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DGSA Training Course

Introduction to the Course

In response to an EU Directive, all undertakings generally involved in the transport by road and rail, of dangerous goods will have to appoint a Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser (DGSA).

The general duty of the DGSA is to advise the head of the undertaking on how to achieve the safe transport and handling of these goods, in compliance with national and international Regulations. The DGSA has to be qualified by passing examinations conducted by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), as agents for the DfT & DSA.

This Course is designed to prepare Candidates for the Road (All Classes) Examinations and comply with current road transport regulations in the safe transportation of dangerous goods.

The course is divided into sections/parts dealing with the chapters of the European Transport Regulations (ADR), UK Domestic Regulations and the Emergency Action Code List (E.A.C), which accompanies the UK Regulations.

This course covers the required regulations that must be understood and complied with by consignors, carriers, drivers and all other staff who are involved in the road transport of dangerous goods. The training required for a DGSA is detailed in chapter 1.8 of ADR. The course is intensive; it involves 5 days classroom study. During the week, overnight exercises to reinforce and confirm the Regulations are understood. Finally, candidates will be given further study work to complete after the course. Candidates are encouraged to email Chemfreight for feedback to their answers.

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Understand and apply both ADR and UK Domestic Regulations
  • Understand your responsibilities
  • Classify dangerous goods according to the type of hazard and degree of danger
  • Identify dangerous goods correctly
  • Understand and apply information contained in the list of dangerous goods, Table A chapter 3.2 of ADR
  • Correctly identify marking and labelling requirements
  • Document consignments correctly
  • Identify correct transport requirements in accordance with the regulations

The Chemfreight DGT Course covers the "All classes" module.

Dangerous goods are articles or substances which are capable of posing a risk to health, safety, property or the environment and which are shown in the list of dangerous goods in Table A, chapter 3.2 of ADR. Substances and articles that do not conform to the criteria are not considered dangerous and are not part of this course.

Dangerous goods legislation was drawn up and is continually revised by the United Nations (which is why dangerous goods legislation is often referred to as UN legislation). The UN Committee of Experts publish the UN Model Regulations (the "Orange Book"), which is the core of the dangerous goods system. The Model Regulations are constantly being revised and a new edition is published bi-annually. The core system is adapted to cover the peculiarities of each mode of transport - air, sea, road, rail and inland waterway.

As an appointed DGSA you may be employed in transport operations that involve dangerous goods journeys, which are subject to the IMDG Code Regulations. The DGSA qualification is required for road journeys only; you may have to consider further training to be in compliance with the IMDG Code (Sea) or even the IATA Regulations (Air) as applicable.


Council Directive 96/35/EC of 3 June 1996 required DGSA's to be appointed by 31 December 1999, in all undertakings involved in the transport, including loading and unloading, of dangerous goods by road, rail, or inland waterway-in the latter case, however, this only referred to waterways connected to other EU States, so that the UK was in effect outside this requirement.

There were exemptions for the Armed Forces, quantities below regulation limits, and for undertakings, which only occasionally move low danger goods, with little risk.

Responsibilities of the DGSA

The role of the DGSA is described in chapter 1.8.3 of ADR (

Each undertaking, the activities of which include the carriage, or the related packing, loading, filling or unloading, of dangerous goods by road shall appoint one or more safety advisers for the carriage of dangerous goods, responsible for helping to prevent the risks inherent in such activities with regard to persons, property and the environment. The safety adviser may also be the head of the undertaking, a person with other duties in the undertaking, or a person not directly employed by that undertaking, provided that that person is capable of performing the duties of adviser, we also offer DGSA Consultancy.

In particular, the main duties of the DGSA are as follows:

  • Monitoring compliance with the rules governing the transport of dangerous goods
  • Advising his undertaking on the transport of dangerous goods
  • Preparing an annual report to the management of his undertaking or a local public authority as appropriate, on the undertakings activities in the transport of dangerous goods. Such annual reports shall be preserved for five years and made available to the national authorities at their request

For full details of the safety advisers duties are contained in chapter 1.8 of ADR


The DGSA must pass an examination approved by the Competent Authority-the Department for Transport. The Certificate is valid for 5 years, and must be renewed by further training or examination; the examinations are conducted by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

The first full examination was in November 1998, and they have been held every two months ever since.

The examination has three elements-

Core section - compulsory for all candidates

Road, rail, or inland waterway section

All Classes, or general Chemical Classes, or Class 1, or Class 2, or Class 3 (especially for UN 1202, 1203 and 1223) or Class 7 section

  • The Core exam paper consists of 10 compulsory questions. The pass mark is 65% and the examination will last 1 hr 15 minutes, from 0930 hrs to 1045 hrs
  • The All Class exam consists of at least 8 questions. The pass mark is 65% and the examination will last for 1 hr 45 minutes, from 1115 hrs to 1300 hrs
  • The Road exam paper will contain two sections. Section "A" is a case study, worth 70% of your final mark. Section "B" will consist of a range of compulsory questions. The pass mark is 65% and the examination will last for 1 hr 45 minutes, from 1400 hrs to 1545 hrs

Details of the Examinations, i.e. duration, location, booking and results administration are obtained from SQA, and can be supplied to Candidates as required.

Chemfreight DGT are Quality Assured to ISO 9001-2000

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