate) of Rail’s business units’ compliance with the technical assurance framework for both business technical processes and individual projects.



•Chartered Electrical Engineer or equivalent.

•Member or Fellow of the IRSE

•Experience and successful track record of delivering large signalling projects of >£10m.

•Significant experience of the rail industry is essential.

•Hold a current IRSE Licence as Tester In Charge and Network Rail Certificate of Competence.




•This is a true leadership position requiring the successful candidate to mobilise and motivate an engineering team who have interdependence with colleagues who manage the delivery of signalling projects.

•Able to anticipate and respond to changing customer requirements and competition.

•An 'influencer' within the rail sector, able to shape thinking based on personal credibility and the building of relationships.

•Able to develop effective and enduring relationships.

•Results focused ensuring projects are delivered safely and successfully.

•Analytical, able to gain an understanding of technical issues at the appropriate level of detail.

•A strategic thinker, able to understand and anticipate changing markets and turns thinking into action.

•Able to exercise sound judgements in all areas, sometimes whilst under pressure of project deadlines.

•Must be able to relate and communicate effectively with people at all levels.

•Resilient and hard working.

•Supportive - a personal presence is required at critical times during project delivery, such as signalling commissioning at bank holidays and weekends.

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