CIAC joins new national initiative to develop training standards for the transportation of dangerous goods

Kara Edwards, CIAC’s Director of Transportation, and TRANSCAER® coordinator, has been appointed to a committee tasked with developing new national training and assessment standards for the transportation of dangerous goods in Canada.

The Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB), a federal government organization that offers standards and assessment development services to stakeholders in government, industry and the general public, will undertake the project. It was initiated by Transport Canada.

The CGSB Committee kicked off in December 2017 and includes stakeholders from various industries and levels of government with expertise in the transportation of dangerous goods and standards development.

“The committee has ambitious goals and CIAC is committed to supporting this process. I believe we’ve got the right people sitting around the table to achieve a first-rate product,” says Edwards.

While all parties agree that the safe transportation of dangerous goods depends on well trained people, currently, a concern exists that there is a lack of specific detail and a broad interpretation as to what “adequate training” in the transportation of dangerous goods means. To address this, a move to competency-based training is being proposed.

The objective of the Committee’s work is to develop a standard for required competencies for Transport Canada. The standard will define a uniform set of skills, knowledge, training, experience and abilities for employees at all levels, which will ultimately assist them to meet their expected job performance.

From this work, employers can build and implement their own training based on their operational realities. The standard will also serve TDG inspectors in their assessment of an employee’s competency levels.

The committee works on a consensus decision-making basis. The CGSB will issue the final document. In the future, Transport Canada is expected to reference the committee’s work and the national standard in its regulations.