Institution of Railway Signal Engineers

The Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) is a worldwide professional body for all those engaged or interested in railway signalling and telecommunications (S&T) and allied disciplines.

Local sections

The IRSE is based in London, with international sections in:

In the UK:

There is also a Minor Railways section specialising in railways that are not part of the national network, including industrial, tourist and heritage railways.[1]

Membership grades

Membership grade is dependent on the individual member's experience and / or formal qualification.


The headquarters of the IRSE is in Westminster, London, in the offices of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

IRSE Licensing Scheme

The IRSE Licensing Scheme was introduced in 1994 as a means of competence certification for people undertaking work in the railway signalling and telecommunications industry. There are over 50 licence categories that cover the design, installation, testing, maintenance and engineering management of both railway signalling and telecommunications. Possession of a licence (or evidence that you are working towards obtaining a licence) is essential for people who want to carry out S&T engineering work for Network Rail or London Underground. Network Rail and London Underground require themselves and their contractors and consultants, ensure that all S&T engineers engaged in safety-critical and safety-related work possess IRSE licences.



  1. "IRSE – Near you". The Institution of Railway Signal Engineers. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
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