Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to all of your questions.
Cannot find answer to a certain question? Use our contact us form at the tail end of this page to reach us or call 0333 200 1223 or 0208 591 5140. You may also send us an email via

Rail Courses

Yes. Atom Services Limited are approved and accredited by NSAR to conduct rail training and accredited / audited by RISQS and London Underground to supply safety critical and non-safety critical staff to the rail industry.
Yes we do. We supply rail staff to all rail operators, London Underground and Network rail contractors. Some of the staff we supply include but are not limited to: 1) Cleaners (Stations and Depots) 2) PTS Operatives (Network Rail) 3) Basic Track Awareness staff (London Underground) 4) Track Awareness Staff (DLR and Manchester Metrolink) 5) Lift and Escalator staff (London Underground) 6) Confine Space Staff (London Underground) 7) Level Crossing Operatives (Network Rail) 8) Points Operatives (Network Rail) 9) Controller of site safety (Network Rail) 10) Lookout (Network Rail) 11) First aid staff and Fire Warden (Network Rail and London Underground) 12) Person In charge of Works - PICOW (DLR) 13) Protecting workers on Track (engineering hours) - (London Underground) 14) Machine Controller (Network Rail) 15) Crane Controller (Network Rail) 16) Engineer Supervisor (Network Rail) 17) Track Handback Engineers (Network Rail and London Underground) 18) All Tradesmen - Plumbers, Carpenters, Electricians etc (Network Rail and London Underground) 19) All Engineers (Network Rail and London Underground) 20) All Surveyors (Network Rail and London Underground)
If you do not have a sponsor but want to work in the rail industry, contact us via our contact details above or below. You may call 0333 200 1223 or 0208 591 5140 and one of our friendly staff will assist you. Otherwise, send an email to
Even if you do have a primary sponsor, we can always be your sub-sponsor as you are allowed to have one primary sponsor and 2 sub-sponsors in the railway industry. Without sponsorship, you cannot work for a rail company. Also, you cannot attend any rail approved course, assessment and medicals without having a sponsor.
Cost of our Rail Courses are as follows: Sentinel will charge your company £33 per year for your Sentinel Smartcard plus an additional £7 per year contribution for the National Skills Academy for Rail.
1) Sentinel E-learning - At your sponsors office or at our training centre - Takes about 20 mins or more 2) Sentinel Industry Common Induction ICI-LU and ICI-NWR Assessment - Takes 40 mins per assessment (can re-take twice immediately after if you fail the first time. All 3 attempts in one go) 3) Medical fitness Test - A few hours, Results are normally posted to sponsors 4) Drug and Alcohol Test - Takes a few hours, results posted to sponsors 5) PTS Course - Personal Track Safety Initial Couse - E-learning - Half a day 6) PTS Course - Personal Track Safety Initial Couse - E-learning and Pratical - 2.5 Days 7) Track Induction Course - 10 Days 8) PTS Course - Personal Track Safety Refresher or Re-certification Course - 2 Days 9) Controller of Site Safety Course - Initial - 6 - 7 Days 10) Controller of Site Safety - Worksite Assessment - On Site - 1 Day 11) Controller of Site Safety Course - Refresher or Re-certification Course - 5 Days 12) Lookout Course - Initial - 1 Day 13) Lookout - Refresher or Re-certification Course - 1 Day
Yes, your Sentinel e-learning will be conducted by your primary sponsor. If we are your primary sponsor, you will do your e-learning at our training centre.
If you have a primary sponsor, your sponsor must have approved our booking form before you attend a course. Also, all Learners must be 16+ and bring along valid ID (Passport, Driving license or ID card) and must bring 2 Passport size picture. Also candidates must bring a proof of National Insurance and Proof of Address.If we are your primary sponsor, a valid ID is all you need as you must have gone through our vetting system before we can add you to our sentinel platform as your sponsor. If you do not have a sponsor, You may call 0333 200 1223 or 0208 591 5140 and one of our friendly staff will assist you. Otherwise, send an email to you already have a sentinel card and a primary sponsor and the course you intend to attend is not ICI, you must come with an up to date medical endorsed on your sentinel card. If you have had a new medical and Drug screening, please bring that as well. We will need to see your current sentinel card if you have one. If the course involves a practical session then you will be provided with basic personnel protective equipment by your sponsor. If you do not have your personnel protective equipment (PPE) with you, please ask us when you get to the training centre. If you are attending a re-cert course or assessment, then any rule books and hand book modules that are relevant, and your completed logbook will be required.
The Industry Common Induction (ICI) only takes 40 mins and if you fail, you will have the opportunity to resit it 2 more times. All three attempts must be in one go. Your Industry Common Induction (ICI) will only expire after 5 years after which you will need to re-take the course
Industry Common Induction is the first sentinel assessment you need to undertake to get into the railway industry. If you want to work on the London Underground infrastructure, you will need the ICI-LU which is the London Underground endorsement on the ICI. To work on Network Rail infrastructure, you will need the ICI-NWR. You may have both is you ask our training team.
You MUST have a sponsor; this is usually the company that you will be working for and who will pay you. Then you need to have the following: 1) Sentinel E-learning Test 2) ICI-NWR - Industry Common Induction for Network Rail 3) Network Rail Medical and Drugs and alcohol tests It is after all the above that you can do a personal track safety course (Initial)If you do not have a sponsor, you may call 0333 200 1223 or 0208 591 5140 and one of our friendly staff will assist you. Otherwise, send an email to or fill our contact us form below
To sit for a personal track safety course and others, you must have passed the medical / drug tests and it must have been uploaded onto your sentnel card before you undertake a pts course. It’s a mandatory requirement that we must see that you are medically fit before we take you onto a railway line, which is part of the training. The only course you can attend without a medical and Drug test is the industry common induction (ICI), all others do have the drug and alcohol and medical tests as mandatory requirement. You must bring your certificates with you. Obviously the results must be negative for drugs/alcohol.
Unfortunately No. Your local doctor cannot do the medical and Drug test as they are not approved to conduct such for the rail industry. As it is a mandatory requirement for the rail industry, only railway approved medical centres are qualified to carry out the screening tests. If you would like to be tested at our centre, you may use our online booking system on this site or contact us by phone on 0333 200 1223 or 0208 591 5140. You may also contact us via email on Your sponsor must approve the booking form or else we you may not be able to conduct the tests at our centre.
Sentinel Industry Common Induction (ICI) and its e-learning are done on daily basis while other rail courses like personal Track Safety, Controller of Site Safety, Lookout are done once to four times in a month except when there is a block booking. To book a course, you may use our online booking system on this site or contact us by phone on 0333 200 1223 or 0208 591 5140. You may also contact us via email on Your sponsor must approve the booking form or else we will not allow you to attend the course.
Controller of Site Safety or COSS is a person qualified with Network Rail to ensure safe practice for work occurring on or near rail infrastructure. Their primary role is to set up a safe system of work to protect staff from trains and trains from staff and activities.
To become a COSS, someone should have served a suitable period of time on the railways and undertake a 7 days course. This is then followed by a period of mentoring by an experienced COSS and then independent regular assessments to ensure that the subject is competent to undertake their role safely and effectively.

The rules around performing the role of a COSS are stated in the Rule Book which is a set of documents issued to track staff detailing their duties.

A COSS is distinguishable on site by wearing a blue armlet with white lettering the word "COSS".

A COSS is equivalent to Protecting Workers on Track (PWT) on London Underground and Person in charge of works (PICOW) on DLR .
No, Once you are a qualified Controller of Site Safety (COSS), it is a door opener for you to undertake other safety critical courses like Safe Work Leader, machine controller, Crane Controller, Track Handback Engineer, PC, PICOP - The course you may be qualified to undertake depends on your years or months of experience as a COSS.
Only persons who have the correct number of log book entries, and if the coss assessment falls within the correct timescale, will be eligible to undergo COSS workplace assessment.

If a person fails to carry out their assessment within the correct timescale, they lose the competency and will have to undergo initial training to regain the competency.

On successful completion of the assessment Candidates will have proven that they have set up and maintained a safe system of work in accordance with the relevant parts of the Rule Book and the Railway Group Standards. They will also have demonstrated their underpinning knowledge in other areas of their qualification.
At the moment, Once we have two candidates for COSS Assessment, we arrange with the trainer and the candidates before we book a date.
Our courses are taught using the most up to date study material to ensure we cover all aspects of the required qualification. We use online technologies and videos to deliver learning. Some materials can be accessed after the course has ended so you can still benefit from the teaching post learning. Materials draw on pedagogical techniques to ensure learners are able to absorb and understand what’s delivered, and then to apply it where it matters on the job. We only use qualified trainers to deliver courses. Our trainers understand the sector, are competent and will use real life experiences where possible to enhance learning.
Every student has access to guidance and help from our dedicated, professional and multilingual support team. Oral tests are also available to ensure that candidates with learning difficulties or disabilities can also access the training and achieve success.
No, our Parking Facility is a private parking facility for staff and Trainers. Due to limited parking spaces, candidates will have to park at the new ASDA parking lot which is a minute walk from our centre which allows you to park for 2 hours as far as you purchase an item which is up to a fiver. We also have LIDL parking centre (3 minutes walk) in Barking which allows you to park the whole day for a small fee.
Click here to see directions to our training centre from your location We are just 5 minutes walk from the Barking Tube / Train Station. We are opposite the Barking McDonalds and above "The Gym" on the 4th floor of The Clockhouse.
You may call 0333 200 1223 or 0208 591 5140 and one of our friendly staff will assist you. Otherwise, send an email to or fill our contact us form below