Heritage Operations Processing System
Minor updates and code changes occur every day. Only significant or noteworthy updates are shown here. Updates shown with a gold background are (or were at the time) only available to organisations subscribing to the Support Licence Scheme.


Time DateSystem Updates
Update 677
16 September 2020
The signed-in status of each member of staff has now been added to the Daily Operations page.

This enables a duty manager, for example, to see when staff have signed in for the day, and when they have left again at the end.

An additional attribute has been added to each Role (department > Competence Structure > Roles tab) to enable a role to be identified as 'important' for signing-in purposes.

When a role is 'important', and the person has not yet signed in, the status will be shown in red. When a role is not marked as 'important', and the person has not yet signed in, the status will be shown in grey. This is to enable at-a-glance recognition of when a time/business-critical role has not arrived, such as a signalman or driver, without unnecessarily highlighting non-time-critical roles such as maintenance gangs.

When a user is signed in the status is shown in green, and when they have signed out again the status is shown in grey. This enables at-a-glance recognition of when a person is still signed in at the end of the day when they would have been expected to have gone home.

None of the above changes the process that staff follow when signing on and off.

Don't forget, there is a Live Workshop tonight on the HOPS Facebook page, at 7pm, based on HOPS ID Cards and the Time Register system.
Update 676
12 September 2020
There is a field in System > HOPS Config Details that allows some supplementary text to be added to the "Your HOPS Admin is..." line.

This is useful for being specific to users that queries relating to rosters or competence should be directed to their department manager first.

I've now added the same customisable line to emails as well (in addition to the current line about the HOPS Admin).

It's a difficult balancing act between directing queries 'downwards' as much as possible, but also maintaining a visible point of contact for users for 'the system'.
Update 675
06 September 2020
A load of fields relating to boiler schemes of exam have been added to the asset management system at the request of one of our user railways. We hope this is useful.

Boiler ID Number
Safety Valves (No)
Safety Valve Settings (PSI)
Fusible Plugs (No)
Water Gauges (No)
Try Cock (No)
Boiler Feed Check Valve (No)
Blowdown Valve (No)
Injectors (No)
Mechanical Pump (No)
Hand Pump (No)
Electric Pump (No)
Update 674
26 August 2020
Time Register 1.6.2 is now out.

There is now a more positive 'confirmation' screen when a transaction is completed to help users know when they've reached the end.

Although this won't do anything to highlight when a user stops before completing all the buttons, hopefully they will get conditioned to seeing a big obvious 'done' screen at the end and know that's where they've got to aim for.

(It might take 15 minutes for the devices to update, or else you can do a refresh of the app, and then the browser, to 1.6.2)
Update 673
26 August 2020
It is now possible for users to 'self-declare' an element.

For elements that are self-declaration the user can press a button to agree to the text (entered in the element configuration, ie "I have received my rule book updates") and, when they do, they 'get' the element.

An element is available to a user to self-declare if either:
- The element is available to everyone to use (entered in element configuration)
- Or the element is only available to users with existing competence only. To use this, users should be given the status of 'Awaiting Self-Declaration' (which counts as a 'not competent') and then they will be able to access the self-declaration.

Once a user has self-declared, they can't self-declare again. I haven't yet developed it for when the next round of rule book updates (or whatever) comes out!

Users can access the self-declaration page from a prompt on the right hand side of the home screen (only shown when there is something waiting to be acknowledged), or from My Competence and then the Self-Declaration tab.
Update 672
20 August 2020
Latest developments in the HOPS Risk Assessment system:

The version history of each RA can now be viewed via a grey tab at the top of the RA page. All versions of RAs are saved so that it is possible to refer to old versions and see what the RA had recorded at any point in history.

Interlocking has been added to ensure that the compiler, checker and approver cannot be the same people. Three separate people must be used.

The thresholds for yellow, orange and red colours are available in System > HOPS Config Details. It is also now possible to set the threshold at which impacts require to be 'accepted' by the director/senior manager responsible for the impact area. [These settings will move to the settings page within the RA system in the future.]

The interface for the impact acceptance has also been added. This is in the right hand side column of the hazard RA page.

"Risks by Parties Affected" and "Risks by Impact Area" have been condensed into a single "Risk Registers" tab.
We hope the Risk Assessment system is useful!
Update 671
17 August 2020
The HOPS Time Register system is preparing to allow the selection of a department, project, site of work when users sign on.

New configuration options in the system can be set up now in readiness for the when the facility is switched on!

It's not necessary to have ALL of department, project and site, just whatever is necessary and relevant to your structure and operation.

Projects live within departments.

There are two levels of Time Register access - TR1 (for basic signing on and off via tablets at signing on points) and TR2 for additionally enabling users to sign on and off via their personal smartphone devices, acknowledging of notices at sign-on, and (soon!) selection of a department, project and site.

Thank you very much to everyone who has given great feedback on the development of the TR system and a number of organisations that have sponsored various aspects of its development.
Update 669
15 August 2020
It is now possible to upload files as evidence to asset maintenance task records. Ie checklists, signature sheets, work completion records, photos, etc.
Update 670
10 August 2020
Time Register v1.6.0 is out, containing a number of minor interface improvements, and also some early preparation work for the department/project/location selection tool.
Update 668
14 July 2020
The Competence Management System is receiving some attention as part of the cyclic maintenance that takes place on all HOPS tools.

The only planned change to the front-end is the long-awaited change of nomenclature from 'Positions' to 'Roles' will now start to become visibible. There is no change to the functionality with this name change.
Update 667
04 July 2020
HOPS Workshop No 8

I am pleased to say the next HOPS Workshop, via Facebook Live video, will be on Thursday 9 July, starting at 7pm, where we will explain and demonstrate via screencast the new HOPS features relating to HOPS Risk Assessment tools.

HOPS provides facilities for organisations to conduct and record risk assessments, including hazards, risks, control measures, exposure/likelihood/severity. The system has been written specifically for the environment of a heritage / volunteer organisation, where the processes and practicalities of conducting risk assessments are quite special, to help everyone meet the requirements of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999:

Reg. 3 - Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work; and the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking.

[Employees includes volunteers]

and ROGS 2006 ........

Reg 19 - A transport operator shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the safety of any persons for the purpose of identifying the measures he needs to take to ensure safe operation of the transport system in question insofar as this is affected by his operation

The HOPS RA system levels up risks to director areas so that organisation directors can always remain abreast of the risks in their areas of responsibility, even where they are not the person conducting the RA or have expert knowledge of the subject matter, and including where a risk impacts on more than one director area differently.

RAs are versioned in HOPS, so reviews of RAs can be undertaken without losing the old versions, enabling the retention of the history of RAs.

The RA tools are a new development in HOPS and it should be noted that some parts of the system remain under development and some final polishing is required. As always, though, the shape of the system is determined by the feedback from its users!

HOPS has a great many tools to assist in the management of volunteer and employed staff at heritage and volunteer organisations.

The Risk Assessment tools are part of Advanced HOPS. If anyone would like to be able to play with the tools but doesn't have an Advanced HOPS subscription please let us know and we will arrange a free evaluation trial period for you.


Previous HOPS Workshops are available to view on Facebook:
and YouTube:


We will respond to comments and queries raised via the comments section during the live video. The video will start at 7pm and last approximately 60-90 minutes.
Update 666
28 June 2020

The interface for uploading user photos has improved considerably and now includes rotation and cropping tools.

Emails are no longer sent when a photo is accepted, only if it is not accepted.
Update 665
18 June 2020

It is now possible to specify whether a notice continues to be displayed and require acknowledgement every time a user signs in, or is only displayed until it is acknowledged.

(In either case the user can't sign in until they have acknowledged the notices.)

The purpose of this is to facilitate a 'signing in statement' for the user to declare, for example, that they are not under the influence of Alcohol or Drugs (Section 28 of the Transport and Works Act 1992) and that they are properly rested (ROGS).

The exact wording is up to you of course.

Previously all notices were not displayed again after they'd been acknowledged.

Thanks to Richard Lemon and others for the suggestion!
Update 664
13 June 2020

The anomalies tab now has a set of tick boxes on it. Where two records for the same person on the same day are ticked, and 'Execute' pressed at the bottom, they will be joined together.

It can't cope with four records for the same person on the same day so, if someone signs on and off twice in the same day, that will need to be done as two operations.

It can cope with many records for the same person if they are on different days.

If it can't cope with anything it'll just ignore it, it won't damage it.

A record highlighted in blue is one that believes it can be joined to a previous record.
Update 662
13 June 2020

The interface for adding and editing notices for the Time Register system is now available at:

HOPS ID Cards > Time Register > Notices tab.

Permission 391 required.

(The 'Devices' option has also moved from the left hand menu to being a tab in the Time Register page).

Update 663
13 June 2020

HOPS Time Register for personal mobile devices is now available!

The development allows the Time Register system to be used by individuals on their personal mobiles, signing in, signing out, and (new!) receiving and acknowledging notices.

This development of the system is currently brand new, and we will be pleased to hear from any organisations that use HOPS ID cards who want to make use of the system and stretch its legs for us.

The Time Register system remains free to use (on both tablet and mobile) for all clients as part of HOPS's commitment to helping everyone as best we can through the Coronavirus period.

There will be a HOPS video of functionality shortly!

Update 661
09 June 2020

I have added a tab to the top of the Question Paper details page that shows all the instances of this question paper being taken (for any element).

I have added a tab to the top of the Competence Element details page that shows all the instances of question papers being taken for this element (any QPs).

The same also works if navigating to the page via the Department Competence page, whereby the list of papers will be limited to those in the department.

Update 660
06 June 2020

The ORR recently published guidelines which recommended some 'shake-down' turns to refresh operators' competence before organisations resume public operating.


To help everyone discharge this task, and facilitate the recording of evidence, we have created an add-on for the competence management system to assist with the recording of staff undertaking shake-down turns, and recording of evidence.

These facilities have been added to basic HOPS as well as SLS HOPS.

We considered providing a tool to make every competence no longer valid, but feedback told us that the post-Covid refreshing arrangements were likely to be less onerous than full assessments, so that wasn't appropriate.

Instead, every competence in HOPS now has a red cross on it, which is upgraded to a green tick when a positive action has been taken to confirm that competence is considered 'refreshed' after Covid 19, by whatever method your CMS and Covid recovery plan determines (normally some sort of refresh turn).

The requirements for a refresh can be set per-position in Competence Structure. In addition to the requirements, the maximum length, in months, that the competence may be extended by via the Shakedown method may be specified, and the maximum existing expiry range. Ie, competence expired or expiring with the next X months can be extended by Y months. In an example, if competence expired or expiring within the next 2 months can be extended by up to 3 months, the assessor will be given the opportunity to do this when recording the refresh, mitigating the risk arising from the Covid refresh being less comprehensive than a complete assessment from scratch.

The ticks and crosses are visible on the Department Competence Matrix. Note that the ticks and crosses are indications only, and don't affect the actual competence the person holds in the system.

On the same Department Competence page a new 'Shakedown' tab is available. This shows the status of all competences in the department in a list and their shakedown status. Clicking any competence takes you to the detail of that competence in the normal way.

In the detail of the competence there is a new 'Shakedown' tab, which allows a competence update to be recorded (either without affecting the existing expiry date or extend it in accordance with the parameters specified) to show that the required post-Covid process has taken place and that competence is legitimate again. Files can be uploaded in the normal way (and if the user has permission to upload files and file uploads are allowed for that position, they are automatically taken to the file uploading page). This update is recorded in history, for audit.

On the same tab is a link to a personalised PDF template that can be used to record the post-Covid refresh works if required (or ignored if not required). That same sheet can be scanned and re-uploaded into HOPS as evidence if desired. The template shows the last turns and visits that the user did, and also any local specific post-Covid refresh requirements. The local requirements can be entered for each position in Competence Structure > Positions > Edit. (Ie, "must carry out a 4-hour refresh with an assessor", "must complete the back-to-work briefing", "must have been competent in February 2020", etc.) Each requirement, entered on a new line, appears as a separate tick box on the template.

The same template can be downloaded for all competences in the whole department in one long PDF by using the link on the top of the Department Competence Shakedown page.

Note that Lapsing (the max length of time between turns) is dynamic and set once per position. This can be extended at any time in the position settings. For example, if your normal lapse period is 6 months, but many members of staff haven't worked since December, you can extend this in the position settings to a greater number of months, say, 8. As with everything, please don't just keep raising the number until everyone un-lapses! Determine the appropriate number based on risk assessment and let the outcome be the outcome.

Please let us know your feedback on the template and we will develop it further.

Well done to several railways who are using the Covid closure as a cut-off for competences being recorded without evidence uploaded, and from now on all evidence is being uploaded to HOPS on those railways. By this method, in 2/3 years all competence evidence will be in HOPS, backed up, accessible and auditable, which is a very mature position to be in.

When a competence has been post-Covid refreshed its red cross turns into a green tick. Any new competences awarded or existing competences updated via the normal method also have an option to be green-ticked immediately.

It is envisaged that, at some point in the future, clients will have a cut-off, after which anyone who hasn't been refreshed will be considered no longer competent. At that stage their competence can be updated to 'Competence Withdrawn', the updating of which will earn a green tick.

When everyone in the department has a green tick and the post-Covid competence assurance work is done, the indications can be turned off again in Department Competence Structure.

The Shakedown feature is switched on by default, but can be switched off on a department-by-department basis if it isn't required. The setting is in Department Competence Structure.

We have applied this system to 'overall' competences, rather than elements, as feedback indicated that it would be the roles that would be refreshed rather than the individual assessments required to achieve those roles. If the absence of refreshing tools on elements causes anyone a headache please let me know.

A final point - There is a strong view that the ORR will not take excuses for a person being out of competence when railways re-open, and rightly so. It is up to each of us to determine what makes someone competent, both in the short term and the long term, and then rigorously apply that. Not following our own policies is the worst thing we can do. Make sure that if you are amending your competence management system to allow for the post-Covid circumstances that it is documented, approved at a high level, and a risk assessment recorded ("if it isn't written out then it didn't happen"). Don't let someone work if 'the system' says they shouldn't - as the system is your defense.

There will be a detailed video explanation of the post-Covid shakedown system at the HOPS Virtual Workshop on Monday 8 June at 7pm.
Update 659
28 May 2020
Database Error - 28/05/2020

A database error occurred at approximately 8:45pm (BST) this evening, during some maintenance work.

The error related to a small number of users' number 1 emergency contact information, some of which was accidentally over-written.

The error was immediately recognised and access to the website suspended to prevent any changes to data by users. The website went into maintenance mode from 8:45 until 9:25pm. At 9:25pm the website was re-enabled, with the functions for editing user details unavailable until 10pm.

Number 1 emergency contact data was then restored from the 8pm backup*. It is probable that changes to users' number 1 emergency contact made between 8pm and 8.45pm may not have been saved correctly. Any such changes will need to be re-entered.

[* - Although we are only committing to one daily backup at present, we have actually been able to make them more frequently than that.]

Number 2 emergency contact data was unaffected. All other user data and all other data in the database was unaffected. No other data was affected and there was no degradation of security at any time.

Please accept my apologies for this issue, and any inconvenience caused.
Update 658
21 May 2020
To assist with the used of HOPS Question Papers in the ORR's "Post-Covid Competence Shakedown", a 'copy' function has now been added.

This enables whole question papers to be copied, ideal for editing into refresh question papers for use for refresh purposes without affecting the original paper.
Update 657
17 May 2020
HOPS Virtual Workshop Update:

Workshop No 3 - Rescheduled
Tuesday 19 May, 7pm
(Competence, Competence Elements, Expiring, Lapsing, Interlocking of Competences)

Workshop No 4 - Asset Management
Monday 25 May, 7pm
(Asset Details, Defects, Management of Risks and Control Measures on Defects, Recording of Mileages/etc, Cyclical Maintenance Tasks)

Workshop No 5 - Further User Features
Friday 29 May, 7pm
(Messaging System, Messaging by date working, competence, permission, custom message lists, "cases")

If you've missed previous workshops you can view them on Facebook:
or YouTube:

The workshop will be streamed live on Facebook and we will do our best to answer your questions in the comments as we go along.
Update 656
17 May 2020
It is now possible to record maintenance tasks in HOPS that did not 'pass' (enabling ALL maintenance tasks to be recorded).

For each maintenance tasks a 'declaration' can be entered in the Maintenance Tasks list. When the task is logged as having been done for an asset, the declaration is asked, and the user selects 'yes' or 'no'.

If the user selects 'no' the asset is automatically marked out of use.

All activity is recorded in the Work Record for the asset as you'd expect.

Update 655
02 May 2020
Thank you to everyone who tuned into our first HOPS Virtual Workshop via Facebook Live.

If you missed it, the video is available on
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeritageOps/videos/680044162809313/
and YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb1PQ071XME

Our next Virtual Workshop will be on Wednesday 6 May, at 7pm, and will concentrate on Calendars, Base Timetables, Daily Timetables. The workshop will be streamed live on Facebook and we will do our best to answer your questions in the comments as we go along.
Update 654
07 April 2020
HOPS EMAILS. Due to server configuration changes, emails from HOPS might be directed to your 'spam' bin. Please help your organisation to remain in contact with you by opening them and marking them as 'not spam' before deleting them. This will encourage them to not go to 'spam' in future. Thank you.
Update 653
05 April 2020
[Permission number corrected. Correct permission is 387 not 287.]

A new 'Delete All Turns from a Date' (in all departments) link has been added to the Daily Operations page.

New permission 387 is required to access the link. Existing permissions 042/043 are required to view the turns in the list for deletion. Existing permission 011/158 are required to be able to delete them. This means that the existing permissions for deleting turns still hold true, just 387 is additionally required to access this new 'Delete All from a Date' (in all departments).

Access the link by browsing to the calendar, picking the required date, and the link is under the staff list.

Perversely, I hope this feature isn't helpful at all, in that the requirement to use it might hopefully be over soon.

Danny S.
Update 652
03 April 2020
Some updates to the Time Register have been released. These were programmed before the world fell apart. The latest version is 1.3.6.

Updates include:

- Improvements to the scanning mechanism to improve responsiveness, speed and reliability

- Ability to select between front and rear cameras and mirroring (as a front-facing camera generally wants to be mirrored, a rear-facing camera generally not)

- On-screen messages and error messages improved.

- Improved automatic-updating of app.

If your device doesn't update automatically, close the browser, clear the cache, then browse to time.heritage-ops.org.uk It will ask it you want to download it to your desktop again, press 'yes' (otherwise it won't work when you're offline).

Update 651
17 March 2020
A new permission (386) is now required to delete whole roster period.

This has NOT been allocated to everyone who was previously able to delete roster periods under permission 012, so please allocate it to those who really need to delete roster periods.

Note it is a red dagger permission, intended for admins only.
Update 650
16 March 2020
A new "emergency notice" feature has been added to HOPS, which displays a bold red message at the top of the index page, and a link to it at the top of every other page.

It has been set, by default, to a link to the PHE Coronavirus web page. You can change it to give advice relating to your local situation and operations in System > Edit Emergency Notice.

Permission 185 is used, which is the same permission as editing the front-page noticeboard.
Update 649
16 March 2020
New reports now added (62 and 64) for users over 65 and users over 60, by department.
Update 647
15 March 2020

This has been sent to the admin contact for each organisation.
Please pass it on to those who might need it at your organisation.

Hello everyone,

Here are some HOPS tools that might be useful in the Coronavirus situation regarding the potential isolation of over-70 year olds that might help you to plan ahead. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51895873


We all know that the average age of a heritage volunteer is high, so isolation of over-70s is likely to have an impact on us. For context, there are 6871 current users in HOPS with DOBs recorded. Of these, 2119 are over 70. That's 30%. Generally there is a higher proportion of operational staff with DOBs recorded than non-operational, so that 30% is unfortunately probably weighted more towards the operational staff, rather than an even spread across the board.


Users who are over 70 by the date of the turn are now shown on construct rosters with a "[70+]" next to them. This enables you to easily see who might not be available to cover their turn. Only users with a DOB in HOPS can be monitored.

This is turned on by default, if you don't want it to show you can switch if off in System > XYZ Settings.

Tip: You can use your browser's Ctrl+F (or Cmd+F on a Mac) and search for all the instances of "70+" on the page.


Report 34 shows users over 70 years of age:


Permission 131 required.

Report 22 shows users with no DOB in HOPS:


Permission 131 required.

Report 60 is a new report that has been added that allows you to see the numbers of staff over 70 in each department. This has links for each department row which show the names of staff affected. Only staff with DOBs in HOPS can be shown, of course.


Permission 131 required (it isn't possible to split this by department, so if you want your department managers to take action then you'll need to copy/print the list for each dept and send manually) .

If there are any queries please let me know.

Many thanks

Danny Scroggins
Update 648
15 March 2020
The Unassign Turns Report is now separated out by year.
Update 646
20 February 2020

A delete option has been added. Permission 380 required (red dagger).
Update 645
20 February 2020

You'll be pleased to know that archived departments no longer show up in the messaging system.
Update 644
14 January 2020

An option has been added to have a prompt appear at the top of the Home page when a user's details have not been checked for 14 months.

This only shows to users with permission to update their details (186).

To use this facility it has to be switched on for the organisation in System > XYZ Details. It is switched OFF by default, so you'll need to switch it on to see it.

The banner that shows up contains a link for the user to confirm/update their details (links to the normal user details editing page, with additional explanatory text at the top https://www.heritage-ops.org.uk/user_details_edit.php?p=confirm )

The 14 months is counted since the last time the 'Update 'last updated'' box was ticked on the user's details page by either the user themselves or an admin.

For organisations that use the HOPS ID Card system, you will almost never see this message, as your users update their details every year as part of the ID Card renewal process.
Update 643
14 January 2020

Two new fields have been added to user's emergency contact data:

- This person also works for the organisation.
- This person's address is the same as mine.

The latter removes the need for the user to enter the same address twice when their emergency contact is their partner who lives at the same address. It also reduces the burden (and probability of forgetting) to update the EC address when the couple move house.
Update 642
01 January 2020

It is now possible to select, in the configuration options for a Function Log, whether it defaults to the 'Today's Items' tab or the 'All Open Items' tab.

The different options suit difference circumstances of use.

Permission 139 (red dagger) is required to edit this setting.
Update 641
01 January 2020

New permission 371 is now required to close a Function Log item.

The permission has been allocated to all users and groups who already had the permission that was previously required, so no action = no change.

This is designed for scenarios where all logs are reviewed before they are closed.
Update 640
01 January 2020

It is now possible to delete a Function Log Item.

Permission 373 is required.
Update 639
01 January 2020

It is now possible to edit entries in a Function Log Item.

The user who created the entry can always edit their own. Permission 372 is required to edit other users' entries.

A history of all edits is saved, and the fact that the items has been edited is shown on the viewing page.
Update 638
01 January 2020
HOPS at Ten - The Future of HOPS.

HOPS is ten years old, and is about to embark on the biggest development project in its history!

Update 637
17 December 2019
The first HOPS SAFETY CIRCULAR has been published.

This new free-to-access feature is for organisations to circulate safety advice, lessons learned, discovery of knowledge and anomalies, etc (especially following incidents) to other similar organisations (anonymously if required).

This is part of HOPS's investment to assist in improving clients' status in the Office of Rail & Road's risk management maturity model (RM3), this particular functionality relating to MRA3 Incident Investigation:
"The organisation actively seeks to implement findings from external investigations to support continuous improvement"
"Relevant investigation outcomes are routinely shared within and outside of the organisation."

This is a sign of good safety maturity ("excellence" according to RM3) and helps everyone to maintain safe and compliant operations.

We encourage all heritage railways to take part in the HOPS Safety Circular arrangements, even organisations that don't use HOPS facilities for any other purpose. There is no fee for taking part or accessing the system. To access the Safety Circular features, please request your HOPS Admin to allocate you the appropriate permissions. If you don't have access to HOPS, please contact us to obtain access.

Thank you to everyone who has worked hard to develop the Safety Circular project and bring it to fruition!
Update 636
17 December 2019
An early Christmas present from HOPS....

The TIME REGISTER system has now been released!

HOPS has developed the Time Register for use at signing-on and off points where users can sign in and out for work using their ID card.

A number of reports in HOPS have been provided for viewing Time Register records, reconciling orphaned records, totals and summaries, "who's on site", etc., removing the need for time-consuming reconciliation of paper records.

Version 4 of the Time Register notes has been circulated by email to all those who have expressed an interest. (If you are interested and haven't received the notes please let us know.)

Thank you to everyone who has worked towards the development of this system, another great HOPS service!
Update 635
17 December 2019

It is proposed to retire this function.

Nearly all browsers / operating systems have a Save as PDF / Print to PDF option nowadays, which in many cases works better than the HOPS PDF creator.

(The HOPS PDF creator often struggles with images that are protected from external access.)

If the retirement of the Download as PDF function will cause you a significant problem please let us know.
Update 634
17 December 2019
A new 'term' of use of HOPS:

- A genuine human user must be selected as the 'Admin Contact for Users' so that there is a named person for users to contact in case of problems. This will usually be the HOPS Admin. (The email address can be a team email address.)

Only the email address is shown on the bottom of HOPS emails. The name of the HOPS Admin is shown to users on the home page of HOPS (when logged in) and in other relevant places in the system.

The purpose of this is to help users recognise that there is a human person at their organisation in charge of HOPS, helping to build trust between HOPS and users.

If you are currently using a generic account as the 'Admin Contact for Users' please could you update it to a real person in System > XXX Details.

Many thanks.
Update 633
01 December 2019
The 'Members' and 'Membership Types' menu options have moved to the new 'Membership' in connection with the development of that part of the system.
Update 632
30 November 2019

Further work has taken place on then permissions system.

The Permissions List page has been tidied up and made a bit clearer.

When viewing a user's permissions, the groups the user belongs to are now shown more prominently and in more detail. It is now possible to add/remove a user to a group here as well (ie have a list of groups for the user, as well as a list of users for the group).

The page for adding and removing individual permissions to a user has moved to a separate tab, and made less prominent, to try to deter over-use. The page has been updated to have a [-] (collapse) link so that a section can be collapsed when not required. (The status of tick boxes IS remembered and saved even if the section is collapsed when saving.)

The pages for adding and removing users from a group and departments from a group have been overhauled. Multiple users/departments can now be added and removed at once (replaces the old one-by-one system).

The page for adding and removing permissions from a group has been updated to have a [-] (collapse) link so that a section can be collapsed when not required. (The status of tick boxes IS remembered and saved even if the section is collapsed when saving.)

A new tab called 'Tidy Up' has been added that shows all individually-allocated permissions at the organisation so that they can be reviewed and removed if appropriate. The page also shows whether users already have the permission by virtue of belonging to a group, meaning that removing the user's individual permission will have no effect on the user (so is recommended). Tick boxes are provided for easy removal of such permissions.

The Permissions summary has been re-written: https://www.heritage-ops.org.uk/help/61
Update 631
27 November 2019
NMI Registers and Function Logs have moved to the new Logs menu.

The 'Purchasing' menu item has been re-named 'Finance' and now includes the Cash Reconciliation menu options (previously in their own 'Cash' menu).
Update 630
22 November 2019
A 'Country' field has been added to users' addresses, and to the organisation's address.

The country is only shown in the staff list pages when the user's country is different to the country of the organisation. So if you're in the UK, only non-UK addresses will show a country.

The field has been pre-populated with 'United Kingdom' for all users with a post code that conforms to the UK format.
Update 629
22 November 2019
MENUS..... always a controversial subject!

The top part of the side menu, where you can browse to a discipline, then a department, then the information, has not proved popular.

To avoid me getting my head shot off again if I were to remove it, there is now an option in System > XYZ Details > [Edit] where you can choose whether to show the 'Department Side Menu'. Switching this off will hide the top (departments) part of the side menu, and leave only the HOPS Functions part.

Once it is switched off, it can't be switched back on again!

Personally I've always found navigating to information about departments easier by clicking on the department name in the main part of the home page and picking what I want from the department page. I haven't found the department drop-down system very intuitive, and feedback shows this part of the menu is often a cause of confusion for users.

No changes are planned to the layout of the 'HOPS Functions' part of the menu.

So please decide whether you want to keep of bin that top part of the menu. I recommend bin. Remember - once it is switched off, it can't be switched back on again... I'm hoping everyone will switch it off and I can delete the code!
Update 628
22 November 2019

The pages for allocating permissions to individuals and groups has been overhauled, bringing the previous 'beta' layout into normal use. Thank you to everyone who gave their feedback on the beta layout.

The old layout is still available (link on the new page) just in case of any problems with the new layout. This will be removed when the new layout has bedded in.
Update 627
20 November 2019
The viewing of completed Question Paper results has been separated into a new permission 367. This makes this easier to administer separately from other competence viewing permissions.

In order to ensure a clean sweep with the new permission I have NOT automatically allocated 367 to all those who already have 272, so you'll need to please allocate 367 to those who you do want to be able to view the QPs.

If there are any problems please let me know. - Danny S.
Update 626
20 November 2019
New fields for "Middle Name" and "Formal First Name (where different to normal first name)" have been added to HOPS.

The existing 'First Name' field will continue to be used throughout HOPS. The 'Formal Name' field is designed to allow clients to store a user's 'real' name for formal record-keeping purposes, without the need to display it throughout the system.

(Note. Only sensible names are allowed in HOPS, no affectionate-nicknames etc. Please don't blur the line between official contractions of long names and nicknames.)

We hope you find this useful.
Update 625
14 November 2019
New permission 366 allows employees to request Lieu Days through the leave requesting system.

366 works in the same way as 267 does (which is the permission for requesting annual leave).
Update 624
12 November 2019
I have deployed a load of updates to the Group Bookings system today.

A new set of tabs has been added at the top of the group bookings page for quick navigation between the Calendar, Stats, Search, etc pages.

An option to add custom text to the bottom of the invoice has been added.

All group bookings configuration settings have been moved off the railway details editing page onto their own group bookings settings editing page. This is in a new tab at the top of the normal Group Bookings page (Booking Office > Group Bookings).

The new custom text for the invoices can be edited here.

The old options for showing and hiding numerous filters of dates have been removed following years of tweaking to try to make them intuitive, replaced by the calendar being sorted into months (instead of years) and all dates and bookings being shown.

The search facility has been upgraded and results are now shown on a separate tab. This removes considerable complexity from the calendar page and improves the performance of that page.

We hope you find the new format (and performance, page speed, etc!) an improvement over the old.
Update 623
11 November 2019
Permission 276 is now available in free HOPS. This is the permission to "follow" the award of a competence to a user by receiving an email alert.
Update 622
09 November 2019
We are delighted to announce that HOPS released a new free-to-access feature for organisations to circulate safety advice, lessons learned, etc (especially following incidents) to other similar organisations.

This is part of HOPS's investment to assist in improving clients' status in the Office of Rail & Road's risk management maturity model (RM3), this particular functionality relating to MRA3 Incident Investigation:

"The organisation actively seeks to implement findings from external investigations to support continuous improvement"


"Relevant investigation outcomes are routinely shared within and outside of the organisation."

This is a sign of good safety maturity ("excellence" according to RM3) and helps everyone to maintain safe and compliant operations.

You can enter whatever information you wish to into the HOPS Safety Circular. The more information you add, the more scope there is for others to learn from what you have experienced or discovered, but you reserve the right to redact or anonymise whatever you wish.

The information entered will be reviewed by HOPS and then made available to other organisations (with an optional email alert) which are encouraged to share it with their relevant staff (example enclosed). Circulars are divided into subcategories in order that staff can be assigned permissions for appropriate categories for their areas of work.

HOPS will not display the name of the person or organisation that submitted this information to other organisations, but you may enter it voluntarily if you wish to. If another organisation wishes to contact you they are invited to contact HOPS, we will forward their details to you, and you can reply if you wish.

We encourage everyone to take part in the HOPS Safety Circular arrangements, even organisations that don't use HOPS facilities for any other purpose. There is no fee for taking part or accessing the system. To access the Safety Circular features, please request your HOPS Admin to allocate you the appropriate permissions. If you don't have access to HOPS, please contact us to obtain access.

Please let us know your feedback from using the system. Like all HOPS facilities, future development is steered by the feedback from clients and users. We hope the system will be useful for everyone.

Update 621
02 November 2019
Permission 237 is now available in non-SLS HOPS.
This is the permission that allows dependencies between Competences and Competence Elements, and therefore opens up a world of new and exciting opportunities for organisations on non-SLS HOPS.
We hope it is useful.
Update 620
30 October 2019
Some new facilities have been added to facilitate the renewal of ID Cards.

These are the initial plans, and, as always, feedback is welcome to shape the development of the system.

It is envisaged that three processes will take place to renew ID cards:

1 - Department Confirmation.

Each department will 'confirm' who still works for them, ie who they are agreeing has a genuine case for a renewed card.

This is intended to be done by the manager of the department, using a new page called Department Confirmation. Permission 354 required. For each person in the list, the manager will choose 'Yes, this person is still in the department', 'No, remove this person from the department' [the person will be removed from the dept in HOPS], or 'No action'. The 'No action' option is designed to allow the list to be dealt with in stages, useful for especially long lists.

If your department staff list is long, we recommend processing it in stages in case you get caught out by your HOPS sessions timing out while you're working your way down the list.

The confirmation page also shows how many turns the person has done in the department in the last 12 months. For rostered departments, this will help manage the 'minimum turn' commitment, etc. For non-rostered departments this field isn't relevant.

2 - Confirming the User's Details are Correct

This is intended to be conducted by the user themselves. It is envisaged each organisation will send their staff an email explaining that it's time to renew ID cards, and sending the following link to do so:


This is a link to the user details editing page, with some additional text connected to the renewal of ID cards.

At the bottom of the page is a confirmation tick box that the user needs to tick to confirm their details are all checked and accurate.

The ticking of the box saves today's date as the 'last checked' date for the user.

3 - Card Generation

New cards will still need to be 'generated' (key word).

A third tab has been added to HOPS > ID Cards > Generate ID Cards. The new tab is called 'Renewal'.

This page lists all staff, and shows how whether any departments have 'confirmed' the person still works for them, and when it was last confirmed the user's details were accurate.

If the person's details were last checked within the last three months, and the are confirmed to belong to at least one department, the 'Renew' tick box will automatically be ticked.

It is possible to tick a person who isn't ticked by default, or untick a person who HOPS has ticked. The page loads with suggestions, but anything can be changed.

There will then be a 'Generate' button on the page [Currently hidden]. This will generate the cards in the normal way, and they'll sit and wait in the Generated list to be Processed. [Until the 'Generate' button is enabled on this page, the renewals can't proceed further that this stage. The 'Generate' button will be along soon...!]

Card renewals will be sent to users approx 2 weeks before their current card expires. (This ensures users don't immediately start using their new card and give the remaining time on their old card to another person to obtain any commercial advantages etc.)


The 'last checked' date on a user's details can also be set via a manager editing the person's details on their behalf via Community > Staff List or Department > Dept Staff List.

Department confirmation is reset every August. Any confirmations carried out before August won't count for a renewal at the end of the year. As all cards expire at or near the end of the year, confirmation and renewal would take place in the winter.

Please don't start to 'renew' cards within the overlap period of your card expiries, otherwise your new cards will expire at the same time as your current ones! (Ie, if cards expire at the end of January 2020 with a three-month overlap, any cards renewed in October 2019 would only be valid until the end of January 2020. Cards renewed (or generated in any way) from 1 November 2019 would be valid to end of January 2021. If this doesn't make sense please contact us before proceeding.

Even though the page is headed 'Renewal', it would work just as well for someone who doesn't already have a card, so it's no problem if you generate a "renewal" for someone who doesn't already have a card, it'll just work in the normal way.

If any organisation wants to have renewals carried out on paper, ie for offline users, please let us know.

As always, if there are any comments, please let us know.
Update 619
18 October 2019

A version of the printable question paper has now been added that includes an answer sheet.

(Note, it has been necessary to make the options
- Question Paper
- Question Paper + Answer Sheet

It isn't possible to provide an answer sheet on its own, as question papers can contain random questions, so it would be difficult to sensibly show the right questions on a stand-alone answer sheet).
Update 618
17 October 2019

A printable version of Question Papers has been added to HOPS.

The printable version uses the current version of the Question Paper, and presents each section on a new page.

Spaces are given for the candidate to write in their name, date, etc.

Spaces are also given, adjacent to each question, for the assessor to hand-write in marks (it is envisaged that a locally-produced feedback sheet would be appended to the completed question paper before scanning/filing).

As always, feedback welcome!
Update 617
03 October 2019

It is now possible, via a congifuration option in System > XXXX Details, to hide the 'Medical Expiry' and 'Last Medical' fields from the 'old' flat-file medical system. This removes the opportunity for duplication in organistaions that use Competence Elements for medical fitness (which is the HOPS-recommended way).
Update 616
03 October 2019
It is now possible to edit the headings of a Function Log item (ie its title and its category).

Permission 352 required.
Update 615
24 September 2019

There is now an option in the configuration options for each element (that is an ID Card special element) to allow a revised expiry date to be selected.

If this is set to 'yes' then a date picker appears in the ID Card generation pages.