PTS Medical, Railway Medical, Network Rail Drug & Alcohol Tests

We have the following Railway Medical, Drug and Alcohol Tests at our centre:

At Techno CTA Ltd we conduct PTS medical tests, Network Rail drug test, Railway medical and drug and alcohol screening in partnership with approved practitioners. We also do medicals for non rail occupational, please call for more information.

  • PTS Medical – Network Rail
  • Network Rail Drug Test and Alcohol Test
  • Industry Common Induction
  • Combination of PTS Medical & Network Rail Drug Test
  • Combination of Medical & Drug and Alcohol Tests


The approved practitioners provide PTS Medical Test and Network Rail Drug test in accordance to the relevant Railway Group Standards (RGS) and Network Rail Standards including NR/L2/OHS/018 and NR/L2/ OHS/00124.


All Railway medical and Drug & Alcohol Testing are carried out by Accredited Occupational Health Partners.

Personal Track Safety (PTS) Rail Medical


PTS is a system of safer working practices employed within the UK that is designed to ensure the safety of railway workers who are going to work on or near the line


The PTS Courses (which is where any rail maintenance career begins) can only be attended after the successful completion of the PTS Medical and a Drug & Alcohol Test. These tests are the requirements of NetworkRail for obvious safety reasons and are compulsory. A valid PTS Medical and PTS Drug & Alcohol are required throughout your entire rail career.

Rail Medicals Explained
Who needs the Railway Medical?


Anyone applying for or renewing their competence with Network rail in specific courses like Personal Track Safety (PTS), Basic Track Awareness and anyone working in a safety critical position within rail.


Any potential employee must undergo a PTS Medical and a Drug and Alcohol Test before attending a “Personal Track Safety” course.

When you embark on your chosen rail career, you will be issued with a smartcard, which links you to your account on the NetworkRail online database – which is known as Sentinel – which holds details of the holders’ PTS Medical, Drug & Alcohol status and any training courses that have been successfully completed.

Details of competencies attained can include:


  • Medical Certificate (usually lasts 10 years, but dependent on age)
  • Drug & Alcohol Results
  • PTS (AC or DCCR) (expiry 2 years)
  • PICOP, COSS, IWA or others…



The medical assessments for these certificates are undertaken by an accredited medical provider’s approved Occupational Health Technician.


What does the Railway medical test entail?


The Basic PTS Medical assessment for NetworkRail involves the following medical modalities and components.


  • Medical questionnaire.
  • Height and Weight
  • B.M.I.
  • Blood Pressure
  • Pulse
  • General Health Assessment included
  • Assessment of Alertness and Psychological Well being
  • Audiometric Assessment
  • Height and Weight
  • Urine Dipstick Test to Screen for Disease (e.g. Diabetes / Kidney Infection) - Blood Glucose Level
  • Vision testing/Visual Acuity
  • Colour Vision Assessed using Ishihara Plates Test (using at least plates 1 – 21)
  • Hearing Test


What does a Network Rail Drug Test and Alcohol test look for?




An electronic legally defensible breathalyser is used to test breath samples for alcohol. The Railway Group Standard GE/RT8070 defines a positive alcohol result as being over the following equivalent limits:


  • 29mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood
  • 13μg of alcohol per 100ml of breath


Drugs of Abuse



To test for drugs of abuse, a urine sample is collected and sent into a RISQS (Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme) approved laboratory. In the laboratory the samples are screened against the following drug profile:


Network Rail Safety Critical Medicals
Amphetamines Amphetamines
Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines
Cannabis Cannabis
Cocaine Cocaine
Methadone Methadone
Methamphetamines (MDMA) Methamphetamines (MDMA)
Opiates Opiates
Propoxyphene Propoxyphene

If the preliminary screen is non-negative, in that something has reacted with the test, we cannot yet confirm what caused the test to produce that result. The next step is confirmation analysis, which allows medical providers to differentiate between illicit drugs, prescription medication, over the counter medications and other metabolites within the sample.

The final results are reviewed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO), before they are reported. The MRO is a trained professional, working in the Occupational Health sector, who is responsible for reviewing and evaluating positive results, and their possible explanations.

Uploading Results to Sentinel


To check that a pre-employment test has taken place, all results are uploaded to Sentinel, a safety system used across the rail industry. Once the results have been uploaded, it issues employees who have ‘passed’ the drug and alcohol test with a permit to work across the rail infrastructure.


If you are sponsoring an employee to have a drug and alcohol test in order to provide services to the rail industry, prior to the test taking place, it’s your responsibility as the sponsor to ensure that the employee being tested has a profile within Sentinel that results can be uploaded against.

Once the drug and alcohol test has been completed, the organisation who collected the sample is responsible for uploading the drug and alcohol testing results to Sentinel.

Certificates are uploaded within to 2 -3 days from the day you have the test doneonto your Sentinel profile.

What do I need to bring?
  • Valid Sentinel Card (or your Sentinel Number)
  • Photo identification ie Passport or Photocard Driving Licence or Valid Sentinel Card
  • List of any prescribed (or over the counter) medicines/drugs taken within the last 14 days
  • Glasses if normally worn


*Please note if any of the above are not available on the day of the appointment, the medical will not be carried out. Another appointment will be required and the fee will still apply.


Persons with minor medical conditions (e.g. Wears Glasses or Colour Blind) may still be issued a PTS – though the Sentinel Card will have an indicator to inform the Controller of Site Safety (COSS) to that person’s ailment.

Where an individual fails to meet the specific medical standards on the day of the medical, depending on the issue, it is still sometimes possible to ask the candidate’s G.P. for a report. This can then be used to issue a PTS Medical Certificate – this is sometimes the case, for example, where candidates show high blood pressure on the day of the medical.

The object of the medical assessment is to ensure that employers meet their duty of care so that individuals working in this potentially dangerous environment are not subject to increased risk of harm to themselves or their colleagues, or in some cases members of the public, due to any foreseeable underlying medical condition.

NetworkRail operates a zero-tolerance policy on Drugs and Alcohol. If you return a “Positive” (Fail) result from your Drug & Alcohol test, your Sentinel Card will be cancelled and you will be prohibited from working on any NetworkRail infrastructure for a period of five years. This applies to new workers as well as workers who have worked on rail for many years.

How do I book a test


You can book this online via our website or over the phone with upfront payment.


How long does the Railway medical take?


Drug & Alcohol testing takes about 20 - 30 minutes


Medical screening takes about 30 – 45 minutes

If you need to do both together then the maximum time is an hour.

Where can I do my Railway medical?


We run screening and tests at our training centre every Fridays & Sundays where all Railway medical and Drug & Alcohol Testing are carried out by Accredited Approved Occupational Health Technician/Nurse.