Develop a joint supplier audit program for rail suppliers

Project information

  • Acronym: AUDIT4ALL
  • Develop a joint supplier audit program for rail suppliers
  • Project director: Frédéric Hénon
  • Project manager: Philip Van den bosch
  • Status: ongoing project
  • Project code: 2024/FRE/861

Project description

Auditing suppliers as part of the management system is part of the legal obligation of each railway undertaking in the sector. It is described in the legal provisions of the operating licence that each RU audits its suppliers for safety, environment, compliance...

With several thousand suppliers (e.g. traction providers, shunting yards, container terminals, wagon keepers, cleaning stations, manpower leasing companies, etc.) per RU and new legislation, this audit process is becoming more extensive, complex and lengthy. In addition, new legislation such as the Corporate Social Due Diligence Directive imposed by European policy is coming into force.

All departments, such as Safety and Audit, are challenged to achieve higher levels of efficiency. The audit process has to be carried out with limited capacity. This is a challenge that is seen both from the RU side and from the supplier side.

UIC is fully aware of these concerns and is bringing together stakeholders from the operator side (passenger operators, IMs and freight operators) in this project to develop a global standard for auditing different aspects of the management system.

Project Structure & Deliverables

The project is organised around 5 activities:

Develop a benchmark with other existing best practices
Other industries have shown the way to develop joint audit programs. The deliverables will research best practices as a basis for the development of a sector specific framework

Develop a framework of standards
This deliverable will ensure compatibility of the different management systems. This action needs to be undertaken to ensure that all legal requirements in the different countries are taken into account. If not, no common ground is found.

Develop a common audit program for suppliers whereby RUs accept the audit results of others for certain suppliers
Of course, there must be a common understanding and agreement on a common programme for the results to be accepted. It will be a matter of aligning internal programmes and ensuring that they comply with internal policies and national legislation where applicable.

Develop (a) tool(s) to leverage results from individual audit efforts
Proper data management is required to ensure that maximum efficiency is achieved in the system. This data management will also be necessary to ensure audit trails and documentation.
If these tools are not developed, it is highly likely that the authorities will not accept these practices as an acceptable means of compliance.

Analysis of potential business models and develop structures that enable embedding of the project results in a permanent practice
This deliverable will focus on the development of sustainable business models when the project moves from project mode into daily operation

Project timeline and budget

The project will run for 36 months from 2024 to 2026 with a budget of €370,000. At the end of this period, the project will be sufficiently mature to move out of the project set-up phase and into the operational phase. Defining how this will be done is one of the key deliverables of the project.

What’s in it for you?

By joining this project you will define the future of auditing and compliance in the railway sector.
… but more important you will save significant (financial) resources due to the optimized organization of audits required by law
… and you will improve quality and safety due to more intense and better focused audit efforts.

How can I participate?

Interested parties can apply via the application form at the end of this page.
A contribution can consist of a financial contribution, making experts available in the development of the program of by becoming member of the advisory board

Project members

The project is supported by some of the major players in the rail market from different angles like railway operators, infrastructure managers and wagon keepers.

UIC contact

For further information, please contact:


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Friday 31 May 2024