The Roles of PICOP and Handsignallers

Our ref: HSR/2/19

Head Office Circular: NP/259/22

25th November 2022

To: The Secretary




Dear Colleague,




I write further to Head Office Circular NP/249/22, dated 9th November 2022 and recent meeting of your National Executive Committee (NEC) where they discussed correspondence received from Network Rail (NR) in relation to the above. In their letter the Company explain that their Western Route are actively investigating my report of an incident where an appointed PICOP (Person in Charge of Possession) was simultaneously acting as Handsignaller.  NR agree that Handsignaller’s should not undertake other safety critical tasks.  Having considered this matter they explain that they have noticed that the rule book is ambiguous on this issue and have an instruction that Handsignaller’s should not undertake other safety critical roles. 


The report adopted by the NEC when they met on 24th November is as follows: 


We note the correspondence on file received form Network Rail that they have issued an instruction to staff following the resolution received from Gloucester Branch. 


We also note that Network Rail are continuing to look into the issues of the Role of PICOP (Person in Charge of Possession) and Handsignaller that have been raised the following the resolution. 


Any further correspondence on this matter is to be placed before us. 


All members, Branches to be advised by text and email. 


I am acting in line with these instructions. Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members. 


Yours sincerely



Michael Lynch

General Secretary