Competence management in the UK heritage railway industry

Robert Baughan*, Martin Crapper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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There are over 100 heritage railways in the UK, operated primarily by volunteers. They run vintage trains for leisure and tourism and also undertake construction work in the form of track and infrastructure maintenance including significant new-build, with around 1500 staff involved in such activity. Recent accidents, including a fatality in 2012 have led to competence management being highlighted as a key issue to be addressed by the UK heritage railway industry. Factors such as the volunteer culture, the prevailing language, the diversity of skills, qualifications and learning abilities, are all key factors to be addressed in managing competence effectively. The intention of this research is to identify the issues that need to be satisfactorily addressed when defining and implementing an approach to competence management that is appropriate for the unique structure and challenges of the UK heritage railway industry and to determine whether the contrast of volunteer and professional environments is likely to yield lessons of general applicability to competence management in construction-related activity. A full review of literature and interviews with discourse analysis have highlighted the importance of competence factors such as management, leadership and non-technical skills which resonate with the volunteer culture of heritage railways, and four key discourses have been identified for future study.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference
EditorsPaul W. Chan, Christopher J. Neilson
Place of PublicationManchester
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780995546301
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2016
Event32nd Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2016 - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Sept 20167 Sept 2016


Conference32nd Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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