Rail & Rail Systems Engineer


Qualification level: 5

Typical duration: 24 months (excluding End-Point Assessment)

Typical delivery model: Block release (2 weeks every half-term)

Rail and rail systems engineers are responsible for ensuring the railway runs smoothly on a day-to-day basis and provide rail-specific engineering knowledge across their own organisation to ensure this is the case. This includes supporting work relating to the integrated safe design, construction, installation, maintenance, renewal, or decommissioning of assets and equipment, to provide a safe and reliable railway.


Maximum funding (the maximum amount government will fund for apprenticeship training): £22,000

Apprenticeships are funded either via your apprenticeship levy (if your organisation has an annual PAYE bill of over £3m) or via the Education and Skills Funding Agency (who provide 95-100% funding depending on the size of your business).

Entry requirements

The employer sets the entry requirements for the programme, but apprentices will need to achieve Level 2 English and Maths (GCSE or equivalent at grade 4/C+) before taking their end-point assessment.

Apprentices will develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours necessary to become ‘Occupationally Competent’ in the role. The main themes of what they will learn include:

  • Safe and professional working practices
  • Scientific, technical, engineering, mathematical and design principles
  • Rail-specific engineering solutions
  • Strategic planning, teamwork, recruitment, organisational change, performance management and financial management
  • Partner, stakeholder and supplier relationship management

In addition to the core, they will specialise in one of the following: Rail Civil Engineering; Track Engineering; Signalling and Control Systems; Rail Systems Integration; Traction and Rolling Stock; Telecoms, Networks and Digital

Apprentices completing the apprenticeship will also gain their English and Maths at Level 2 (if they don’t already hold them).

This Apprenticeship Standard aligns with the current edition of the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC).

The experience gained and responsibility held by the apprentice on completion of the apprenticeship partially contributes to the requirements for IEng.