Rail Engineering Sector Based Work Academy Programme (SWAP) level 2 – C7423

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Course Overview

This SWAP course is designed for anyone who wishes to work as a Railway Engineer.

To complete your Rail Engineering (Operative) NVQ level 2, you’ll need to build a portfolio of evidence to prove your competence as an engineer. This may involve things such as risk assessments, briefings, work completion reports, and a safe system of work plans.
The Rail Engineering (Operative) NVQ level 2, is a great qualification to have and is comparable in academic level to GCSEs. It’s a significant piece of work, but with the support of our experienced tutors, it makes the qualification easily obtainable for aspiring Railway Engineers.
Our qualification is accredited by City Guilds.
Must be prepared to work outside in all weathers.

To enrol onto this course you must be aged 19 years or older on 31st August. See the entry requirements section for full details.

If you are 16-19 years old these activities will be timetabled as will work experience and placement. You can also choose to take part in other activities.
For other age groups, activities will be tailored to your needs.

What You'll Learn

Year 1

The course is split between 40% practical and 60% theory elements.
Your Rail Engineering NVQ level 2 will cover a number of units that come together to build your full NVQ qualification. Examples include:

1. Preparing to undertake duties in the rail industry
1. Carrying out routine inspection of the permanent way infrastructure
3. Assisting in preparing resources for permanent way activities
4. Monitoring the performance and condition of permanent way assets
5. Restoring plain line track geometry to operational condition
6. Implementing and monitoring safe working systems for permanent way activities as a protection master
7. Reinstating the work site after permanent way engineering activities
8. Undertaking routine manual maintenance of the permanent way

Entry Requirements

The Rail industry has a zero-tolerance approach to individuals attending work whilst under the
influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

You must also:

1. Be in receipt of UC / JSA / ESA
2. Be 19 years or older on 31st August..
3. Be able to commit to the full 8 week programme, Monday – Friday.
4. Have photographic identification (One of the following): In date Passport, Provisional/Full Driving License, Citizenship Card/Government Prove it ID card.
5. Must not have any convictions relating to terrorism activities
6. Willing to undergo medical, drugs alcohol screening – It is essential that each applying candidate is physically fit, medically fit and NOT alcohol dependent. Each candidate MUST be clear of any illegal substances.

How you will be assessed

When attending the on-site practical sessions, you will complete a variety of practical tasks that will be formally assessed by your tutor.
When attending classroom-based sessions, you will complete a variety of short practical and written tasks that will be formally assessed by your tutor to create a portfolio of written evidence. When completing online qualifications, you will complete short mock tests following completion of the learning for each unit and, when you are confident, you will then complete the multiple-choice online exam.

Course Fees

Tuition fees

Tuition Fees (19+): £0.00

Additional Costs

You will not be required to pay a fee for this course if you are in receipt of one of the following benefits:
Universal Credit
JSA or ESA (Employment and Support Allowance Work-Related Action Group)
low waged.
Evidence of benefits will be required on the application.


If the course is longer than one year the total fees are for the first year only and further fees may apply in future years. All fees are based on a ‘home’ learner status. Please contact us for information on overseas fees.

For more information, please see our course fee disclaimers page.

Learn more about fees

Course and Career progression

On successful completion of the course, candidates will receive a guaranteed interview for the position of Track Operative/PTS Worker.
Rates of pay start at approx £11ph mid-week and £13ph – £16ph weekends rising in line with experience.
You can also choose to progress on to the Rail Engineering level 3 or look at Apprenticeships.

For more detailed advice and guidance about your future steps, you can make an appointment with one of our qualified careers advisers who can support you to find the most suitable career path for you and to make the most of your skills and qualifications.

What Happens Next

Apply online via the College website. You will be contacted to attend an interview if required, or you will be sent a conditional offer according to the entry requirements of the course. You will then be invited in to enrol for your chosen course.

For applications via JCP, please let your Work Coach know. Subject to individual eligibility and type of benefit, the vast majority of courses are FREE to people in receipt of an employment-related benefit JSA, Universal Credit or ESA (Employment and Support Allowance).

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