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Information on IRIS

Promoted by UNIFE and supported by operators, system integrators and equipment manufacturers, IRIS (International Railway Industry Standard) complements the internationally recognized ISO 9001 quality standard introducing rail specific requirements.

IRIS is modelled on similar quality standards already in place in the aerospace, and automotive industries and it aims at the avoidance of multiple business management system auditing and therefore increases cost efficiency.

Objectivity and transparency are guaranteed by only using approved and independent certification bodies, known and recognized in the industry.

The IRIS certificate will replace individual management system evaluations by at least the four founders of this initiative (Alstom Transport, AnsaldoBreda, Siemens Transportation Systems and Bombardier Transportation).


For the railway sector, the liberalization of European rail transport poses a particular challenge. Due to the increasing competitive pressure, especially in the EU's goods market, what the railways need most are "ready to run" transportation systems that meet the different requirements of the individual countries along the main intercontinental routes as well as complying with the restrictive regulatory requirements. What railway operators expect of the railway supply industry is competitiveness, proved solution for cars, facilities and operating equipment that meet the high quality of standards required for every day use.

IRIS has set the standard for these global rail business requests. Its main objective is to improve the quality in the rail sector by reduction of efforts and costs.


The successful implementation of IRIS creates a win-win situation for all stakeholders, be they equipment manufacturers, system integrators, operators or business partners. The goals of an integrated system work for all.

Equipment Manufacturers

The equipment manufacturers are able to improve their quality level and therefore promote a greater quality image. This contributes to secure a competitive future: they become more valued and visible on the market.

Through the IRIS web database they are able to enter and update their data.

After certification, this information may be made available to system integrators and prospective clients, on approval of the audited company.

Equipment manufacturers are able to save time by only having to apply once for the certification, for both ISO 9001 and IRIS at the same time.

System Integrators

Transparent requirements are acceptable and applicable to all parties, and become an integral part of the management systems in the participating companies.
This results in improved quality among the various production sites of the system integrators.
A uniform quality standard considerably simplifies the process of evaluating and approving suppliers, removing the need for system integrators‘ own approval audits.
They are able to access accurate and reliable data from the common IRIS web database.


Operators benefit from the improvements across the entire supply chain, with enhanced equipment, rolling stock and signalling. They are able to rely on a demanding, internationally recognized standard for the whole industry. As a result, quality, safety and reliability increase as well as business management processes of the industry. Operators have also actively
contributed to Revision 02 by highlighting necessary implementations.


Guiding principles

IRIS standard is owned and managed by UNIFE to ensure its independency.

  • Suppliers do not need to provide business sensitive information. Audit results are confidential and protected.
  • Approval of certification bodies is fair and transparent.
  • IRIS is based on the ISO 9001 Structure and adds railway specific requirements for the business management system, e.g. regarding Project Management, Design, RAMS, LCC etc.
  • IRIS contains:
    • Mandatory requirements with 'Shall' wording.
    • Optional requirements with 'Should' wording.

Evaluation methodology

  • Audit results are scored; it´s not a fail/pass system.
  • Some requirements are 'K.O.' criteria.
  • Use of a scale with 5 levels to measure maturity

IRIS Rev. 02.1, what’s new

Following the requirements of customer and market needs, the electronic version of the IRIS booklet was launched.

The IRIS Rev. 02.1 booklet is available only in electronic version, and only in English, French, German, Russian and Polish.

Moreover, the dispatching of documents is outsourced to specialised websellers. All necessary information is available in the shop section.


In comparison to Rev. 02 June 2009 following evolutions were applied:

  • Implementation of IRIS Corrigendum 1:2010
  • Implementation of IRIS Corrigendum 2:2012
  • Implementation of IRIS Advisory 4 - Site extension, issued on 01/07/2010
  • Implementation of IRIS Advisory 5 - Updating from other standard, issued on 01/07/201
  • Implementation of IRIS Advisory 6 - Scopes coverage, issued on 01/07/2010
  • ?Implementation of IRIS Advisory 7 - Re-Audit mandatory, issued on 01/08/2011
  • Implementation of IRIS Advisory 8 - Documental veto check, issued on 02/01/2012
  • Implementation of IRIS Advisory 9 - Auditor time clarification, issued on 02/01/2012
  • Implementation of IRIS Advisory 10 - IRIS certificate validity, issued on 02/01/2012
  • Implementation of ISO 9001:2008 text
  • Implementation of IRIS Technical Forum for Improvement (TFI) results
  • Updating editorially.


Customers have with the IRIS booklet Rev.02.1 all latest information updated since 2010 and the ISO 9001:2008 text included.

Customers can purchase the IRIS booklet Rev. 02.1 direct from the web-sellers.

There is no impact on the certification process.

IRIS Status as of January 2016

  • 1245 Companies have already achieved their IRIS Certificate, and multiple more are going to be audited in the next months.
  • Around 2000 companies are registered in the IRIS Portal as the first step in the IRIS Certification process.
  • 15 Certification Bodies have been contracted to perform IRIS Certification audits.
  • More than 250 auditors have been trained by the IRIS Management Centre and passed the IRIS written and oral examinations.
  • The IRIS Booklet Rev. 02.1 booklet is available in electronic version in English, German, French, Russian and the Polish language.