Approval of DPPPs for new franchises or new operators

Newly licensed operators or those with new franchise awards must establish and comply with a DPPP. The licence condition sets out the steps required:

  • consultation with the relevant passenger representative groups (Passenger Focus and London TravelWatch);
  • submission to ORR for approval.

Submissions to ORR should include:

  • the draft DPPP; and
  • feedback from the consultation, and an explanation of how the feedback has been taken into account.

Criteria and process for approval


The existing 2009 guidance pdf icon PDF, 672 Kb for DPPP forms the basis of ORR's review and approval of operators DPPP. Operators should satisfy themselves that they meet the standards and criteria in this guidance. 

For the policy document, our review will in particular assess the operator's approach to: 

  • delivering assistance, promoting awareness of the assistance available and facilitating travel by those with disabilities (including those with less visible disabilities);
  • monitoring and evaluating performance in respect of the above (for which we will want to understand the operator's own benchmarks for what it considers to be a successful performance), and the processes in place for acting on this to drive continuous improvement;
  • capturing and responding to feedback from customers; and
  • how the organisation is structured to deliver these arrangements.

We will also consider the extent to which the operator can evidence that it has the right organisational values and behaviours towards disability. This includes the extent to which its senior management team is engaged with, and provides leadership and support to the frontline staff that deliver assistance, and ensures that the right processes and systems are in place.

The passenger document should follow the 2009 guidance, with particular emphasis on covering all mandatory or required standards. It is important that passenger-facing DPPPs are as clear as possible. We will consult stakeholders on whether greater standardisation in wording or presentation is valuable. Read our DPPP regulatory statement pdf icon PDF, 304 Kb


  • We will acknowledge receipt of the DPPP and supporting documents within 5 working days;
  • We will conduct the relevant consultation, as required by the licence.
  • We aim to review and approve submitted DPPP within 20 working days of receipt of consultation responses; 
  • Operators should expect to assist us with resolving specific queries or issues. Where we have substantive concerns we will discuss these, and allow additional time for revisions to DPPP. In these cases we aim to resolve concerns within an agreed timescale.

Further information

In January 2014 we commissioned independent research to give us insight into disabled travellers' awareness of the assistance available when travelling by train to inform our work in this area. Links to a summary document, and the full report, can be found below: