National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers

The NTC is undertaking a review of the 2017 edition of the National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers (the Standard).

The draft revised Standard, has been developed based on extensive consultation with medical professionals and specialists, jurisdictions, rail industry, rail unions, rail safety regulators, Office Impact Analysis and the Rail Industry Worker group. 

Project background

The health assessment standard is used to assess medical conditions that may impact a rail safety worker’s ability to perform their duties safely. We’re reviewing medical aspects of the standard to make sure it reflects the latest knowledge and medical practices. 

Rail operators accredit doctors and other health professionals to perform the assessments. Accredited health professionals then carry out the assessments using the Standard.

We review the National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers every five years.


Since March 2022, the NTC has undertaken extensive engagement to identify, understand and resolve issues with the Standard. 

We have also shared iterations of the revised draft Standard and model forms with Chief Medical Officers Council (CMOC), Rail Health Advisory Group (RHAG) and working group stakeholders and addressed feedback received to date.

The NTC established a Rail Health Advisory Group as a forum for consideration of proposals to amend the Standard.

Our approach

Who we engaged with

  • CMOC and held several informal meetings with individual Chief Medical Officers
  • RHAG comprising medical professionals, jurisdictions, rail regulators, unions and the rail industry and explored issues via an issues paper and agenda papers 
  • Rail Industry Worker Group to understand out-of-scope issues (listed in section 8 of the consultation report. The final consultation report will include recommendations about how they may be addressed.)

Our working groups

We have also convened seven working groups on the topics:

  • cardiovascular issues 
  • diabetes
  • hearing
  • musculoskeletal 
  • neurodevelopmental disorders
  • sleep disorders
  • vision.

Listening to subject matter experts

We have spoken to the subject matter experts to get advice on chapters relevant to them including:

  • Audiology Australia
  • Australasian Sleep Association
  • Australian Psychological Society College of Clinical Neuropsychologists
  • Australian Diabetes Society
  • Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand
  • Optometry Australia. 

Regulatory advice

We also engaged the Office of Impact Analysis to provide advice on the proposed changes to the sleep screening criteria and whether a regulation impact statement is required.

How to participate

The NTC sought feedback from the public on the revised draft Standard. In support of this a consultation report was provided. Submissions closed in December 2022. Submissions received are available below.

Submissions we have received

Consultation Report - Review of the National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers

Published on 31 Oct 2022

We are seeking views on the draft revised National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers and questions in the accompanying consultation report.

Closed on 12 Dec 2022