Director of CCS Solutions

The Brief

The Director of CCS Solutions was a newly created role within WSP responsible for leading the development and delivery of integrated, affordable and innovative CCS solutions for rail clients in the UK and overseas due to an increase in client demand and anticipated future opportunities. This could encompass; entry into service, safety assurance, testing and commissioning, digital rail business cases, systems procurement and system implementation.

This was a client facing role, that would need to respond to UK Government and client commitments, leading the development and delivery of top tier market leadership in advisory and design services for an emerging and developing market space.

As such, the successful candidate needed to be forward thinking and dynamic as well as possessing a strong depth of technical knowledge and experience in CCS (rail signalling, control systems and sub-systems) and the interaction with wider infrastructure, including rolling stock, fixed infrastructure, and operations.

The Process

The innovative nature of this role and technical specialism meant that we had to cast the net wide to identify a strong shortlist of candidates. By identifying international markets undertaking significant investment in CCS we identified suitable candidates across; rail client organisations, signalling suppliers and rail consultancies. In overseas markets we focused on individuals who were UK ex-pat citizens and people with ties or previous experience to the UK.

When conducting an international search, it is crucial to understand each overseas market we research, appreciating the synergies, advantages and challenges to attracting candidates to the UK. The working patterns of our consultants are also adapted so we can reach potential candidates given the differences in time zones.

In an extremely tight market, over 70 potential candidates were identified, and the client was ultimately with a shortlist of five strong leaders in CCS.

The Outcome

The successful candidate for this role was recruited from GHD in Australia and returned to the UK following several years out in Brisbane. We were able to source this candidate by focusing our search on relevant UK experience but not limiting our search to a specific location.


Darren Reed, the Managing Director Rail, WSP gave this client testimonial:

We have worked with Newsom Consulting on a number of successful senior searches. They listen carefully to assemble the right brief and have identified strong, well targeted shortlists. Their written documentation on the search and shortlisted candidates is informative and insightful.