If you’re to work safely on or near the railway track, you need to have a Sentinel Card sometimes known as a PTS card. This is issued by Sentinel on behalf of Network Rail and it is a requirement of all individuals who work on or near the railway infrastructure.
A PTS / Sentinel card is mandatory for all rail workers as it allows them to work on or near the line. The Sentinel system ensures that all qualifications are recorded – making sure that work is undertaken by only competent staff – preventing unqualified individuals from working on or near the line and increasing the risk of danger to themselves and others.
Sentinel is a smart system that uses smartphone technology to validate the workforce. PTS cards allow employers to quickly check credentials and outline what qualifications and skills individuals have – ensuring that they know how to work safely.
How to apply for a PTS card
PTS cards are provided once candidates have completed Personal Track Safety training. Before you can apply for one, you need to find an appropriate sponsor who is a member of the Sentinel system. The sponsor is responsible for your safety and training. You will be allocated a unique Sentinel number by the sponsor and this will be provided to the medical company so that they can add your Network Rail approved pre-employment medical and Drugs & Alcohol results to the system. The sponsor will then be able to arrange your training with Real Skills. If you need help finding a sponsor please contact us on 0151 257 6969 and we can advise you.
How much is a PTS card?
Your initial PTS card is free of charge but should it be lost or stolen, you would normally be asked to cover the cost to replace it yourself; without it, you won’t be able to work.
How long does a PTS card last?
Here at Real Skills, we provide PTS training to develop the skills of candidates. PTS cards last 5 years before you’ll need to renew it, but you will need to recertify your PTS qualification after 2 years.
How long does it take for a PTS card to arrive?
After completing PTS training, you can expect your PTS card to be delivered within 10 working days (usually when the documentation has been provided to your sponsor and Sentinel), your sponsor will agree on a delivery location with you. PTS cards are a legal requirement – meaning that you cannot start work until it arrives.
How to renew a PTS card
All PTS cards have an expiry date and once this is up, you need to renew it. To ensure that you’re always qualified to work, we offer PTS recertification courses which can be completed in 1 day. In order to qualify to attend a recertification course you must be out of learning support and be able to provide evidence of working activities that have taken place in the previous two years, this will be contained in your PTS log book or accessed from Sentinel evidence, if available.
Am I eligible for a PTS card?
There are several things that you need to be mindful of when applying for PTS cards, including:
- Are you over the age of 16?
- Do you have a sponsor for your training? (i.e. current or future employer)
- Are you medically fit to work?
- Have you completed your PTS training?
The team at Real Skills are always on hand to guide and support you, so if you need to know more about applying for or renewing PTS cards, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 0151 257 6969 today.