Atkins’ UK rail division is one of the first in the industry to achieve BS11000 accreditation, which provides a framework for collaborative business relationships.

The accreditation, which will see Atkins’ rail business apply best practice principles to its current ways of working to get the very best out of its business relationships, was officially awarded today at a special ceremony at the House of Lords.

Douglas McCormick, managing director of Atkins’ UK rail division, said: "I am delighted that we have achieved BS11000 accreditation. While collaboration has always been around, it has become all the more important to the rail industry following the McNulty Rail Value for Money Study.

"We look forward to forming closer partnerships with our clients, suppliers and delivery partners which will enable us to focus on delivering value for money and innovation as we implement the McNulty recommendations."

Atkins’ BS11000 submission was based primarily on current re-signalling projects in the north of England and the Midlands, particularly the Northampton Silver Re-signalling scheme.

Northampton, which is being delivered in partnership with Network Rail, has been greatly helped by the collaborative approach that was taken. From the outset, the combined Network Rail/Atkins project team held joint workshops to establish a ‘Collaboration Charter’ outlining project behaviours, interactions and how the project would be run.

The team is also co-located on site which has led to the quick resolution of many issues so far and has meant that the project’s June commissioning has been kept on track.