RIW System and Program Glossary

The following is a glossary of terms used within the RIW System and Program.

Advanced Project Admin

Advanced Project Admin(APA) is a permission who can be appointed to assist with the administration requirements of setting up and maintaining the company’s workforce when they are managing a project including its sites and zones. The APA can on board cardholders as well as manage profile on a project level. 

Authorised Health Professionals (AHP)

An Authorised Heath Professional (AHP) is a Medical Provider that has been approved by the Chief Medical Officers Council to conduct rail safety worker medicals. Some AHPs have the ability to directly upload medicals to cardholder profiles.  The RIW System User Role used by AHP's is the Medical Provider.

Australasian Railway Association (ARA)

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) is the owner and endorser of the Rail Industry Worker Program.

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) is the peak body for the rail sector in Australia and New Zealand. The ARA represents more than 150 member organisations including passenger and freight operators, track owners and managers, suppliers, manufacturers, contractors and consultants. Members include listed and private rail-related companies, government agencies and franchisees.

For more detailed information about the ARA, visit www.ara.net.au  

Access Controller

An Access Controller is a RIW cardholder who is in charge of swiping other cardholders in and out of a worksite. They can also check job roles and competencies to ensure site compliance, view work restrictions, as well as deny access to site. Access controlling is done by scanning a RIW card using the RIW App. 

Note: an individual must be authorised as an Access Controller to use the app, which is granted by their primary Employer Administrator.

Active Cardholder

In the Company Registration – Terms and Conditions (Schedule 1 – Part A), an active cardholder is defined as a primarily employed cardholder of the organisation who has a valid and active (paid) subscription. The number of active cardholders is used to calculate whether a volume-based discount can be applied to the annual RIW Card Fee for the organisation as at 28 May each year (with this discount applying for the following year).

Additional Medical InformationAdditional Medical Information is any other type of medical information type that is not a rail health (medical) assessment or Drug and Alcohol assessment. This could include items such as immunisations, lead and silica monitoring or colour blindness tests.


An assessor is an RIW cardholder who holds the necessary competencies to perform assessments on RIW cardholders wishing to hold assessable job role(s).  Assessors are appointed by the owners of the job role which requires assessment.


Assessment is the term given to the process of reviewing and approving a cardholder’s job role. Accompanying evidence is uploaded that requires an assessor’s validation.

Associated Company

An associated company is an employer that has view rights to a RIW cardholder who is not their primary or secondary employee.


Association is ongoing and advanced visibility of a cardholder’s profile, who is not directly the company’s employee. 


A block is a restriction that prevents a Rail Industry Worker (RIW) from working on a Network Operator’s rail network or multiple rail networks, or sites. This can be at three levels in the system: 

  • At a National level which impacts all work sites on all participating rail networks, or 
  • At a Network level which includes all work sites on a specific Network Operator only.  
  • At a Site level generated automatically as a result of a breathalyser test failure.

Blocks can only be placed by a Network Operator, by the National Rail Industry Worker Operations Committee (NRIWOC) via the RIW Service Desk or through an automated breathalyser test failure.

Note: The RIW System will also automatically place a national block on a cardholder for a failed D&A result.


A cardholder is a person who has an RIW profile and card they can also be referred to as the worker.


Competency is the ability and evidence provided to demonstrate knowledge or the application of a task successfully and consistently. In the Rail Industry, the term competency refers to a number of requirements including qualifications, accreditations, validations and re-validation authorisations, currency, and certifications.

There are some competencies such as safeworking competencies that expire within a nominated time frame, which means that a cardholder would need to be re-assessed to remain competent in that capacity. 

A qualification or unit of competency issued under the Standards for RTOs can also be considered a competency. For the purposes of the Rail Industry Worker Program and the safety critical nature of the roles performed, although most qualifications/units do not expire, cardholders may be required to prove they have maintained the appropriate level of competency against certain units. A revalidation date will be shown in the RIW System for this purpose.

Note: This does not mean the AQTF qualification is no longer recognised, it simply means that it is not valid for this cardholders in the context of the rules relating to the competency. For more information please visit the RIW Business Rules page.


Means a project delivered by one of the RIW participant employers with other entities, who may or may not be a RIW Participant, and where the consortium has an ABN/ACN. 


The term used to define a company or the employer of the work force.

Contractor in Charge (CIC)

This term is given to the company who has been allocated a ‘Project’ within the RIW System, and therefore is responsible for adhering to the requirements set by the Network Operator. This allocation of a Contractor in Charge is typically part of the contract award phase of a project and is conducted by the Network Manager/Operator.


A crew is a groupings of RIW cardholders that can be created by those companies who have Premium Functionality. There are two distinct types of crews:

  • Company Crews - are only able to be edited and managed by an Employer Administrator for a company.
  • Project Crews - can be edited and managed by an Employer Administrator for a company, as well as an Advanced Project Admin.


E-Learning is the ability to complete certain training or competencies via the internet rather than attending face to face training. Where an E-Learning module is available in the RIW System, certificates on completion are directly awarded to the cardholder in the RIW System.


Evidence can be described as supporting the cardholder’s ability to fulfil or having fulfilled specific competency or job role requirements. 

Employer Admin

An Employer Admin is a permission in the RIW System who has full access rights to a company’s functionality and the primary cardholders. A company’s Employer Administrator primary use is to manage and monitor primary employees RIW profiles.

Employer Admin – Read Only

An Employer Admin – Read only is a permission in the RIW System who has only read only access rights to the company’s functionality and the primary cardholders.

Employer Admin – No Payment

An Employer Admin– no payment is a permission in the RIW System who has full edit rights to the company’s functionality and the primary cardholders, however this permission cannot process the final shopping basket payment. 

Employer job roles and competencies

Premium Functionality Employers have the permission to create employer job roles and competencies. This functionality grants the right to create, amend, suspend, modify, and reinstate an employer  job role or competency to a RIW cardholder, and in some cases (where applicable) verify the award of employer competencies.

Fast Track

Fast Track options are available for competencies and medicals. This ensures that assessments or evidence will be verified within 8 business hours for a cost of $55 + GST. A fast track verification includes up to 20 verifications for the one cardholder, or a medical and 20 verifications for the one cardholder. 

Hard Suspension

Hard suspension is the complete suspension of a company from the RIW System. Suspension means that the company will no longer have administrative rights in the RIW System, and all cardholders employed under the company will be released. These cardholders will be unable to work on any rail sites that require an RIW card as their Authority to Work has been removed due to removal of their Primary Employer. 

Job Role

A job role is a particular task or set of actions that a cardholder has the competence and compliance to perform. If a cardholder does not have the required job role, they may not be permitted to work on a site in that capacity. Job roles can be categorised as employer, national or network based. 

  • National – a job role that is nationally recognised, such as Around the Track Personnel.
  • Network – a job role that is specific to a network, such as MTM- Handsignaller, ARTC – Track Force Protection Coordinator or V/Line – Operator.
  • Employer – a job role that is specific to a Premium Functionality Employer. Employer-based job roles can only be created and assigned by Premium Functionality Employers.

To fulfil the requirements of a job role, a cardholder must be able to demonstrate they hold the correct competencies, requirements (such as a medical), or that the job role has had an assessment performed by an approved Assessor.  

Joint Venture

Joint Venture – means, a project delivered by one of the RIW participant company with another entity; and where the Joint Venture does not have a standalone ABN/ACN.  

Metro Trains Australia (MTA)

Metro Trains Australia (MTA) is the service provider of the RIW Program.

Medical Assessment

Certain job role or competencies require cardholders to have a medical assessment prior to being classed as competent. These medical assessments must be completed by a rail approved Medical Provider. 

Medical ProviderA Medical Provider in the RIW System is a user role that could be an Authorised Health Professional, and administrative support for an Authorised Health Professional, or an approved company who has been granted upload capability for managing medicals in the RIW System.


myRIW is a web based portal that allows RIW cardholders the ability to view their own profile, job roles, competencies medicals and employment. The cardholder can also update their email address, mobile or password, and request their primary employer to make any corrections to their profile.

myRIW also allows the cardholder to accept or reject employment or association requests received from prospective employers. If the cardholder approves the request, the cardholders profile is visible or in the case of Primary Employers fully editable. 

National Rail Industry Worker Advisory Committee (NRIWAC)

Acting as representatives of industry, the NRIWAC’s role is to: -

• Set and manage the strategic priorities of the RIW Program.

• Analyse, assess, and manage RIW Program risks.

• Provide advocacy and influence of the RIW Program across industry.

National Rail Industry Worker Operations Committee (NRIWOC)
The NRIWOC’s role is to act as representatives of industry, to provide advice and guidance to support the operational performance of the RIW Program in line with the RIW System Services Agreement and provide guidance to the Australasian Railway Association, as program owners, and Metro Trains Australia as the RIW Service Provider.

National Rail Industry Worker Matrices Committee (NRIWMC)

The NRIWMC’s role is to act as representatives of industry, to provide advice and guidance in developing and delivering standardised national job matrices, simplifying competency requirements, and providing consistency and transportability across participating rail operators.

Near Field Communication (NFC)

Near Field Communication (NFC) can be used by an NFC enabled device. The Access Controller or Spot Checker can hold the physical RIW card to the back of the NFC enabled device. The device will automatically detect and read the card.

Note: NFC can be used in offline situations, as the RIW App reads the chip embedded into the actual card.

Network Manager

Network Manager in the RIW System refers to an Accredited Rail Transport Operator, the custodian of the rail network. Whilst these Network Operators are Rail Transport Operators within the rail safety national law, within the RIW Program they are referred to as Network Managers.

Network Manager – Read only

he Network Manager – Read Only RIW System User permission allows read only functionality, hence this permission cannot place blocks or award projects.

Permission Access Agreement (PAA)

MTA, as the provider of RIW program, is obligated to comply with all applicable laws, including data privacy and security requirements. All RIW participants must provide consent for MTA to store their data – this consent must be given by the cardholder in order to hold their RIW card. If a cardholder does not accept the terms of the PAA, they will not be able to access or use the RIW System.

Premium Functionality Employers

Premium Functionality Employers include Network Operators and larger organisations that have access to additional functionality within the RIW System. These include employer competencies, employer job roles, crew management, allocated items management and pay on account facilities.

Primary Employer

A Primary Employer is a company responsible for paying for a cardholder’s annual subscription to the RIW System which enables the company to create/employ the cardholder and edit all areas of the cardholder’s profile. 

Project Admin

A Project Admin is the person who can be appointed to assist with the administration requirements of setting up and maintaining a project including its sites and zones.

QR Code

The ‘Quick Response’ code on a cardholder’s physical or virtual card that when scanned provides the Access Controller or Spot Checker access to view a cardholder’s profile.

Rail Industry Worker (RIW)

Any individual who is issued a Rail Industry Worker card including without limitation any employees, agents, officers, contractors (or employees, officers or contractors of those contractors) or invitees (or employees, officers or contractors of those invitees) of the ARA or the ARA’s Members.

Rail Industry Worker (RIW) App

The RIW App allows Access Controller and Spot Checker to manage cardholders on worksites. The App can provide the ability to check job roles and competencies, swipe cardholder in and award site based competencies. 

Rail Industry Worker (RIW) Card

Physical card which contains data linked with the RIW System for the purposes of identification of the cardholder and data captured regarding their job roles and competencies etc.

Rail Industry Worker (RIW) System

The RIW System is the main system used by RIW System Users to manage a workforce. The RIW System is used to send employment requests, manage cardholder profiles including uploading competencies and job roles and ordering cards for cardholders. 

Registered Training Organisation (RTO)

A training organisation that provides nationally accredited training. In the RIW System, this permission uses the Training Provider role.

Reference Point Limited (RPL)

The company who developed the RIW System.

Secondary Employer

The primary employer can share employment and allow the cardholder to have secondary employment with two additional companies in the RIW System. Secondary employers have minimal edit access the cardholder’s profile with the ability to only add competencies to a cardholder’s profile. The secondary employer predominately has read only access to secondary cardholder’s profiles. 

Site Admin

The Site Admin is the person appointed to assist with management of administration requirements on the site within a project.

Soft suspension

Soft suspension is the suspension of access to the RIW System, however no changes are made to any cardholder relationships or company information. 

Sole trader

A sole trader is an individual running a business. If the business is operated as a sole trader, they are the only owner and they control and manage all aspects of running the business. The registered Australian Business Number (ABN) as a sole trader.

Spot Checker

Spot Checker is the term given to a cardholder in the RIW System with the permission to spot check cards of the other cardholder’s roles and competencies. Spot Checkers are cardholders with the ability to audit other cardholders through the use of the RIW App or Web Card Reader. This could be for example, a site safety representative, an auditor or a rail safety officer from the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator.


A suspension is the temporary removal of a job role or competency. There are two levels of suspensions:  

  • National/Network Operator Specific – suspended from working in a specific capacity, or  
  • Employer based suspension – suspended from operating in a certain capacity that the contractor in charge may require for access to a worksite.


A swipe is a recorded event in the RIW System where a Rail Industry Worker or visitor presents an RIW card or Visitor Pass to swipe in or out of a RIW controlled site on the RIW App or Web Card Reader (Access Controller, Spot Checker or Self-Swipe), or a Kiosk.


Team is a term used to define a group of cardholders that are swiped by the by the Access Controller. This term can also be referred to as the workgroup.

Training ProviderIn the RIW System, the Training Provider permission is generally held by Registered Training Organisations.


Verification is the process of verifying a cardholder’s submitted evidence to determine its credibility and acceptability against the business rules.  Verification can occur by the RIW Service Desk for National and Network competencies, and by a Premium Functionality Employer for employer-based competencies (where defined)

Virtual RIW card

Virtual RIW cards are accessible through the Vircarda app on both IOS and android devices. The virtual RIW card contains data linked with the cardholders profile in the RIW System for the purposes of identification of the cardholder and data captured regarding their job roles and competencies etc. A virtual RIW card can be used in place of a physical RIW card.

Web Card Reader

The Web Card Reader allows an Access Controller or Spot Checker to login and swipe visitor and cardholder cards, select and award competencies (including pending competencies) and perform spot checks using the web card reader in a browser. 


Refers to a cardholder within the RIW Program.

Work restriction

A temporary or permanent work restriction that is placed by an AHP or primary employer to describe what restriction is associated with the cardholder, i.e. must wear prescription glasses, cannot work at heights.

Working Hour RulesWorking hour rules can be defined for sites to control the access and the hours worked by cardholders. This includes the maximum working hours over a defined period, minimum rest period between shifts and maximum mid-shift break.  Cardholders who are swiped into a site where working hour rules are applied may be denied access if the site working hour rules are exceeded.


Workgroup is a term used to define a group of cardholders that are checked by the Access Controller. The workgroup is the group of cardholders that the Access Controller is working with to perform a task. This term can also be referred to as the team.

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