How to use the framework

The framework is designed to be flexible. It can be applied to a group, an individual organisation or even part of an organisation. Each of the Sustainable Development Principles can also be assessed on its own, though we encourage you to use the whole framework to get a complete picture of sustainable development progress.

The framework is based on the Rail Industry Sustainable Development Principles, and on five levels of progress to embedding each principle. These levels are described in more detail on the Understanding the levels page.

Once you get on to the self-assessment questionnaire you will find a series of questions, each of which has five answers in ascending order of progress. Taken together, the answers to these questions provide the assessment of overall progress

A few rules on scoring

  • Be honest. There is nothing to be gained from overselling or underselling your organisation. In order to improve, you need an accurate picture of where you are.
  • To meet a level, your organisation must meet or surpass all of the previous levels as well.
  • If a box describes one part of the organisation well but not another, you will need to do separate assessments for different parts of the organisation, otherwise you cannot honestly say that your organisation meets that level.
  • Try to provide evidence. This will help you explain responses and, in the future you will be able to understand more quickly where you were and what has really changed.
  • Assume that the question applies to your type of organisation. The framework is designed to apply to the full range of organisations within the industry, and the questions are targeted depending on the type of organisation. If your organisation has no influence over embedding a principle, or a particular aspect of it, an option of not answering the question(s) has been provided.
  • Most organisations will have different scores for different principles and on specific questions within principles. The aim of the framework is to cover many different aspects of sustainable development, and organisations are unlikely to have similar scores for each principle/question.
  • The framework is designed to be flexible. You can either assess your entire organisation at once or perform different assessments for individual functions or business areas.

Should you require additional support, please contact sustainablerailprogramme@rssb.co.uk.