Basic competency checklist for transporting dangerous goods

RDIMS # 11648470 
June 2016

PDF Version

The basic competency checklist is designed as a tool to help verify the basic knowledge and skills of any person who transports dangerous goods. There are six components to the checklist:

  1. training certificate
  2. shipping document
  3. means of containment for the dangerous goods
  4. dangerous goods safety marks
  5. proper utilization of equipment for handling dangerous goods
  6. reporting requirements and taking reasonable emergency measures

This basic competency checklist has been developed to complement the training requirements found in Part 6 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations. The checklist does not replace the training requirements but provides guidance to anyone transporting dangerous goods.

The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and its Regulations apply to all modes of transport and to any quantity of dangerous goods. Special cases (exemptions) in the Regulations exclude certain situations or limit the requirements. Specific conditions are often associated with these special cases. If someone is using a special case, he or she must ensure that all the conditions identified in that special case are met.

If someone can demonstrate that they can transport dangerous goods in a manner that is at least as safe as complying with the regulatory requirements, he or she could apply for an Equivalency Certificate. All conditions identified in the Equivalency Certificate must be complied with for the certificate to be valid.

If the source or destination of the dangerous goods is outside the country, other regulations such as the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, the International Civil Aviation Organization's Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air or the United States 49 CFR, (Code of Federal Regulations) may also have to be complied with.

The TDG Regulations identify training requirements for all classes of dangerous goods and all modes of transport. It is important to note that employers may need to include additional competencies associated with the specific duties and occupation of each employee.

A  Training Certificate

Any person transporting dangerous goods must be trained and hold a training certificate or be working under the direct supervision of someone who is trained and holds a training certificate.

 Verify the validity of the training certificate

Road, Rail, Marine (3 years)
Air (2 years)


B  Shipping Document

Shipping documents are required and must include information such as the UN number, the shipping name, the class and a 24 hour number. The shipping document must be kept in a specific location during the transportation cycle.

 Verify if the person transporting dangerous goods can, based on the shipping document:

  • • identify the required location of the shipping document during the transportation cycle 
  • • identify the UN number, the shipping name, the class, the quantity and the 24 hour number 
  • • identify any additional information that may be required (Example: dangerous goods requiring an Emergency Response Assistance Plan reference and activation telephone number)

C  Means of Containment for the Dangerous Goods

Compliance marks are used to demonstrate that the means of containment are built and maintained to a safety standard. Some means of containment also require markings to demonstrate that they have had the required periodic inspection and testing.

 Verify if the person transporting dangerous goods can:

  • • identify any compliance marks that are displayed on the means of containment
  • • identify any inspection and test markings that are displayed on the means of containment

D  Dangerous Goods Safety Marks

Dangerous goods safety marks are used to identify dangerous goods and the nature of the danger. Generally, a small means of containment (capacity of 450L or less) will have displayed on it the primary and subsidiary class labels, the shipping name and the UN number. A large means of containment (capacity of more than 450L) may have displayed on it a placard, a UN number, and possibly markings or signs.

 Verify if the person transporting dangerous goods can, for a small means of containment:

  • • identify the UN number, the shipping name, and the primary and subsidiary class labels displayed

 Verify if the person transporting dangerous goods can, for a large means of containment:

  • • identify the placards that are displayed
  • • identify the UN numbers that are displayed

E  Reporting Requirements and Taking Reasonable Emergency Measures

The person who has charge of the dangerous goods at the time of a release or anticipated release must take all reasonable emergency measures necessary to eliminate or reduce any danger to public safety. A reportable accident or incident must be reported to the appropriate persons.

 Verify if the person transporting dangerous goods can:

  • • identify appropriate emergency measures that should be taken in the event of an incident or spill (using the Emergency Response Guide if they desire)
  • • describe circumstances when accidents and incidents must be reported
  • • identify the people to be notified in the event of a reportable accident or incident

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