Dangerous goods safety advisers (DGSAs) help prevent the risks involved in the carriage of dangerous goods. This includes risks to people, property and the environment.
Organisations must employ DGSAs to safely and correctly move dangerous goods to comply with the law. The current national legislation containing this requirement is set out in the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 (CDG).
Businesses that transport dangerous goods by road, rail or inland waterways on a regular basis must have a DGSA to:
- consign dangerous goods
- transport dangerous goods across the UK
- pack or fill dangerous goods into appropriate packaging
- load or unload dangerous goods cargo
Roles and responsibilities
The main role of a DGSA is to assess the risks of transporting dangerous goods and help prevent these risks for the organisation concerned.
Other responsibilities include:
- monitoring compliance with the legal requirements governing the carriage of dangerous goods
- providing advice on how to transport dangerous goods safely
- investigating any accidents or infringements of regulations and keeping records of them through reports
- monitoring the provision of training and advice to other staff
- reporting incidents and accidents to the Department for Transport (DfT)
- completing annual audit reports on the performance of their business or organisation. DGSA members can use the report template set up by the British Association of Dangerous Goods Professionals (BADGP)
From 13 November 2023, employers must:
- keep staff training records for a minimum of 6 years from the date of training
- make the records available on request to the employee or to the Department for Transport
If an employee leaves their employment, the employer must keep their training records for a further 2 years from the date the employment ended, in case of any subsequent issues arising.
These requirements are set out in section 1.3.3 of ADR.
Training and certification
To become a DGSA, you must pass written examinations. See the DGSA examination syllabus for further information on location, dates, costs and general advice for candidates and training providers.
There is no legal requirement to undertake formal training to become a DGSA. Training courses are run by independent providers and trade associations, with course lengths varying between 2 to 5 days. These courses do not need to be approved by DfT.
Once you have qualified, you will be issued a DGSA certificate that specifies the:
- mode(s) of transport (road, rail, inland waterway) your qualification covers
- classes of dangerous goods you are qualified to monitor and advise on
All DGSA certificates are valid for 5 years and are mutually recognised by all contracting parties – countries that are signatories to the regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID) and ADR.
- your name and email address
- your postcode
- your city or town
- the region you live in
- the DGSA modules you have attained (for example, classes of dangerous goods or types of transport – road, rail, inland waterways)
- your candidate number
- your certificate expiry date
Renewing DGSA certificates
DGSA certificates must be renewed every 5 years. You must pass the relevant mandatory DGSA examinations within the final year of your certificate’s validity.
The new certificate will be valid for 5 years from the date of expiry of the previous certificate.
We recommend that you do not leave renewing your certificate until the last minute, as extensions to expired certificates will not be granted.
You may be exempt from appointing a DGSA if:
your organisation transports dangerous goods in quantities per transport unit that are smaller than those referred to in:
- your main or secondary activities are not the carriage or related loading or unloading of dangerous goods
- the carriage operation complies with the conditions specified in the Road Derogation 11 (RO-bi-UK-1), the crossing of public roads, as set out in the CDG derogations
- the carriage operation complies with the conditions specified in ADR chapter 1.1.3
These exemptions do not apply to international carriage.
For information about dangerous goods and emergency services, see the Dangerous Goods Emergency Action Code List.