Head of Asset Protection

Network Rail
starting at £65,480 per annum and increasing to £73,665 per annum
17 Sep 2019
14 Oct 2019
Job Function
Contract Type
Full Time

Network Rail is at the heart of revitalising Britain’s railway. From Crossrail – Europe’s largest civil engineering project – to investment in world-class stations and major programmes of electrification, we're involved in some of the most ambitious and diverse ventures that this country has ever seen.

As one of the largest land owners in the UK Network Rail Infrastructure interfaces with literally thousands of people and organisations. These range from private residents who own property adjacent to the railway to large multinational companies. The geographical spread of the railway also means that many companies or organisations who are making investments have a need to build their assets either over or under the railway. These organisations can range from Councils who are investing in our roads, private companies who are investing close to our railways (e.g. property developers), or companies that just need to build over or under the railway to service their business needs (e.g. provision of gas, electricity, telecommunications services etc)  In addition there is an increasing level of organisations who wish to  invest directly in the railway infrastructure (e.g. new stations).

The role of the Head of Asset Protection is to lead a Network Rail organisation to assist all external parties such as these to complete their work as easily and efficiently as possible whilst ensuring that they do not impact on the safe and reliable operation of the railway. 

The role leads a team of circa 60 people (who are based in York, Derby and London) made up of railway engineers, project managers, construction managers and commercial/finance support roles. They handle all incoming enquires from external parties, evaluate their proposals, agree designs and methods of work, arrange safe access to the railway, and work with organisation to ensure the work is successfully and safely delivered.  Very often the asset protection organisation is the external face of Network Rail and therefore has a key influence on our public reputation. The role is extremely diverse and challenging and deals with many internal and external stakeholders.

In December 2016 Network Rail commissioned Professor Peter Hansford to carry out a review into the barriers that prevent third parties building on, and investing in, the UK railways. The subsequent report made a number of recommendations following which Network Rail made a number of commitments which included the ambition to transform its Asset Protection organisation to become much easier to deal with and transform into a customer focussed organisation working in the joint interests of both third parties and the railways.

Technical & Commercial Competencies & Experiences

We are looking for a person who has a wealth of experience in the railway industry and has relevant project management, engineering, and or construction management experience.

Ideally, they must hold a degree or equivalent in a scientific/engineering discipline and or be a member of a relevant professional Institute.

Leadership Skills

The person must have proven experience at successfully managing mid-size teams. They must have excellent interpersonal/teambuilding skills and must be able to demonstrate that they have a customer orientated/stakeholder approach. As well as leading improvements in our processes and professional skills the role will also lead the organisation to become customer focussed to enable external parties to more easily carryout projects on or around the railway.

Key Accountabilities

To lead and direct the development and continuous improvement of the Route’s asset protection strategy, driving successful delivery of asset protection activities to required scope and quality in accordance with relevant standards and providing support to enable Network Rail to meet its legal obligations. Own the Route transformation plan for asset protection & optimisation aligning this with external client objectives whilst meeting stakeholder requirements. To direct highways interface activities across the route and oversee liaisons with local authorities, public utilities and statutory undertakers.

  • Lead and direct the development, implementation and continuous improvement of the routes strategy for asset protection and optimisation activities.
  • Manage and direct the provision of a professional, world class, efficient and effective service to our clients, including authority, project monitoring and discharge of commercial authorities as delegated, reporting systems in accordance with industry and company standards and guidelines.
  • Lead and supervise works as required, including the provision of sponsorship, project support and technical advice for asset protection of outside (excluding sponsorship) and third party schemes and assurance they are delivered to defined requirements.
  • Lead and direct the routes highways interface activities, managing the specification of requirements to comply with relevant legislation and the provision of specialist advice, assurance and guidance to deliver the routes obligations to internal and external customers.  
  • Work collaboratively with route sponsorship and business development teams to develop end to end specifications and processes that support the delivery of third party requirements and excellent customer service enabling consistent stakeholder management for all external parties.
  • Develop and maintain strong strategic networks with clients, Routes and partners to achieve mutually beneficial relationships that enable effective project delivery, asset protection support and assurance. Evaluate and monitor opportunities for shared value and optimisation of resources and capabilities.
  • Identify and where appropriate act as internal client / sponsor and facilitate the discharge of the duties assigned as detailed within the Construction Design Management (CDM) Regulations for the programme of projects allocated, including gaining necessary internal sign off, and design and construction reviews.
  • Lead and direct the interface with Commercial Property for their land clearance proposals, leased property alterations that impact NR assets, and for external planning applications for land use by external parties, whilst safeguarding Network Rail’s infrastructure and operational requirements.
  • Manage the interface with outside and third party schemes, including those exercising their rights under New Roads & Street Works and associated legislation.  Promote effective relationships and communications with external customers, managing expectations.
  • Direct specification of safety, technical advice and conditions consistent with relevant policies and standards. Manage mitigation of engineering and safety risk associated with outside and third party activities including leading on internal ASPRO assurance activities and provision of project management advice in respect of construction activities, including testing, commissioning and site supervision.
  • Input to the development of supply strategies, framework contracts, development of business standards and briefing to the teams. Provide input to the business planning process and production of the possession plan.
  • Identify areas for continuous improvement and share best practice across national asset protection & optimisation and highways interface teams utilising the Asset Technical Review meetings.
  • Undertake accident investigations when remitted to by the relevant designated competent person.

It is imperative you have…             

  • Member of relevant professional body or equivalent experience
  • Successful experience in a senior management role with proven leadership capabilities
  • Able to drive and role model cultural and behaviour change within Asset Protection & Optimisation.
  • Successful experience of delivering cultural and behavioural change
  • Proven successful experience in project and contract management
  • Able to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of safety regulations (particularly CDM, safety management systems and risk assessment techniques)
  • Able to demonstrate an understanding of Highways Interface processes including public, common, contractual and railway legislation affecting street works, and New Roads and Street Works legislation and associated codes of practice
  • Demonstrable influencing and leadership skills
  • Demonstrable excellent stakeholder management and communication skills
  • Demonstrable sound knowledge of the railway industry
  • Detailed understanding of investment processes and procedures
  • Competent in Accident Investigation

It is advantageous if you have…

  • Membership of the Association for Project Management and / or Institute of Risk Management

Internal how to apply: -

Network Rail welcomes applications regardless of age, disability, marital status (including civil partnerships), pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, transgender status, sex (or gender), employment status, trade union affiliation, or other irrelevant factor. We will interview all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria. Network Rail positively embraces flexible working, recognising that employees may wish to balance work and family/home life. We will consider all flexible working applications.

Safe behaviour is a requirement of working for Network Rail.  Applicants should be able to demonstrate their awareness of our safety vision

Click ‘apply’ and login to Employee Self Service to submit your CV.  If you do not have an Oracle account, email your CV to RecruitmentSupport@networkrail.co.uk quoting the IRC number of the vacancy.

Network Rail adheres to a structured pay framework, any salary offered will be within the pay range advertised.  If your current salary is above the maximum shown you will transfer into the new role on your current base pay.  For more information refer to your pay

We adhere to a structured pay framework, any salary offered will be within the following pay range: starting at £65,480 per annum and increasing to £73,665 per annum

The role is Band 2.B

Closing date: 30th September 2019. Late applications will not be accepted. This vacancy is also being advertised externally.

There will be a first interview held on 18th October 2019 with a second interview likely on or around 1st November 2019.

For further information please contact Andrew Murray – Director of Route Asset Management on 07885 067590

External how to apply: -