DS 21001 Railway safety management systems

Banedanmark has asked Danish Standards, the national standardisation organisation in Denmark to be responsible for the development of DS 21001 Railway safety management systems – Work related to infrastructure – Requirements, hereinafter referred to as DS 21001 or the management standard. DS 21001 replaces the authorisation of contractors currently carried out by Banedanmark pursuant to the "Guidelines for the authorisation of contractors who provide railway services associated with railway safety".


DS 21001 was published on 25 August 2020 in Danish and English, and you can search for and purchase the standard on the Danish Standards website.


Banedanmark requires conformity to DS 21001

Banedanmark requires suppliers of services associated with railway safety to conform to DS 21001. During a transitional period, Banedanmark will assess how the requirement is to be phased in on a case-by-case basis.


Services associated with railway safety consist of three types of services:

  • Railway safety services (See sections 0.4.1 and 0.4.2 of DS 21001)
  • Professional services associated with railway safety (See section 0.4.3 of DS 21001)
  • Services involving the use of equipment – including railway vehicles (See section 0.4.4 of DS 21001)

In tenders and contracts, Banedanmark will require suppliers of services associated with railway safety and their subcontractors to document that they have established a safety management system that conforms to DS 21001 for at least the part of the organisation that is responsible for the delivery or affected by it. If only a part of the organisation has a safety management system, the supplier must submit documentation detailing the organisational division of the organisation. This can be documented with a DS 21001 certificate that matches the relevant service categories for the contract, or equivalent documentation. For more on types of services and service categories, see the link on the right of the page.

Application to become a supplier

As a supplier, you can document conformity to DS 21001 in two ways, outlined in model 1 and model 2 below:


DS21001 Model 1/2 illustration



Regardless of whether you document compliance with DS 21001 through model 1 or model 2, as a supplier you must establish and implement a safety management system that complies with DS 21001.

Documentation of compliance with the requirements of DS 21001, documentation of how the management system meets the requirements related to the service categories of relevance to the contract, and, if applicable, the organisational division of the organisation must be sent to Banedanmark at the time the requirement is stated in the contract.

If you wish to enter into collaboration with Banedanmark for the delivery of the services mentioned above, Banedanmark encourages you to initiate the process of providing the necessary documentation that your organisation and your management system conforms to DS 21001 at the earliest possible opportunity.

Assistance in becoming certified according to DS 21001

Suppliers can either be certified by an independent certification body, or they can otherwise demonstrate to Banedanmark that they meet the standard. The costs of certification etc. are borne directly by the supplier. Your advisor, if applicable, can help investigate how you, as a supplier, can provide documentation establishing conformity to DS 21001.


As various certification bodies have participated in the development of DS 21001 and as DS 21001 is based on the principles of ISO certifications, it is possible to seek advice from certification bodies and similar advisors. Please note that the organisation that advises a supplier cannot simultaneously certify the supplier.

When the supplier chooses to conform to requirements by obtaining a certificate in accordance with DS 21001, the certificate must have been obtained from a certification body accredited in accordance with DS/EN ISO 9001: 2015. The certification body's accreditation in accordance with DS/EN ISO 9001: 2015 must be related to the relevant NACE codes (European industry codes) to which the delivery relates.

The supplier must be able to present a DS 21001 certificate, which explicitly states (on the certificate itself) that the certification body's document review, certification, monitoring audit and the like is carried out in accordance with DS 21003. This ensures that the certification and audit methods leading to the issuing of the DS 21001 certificate, is in accordance with the same high standards as of those pertaining to an ISO 9001 certification.

A certificate pursuant to DS 21001 has a validity of 3 years for the service categories specified on the certificate. The supplier is obliged to maintain documentation of conformity to DS 21001 for the entire term of the contract unless otherwise stated in the contract. If a contract for services associated with railway safety has a duration exceeding 3 years, conformity to DS 21001 is still required for the duration of the contract.

Authorisation to provide railway safety services is being phased out

Suppliers who entered into a contract with Banedanmark for the provision of services associated with railway safety prior to 25 August 2020 and that were approved in accordance with the applicable "Guidelines for the authorisation of contractors who provide railway safety services to Banedanmark" may maintain and renew this authorisation throughout the validity period of the original contract. The opportunity for such authorisation will be phased out as contracts concluded before 25 August 2020 expire.


Alternatively, the authorisation may, by agreement with Banedanmark, be replaced by proof of conformity to DS 21001 or equivalent documentation if this type of documentation is obtained in other contexts. This presupposes that the supplier can document full conformity with DS 21001 or can supply equivalent documentation, as well as document the supplier's existing authorisation to provide railway safety services to Banedanmark.