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Safety & Security Director

Who are we?

South Western Railway (SWR) operates over 1,500 services each weekday across the network and employs more than 5,000 people. We provide easy and convenient mobility, connecting people and communities in South West London, southern counties of England and the Isle of Wight.

Join our team and help us continue to improve quality of life by bringing people together to get the most out of life.

SWR is part of FirstGroup, the largest rail operator in the UK and second largest bus operator in the UK outside London. FirstGroup operates services throughout the UK and Ireland, with over 30,000 employees providing services that make travel smoother and life easier.  FirstGroup works hard to reduce its impact on the environment, introducing cleaner and more environmentally responsible methods of transport. 

About the job

Are you a dynamic and proactive leader with a background in the Safety & Security sector? We are actively seeking an experienced Interim Safety & Security Director to join our senior leadership team who will lead the day-to-day application of safety and security arrangements across the business. This crucial role will also involve overseeing key functions, including Occupational Safety, Crime & Security, Safety Assurance and Safety Development.

Your main responsibilities will be:

  • Drive SWR's Safety strategy and provide safety leadership to the directors, senior management peer groups and the wider business, to drive improvements in culture and performance.
  • Lead the development of safety processes, provide expert guidance on health and safety legislation, utilise feedback channels, and collaborate with key stakeholders to align operational safety with SWR's safety strategy.
  • Oversee the maintenance of up-to-date SWR Safety & Security certificates and authorisations, ensuring full compliance with legislative requirements, whilst also managing the efficient distribution of instructions and standards through the company's document control system, including compliance with general data protection regulation. Additionally, take responsibility for security compliance, legislation, and the management of SWR's application of the National Rail Security Programme.
  • Lead the development and execution of annual strategies focused on enhancing security, reducing crime and trespass, safeguarding vulnerable individuals, and preventing staff assaults, with a commitment to embedding these strategies throughout the business, including high-profile security management and ensuring the protection of individuals' well-being and human rights, particularly children, young people, and vulnerable adults.
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders and external agencies to reduce crime and disorder, target hot spots, enhance public confidence, prevent fatalities, and stay informed and involved in broader rail security and policing issues, while also representing SWR's interests in internal and external safety and security meetings.
  • Establish and maintain contingency plans for incident response, accidents, weather impacts, and similar events, while also fostering effective processes for recording, reporting, and investigating accidents and near misses to promote a culture of learning and risk reduction.
  • Assess organisational safety and security risk and business operations to formulate an organisation strategy to promote business development, reduce risks, and limit exposure to liability in all areas of physical and personal risk.
  • Demonstrate excellent leadership by aligning the Safety & Security team with the company's strategic vision, promoting inclusive stakeholder management, optimising the use of innovation strategies and processes, and maintaining effective collaboration with the Executive team.
  • On Call for significant business issues (Executive On-Call roster)

You'll need to be:

  • Able to use your own initiative.
  • Self-motivated and able to set and achieve demanding targets and objectives. 
  • Confident in leading cultural and behavioural safety change programmes

As a minimum, you will need to have:

  • Significant experience in an HS management role.
  • Three years' experience of such a role in the UK Railway Industry (or a sector with similar HS characteristics to rail) is desirable, but not essential.
  • Demonstrated experience in managing and leading large teams
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Negotiation and consultation experience, in particular with Trade Unions
  • Appreciation of commercial business and the structure of the Railway Industry

About the location

South Western Railways HQ is based on the 4th Floor at South Bank Central, a stone's throw from the River Thames and a 10 minute walk from our busiest station, Waterloo. It is local to many well-known attractions, restaurants and retail facilities and is easily accessible by public transport.

Working pattern

Working an average of 37 hours per week over 5 days

Normal office hours with occasional flexibility needed due to the nature of the role

The Reward

In return we offer a competitive salary and a variety of valuable benefits including free 1st class duty and leisure travel on SWR services for employee, free 1st class leisure travel for spouse/partner and dependants (criteria dependant), 75% discount on many other train operating companies, a range of retail benefits and an excellent pension scheme. 


We all belong at SWR. FirstGroup's vision is to provide an inclusive environment for all colleagues, across its group of businesses, ensuring all candidates have an equal opportunity to access meaningful employment.

We value our differences such as age, gender, LGBTQIA+, ethnicity, religion, and disability. We maintain a zero tolerance towards any form of prejudice towards our colleagues, customers, and future talent.

We celebrate and encourage diversity of thought, progressive ways of working and seeing all our colleagues grow and thrive.

We review all roles and job descriptions to ensure they are accessible and, where possible, we support and provide flexible working options; we recommend that you refer to each vacancy description for further details.

If you require additional support to complete your application due to a disability or neurodivergent condition, for example, dyslexia, dyspraxia, or autism, please follow the links below.  We encourage you to share any additional needs you may require so we can provide a fair and equal process for all who apply.


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South Bank Central
30 Stamford Street, South Bank, London, England, SE1 9LQ
  • Ref:
  • Company:
    South Western Railway
  • Website Skillset:
  • Contract Type:
    Fixed Term - Full Time
  • Contracted Hours:
  • Location:
    South Bank Central
  • If temporary, length of contract:
    12 months
  • Closing Date:
    24 September 2023
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