Network Certification Body

Network Rail Network Certification Body

The Network Certification Body (NCB) are the people behind rail infrastructure and vehicle projects both in the UK and overseas. They shape some of the world’s biggest engineering projects, ensuring that they are fit to tackle the challenges of rapidly developing networks. 

A subsidiary of Network Rail Group, NCB are focused on railway safety and legislative compliance.

Absolute were commissioned to design and build a new website in line with the brand development project they had undertaken to update the tone of voice, key messaging and art direction.

The website brief had two main objectives - to inform new and existing customers about NCB and what they do, and to attract the best talent.


  • Business



  • Web Design
  • Web Development
A block from the web design used to help the brand positioning of Network Certification Body

The idea

The web design for such a high profile business needed to be carefully thought out to be recognisable as part of Network Rail whilst also having its own identity. Our market research told us that none of the competitors had a strong online presence so there was an opportunity to make a bold statement to really sit NCB apart in the marketplace.

After a demo of Absolute Control, the content management system we have developed, the NCB marketing team really took to how intuitive and enjoyable it was to use compared to other systems they had previously used. The decision was made there and then to build the website in Absolute Control which would allow us to build the back end system around their individual requirements.

Unique animated web design block using railway track patterns and strong angles to stand out
Iconography was developed as part of the web design process to illustrate NCB's markets and services

The delivery

The website is an important recruitment tool so we focused on the people to bring out the culture at NCB.  We created a logical site plan to showcase the different markets NCB work in and the roles available at NCB, in a simple user journey.  The existing site didn’t give visitors an insight into real life at NCB so using engaging and impactful photography both on site and at Head Office, we brought people to the forefront of the brand.

The tone of voice and brand messages are rolled out across the website in a bold, clear and robust typography to deliver key messages confidently, supported with a body copy that was inline with Network Rail for recognition as a brand within the group. We introduced a graphical device to guide the user down the page and to create depth whilst adding a point of difference between NCB and Network Rail.

To help tell the brand story and to create interest and drama in the photography, we used a combination of styles to demonstrate the scale of the jobs NCB work on, balanced with close ups of detail to give different viewpoints of construction.

The new Network Certification Body website shown in-situ on a laptop screen
Page visuals created during the web design process of the new NCB website

The results

NCB now has an online identity that is distinct in a marketplace that often lacks impactful or inspiring creative. The website clearly sets out who they are and what they are here to do and has had a positive effect on perceptions about NCB and in attracting new talent.

Using Absolute Control allowed us to build the admin interface around their unique tasks and content. During what turned out to be a short training session, the reaction to the final product was extremely positive and those using it felt very comfortable in going away and being able to manage the website. This has allowed NCB’s marketing team to take ownership of their content, keeping it up to date without having to ask for help unless they have new features they would like to add.

Web design block highlighting NCB's four key principles
The new responsive website of NCB shown on tablet devices