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Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) - Training

When do I need training?

Training is needed if the types of products that you intend to handle (ship, transport, and receive) meets the definition for a dangerous good as defined in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Act and Regulations. The training must be provided before the employees handle the dangerous goods. Training is not required if the employee is under the direct supervision of a TDG certified employee or when an exemption applies.

Handling is defined in the TDG Act as:

“handling means loading, unloading, packing or unpacking dangerous goods in a means of containment for the purposes of, in the course of or following transportation and includes storing them in the course of transportation (manutention)” only. Always check the TDG Act and Regulations to ensure compliance. For specific details on training, see Part 6 of the TDG Regulations and the competency check list issued by Transport Canada.

Please also see the following documents in this series:

What type of training should be provided to the employees before they handle dangerous goods for transport?

People who handle, offer for transport, or transport dangerous goods need to be trained according to the requirements found in Part 6 of the TDG Regulations, or operate under the direct supervision and be physically accompanied by a trained person who has a valid training certificate.

The employees involved in TDG activities are considered adequately trained if they have a sound knowledge of all the aspects of the topics as they relate directly to the person's duties as listed in Section 6.2 of the TDG Regulations. It is also a requirement that the person who is adequately trained and who will perform duties to which the training relates must have in his or her possession a valid training certificate containing the information specified in Section 6.3 of the TDG Regulations.

Is there a training standard?

Transport Canada has not issued training requirements in terms of the content of the course, nor for instructors or "train the trainer" programs. Employers must determine what their training needs are, and approve the training program or course. In order to assist employers with determining what type of training they should provide to their employees, Transport Canada has published a TDG Bulletin titled TDG Training.

Where can I have my employees trained?

The TDG Directorate maintains a list of organizations which provide dangerous goods training. The TDG Directorate has not examined or certified any of the courses offered by external trainers. It is up to the employer to select a competent trainer that will meet their training needs.

Who issues the training certificate?

The TDG Regulations require the employer to issue a training certificate to any person who handles, offers for transport, or transports dangerous goods. Even when employers hire an external trainer, the employers are required to issue training certificates once they are sure their employees have received adequate training.

I'm a self-employed contractor. Who issues my training certificate?

Self-employed persons can issue their own training certificate. The purpose of the training certificate is to demonstrate that if someone handles, offers for transport, or transports dangerous goods, that they can do their duties in compliance with the TDG Regulations.

Does the training certificate expire?

Yes it does. The expiration date differs for different modes of transport. The certificate is valid for:

  • 24 months (2 years) after its date of issuance for transport by aircraft.
  • 36 months (3 years) after its date of issuance for other modes

What information should the training certificate contain?

The certificate must specify what the employee is trained in. It should indicate whether or not the employee is trained in the preparation of shipping papers, transportation, classification, type of dangerous goods (e.g., Class 3 - flammable liquids), etc.

Even though there is no standard format, the certificate must be designed such that it will contain all of the information required by Section 6.3 of the TDG Regulations. The training certificate may be in paper or electronic format.

For more information see TDG's bulletin on TDG Training.

What should the employees do with their certificate?

When an employee performs TDG related duties, the employee must have a hard copy or an electronic form of their valid training certificate on their person (much like a driver's license).

Must I show my TDG training certificate to a TDG inspector immediately when I perform TDG duties?

Yes. When you are performing TDG duties, if a TDG inspector asks to see a copy of your TDG certificate, you must show it immediately.

What do I do if a TDG inspector asks for copies of the training records, TDG certificate, and statement of experience or a description of the training material used in an employee's training?

The employer has fifteen (15) days to provide the documents to the inspector.

Are training certificates transferable from one company to another?

No. Training certificates are NOT transferable because they are issued by the employee's current employer. If an individual works for more than one company at the same time, the person would need more than one training certificate.

Is a USA or other foreign training certificate valid in Canada?

The following documents are recognized as valid training certificates:

  • Subsection 6.4(1) of the TDG Regulations states that a document issued to the driver of a road vehicle licensed in the U.S. or to a crew member of a train that indicates that the driver or crew member is trained in accordance with sections 172.700 to 172.704 of 49 CFR is a valid training certificate.
  • The document is issued to a foreign member of a flight crew for an aircraft registered in an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) member state under Article 33 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation.
  • The document is issued to a foreign crew member of a ship registered in an International Maritime Organization member state.

These documents are recognized by the TDG Regulations if they are considered valid by the authorities that issued them. For further information, please see TDG's bulletin on shipments from the US to Canada.

Is my Canadian TDG training certificate recognized in the USA?

Yes, the U.S. Department of Transportation - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will accept a Canadian driver's TDG training certificate in lieu of a HazMat endorsement. However, certain conditions and limitations apply. These conditions and limitations are found in 49 CFR 171.12a.

Document last updated on November 23, 2020

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Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.