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Amendments to the TDGR: What you need to know

Upcoming amendments to the TDGR will significantly alter the way employers train their teams.

  • These changes are not in force yet, but we recommend beginning to plan for the new training requirements.
  • All currently acceptable training certificates will continue to be valid until their expiry date.

If your work touches the transportation sector, you’ve likely heard about the upcoming changes to Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) training.

Since the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act came into force in 1992, the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) have required that workers be “adequately trained” in their TDG tasks and hold a valid training certificate. But what does “adequately trained” mean, exactly? These somewhat hazy training requirements cause confusion and a lack of clarity among employers — and inspectors encounter dozens of incidents related to inconsistent or inadequate training.

The new changes will create greater clarity and certainty for employers, and ensure more consistency in training and certification. However, they also mean employers will need to implement new training requirements to stay compliant. Here’s everything you need to know in preparation for the new rules.

What Amendments to the TDGR are coming?

Back in November of 2020, the amended TDG training standard was published. This standard contains many significant changes that will affect the way Canadian employers train their workers.

Some key highlights are:

  • Removal of the term “adequately trained.” This term lacks clarity and is a cause of confusion for employers.
  • The move to competency-based training. Specific competencies required for the different modes of transport have been identified. Employers will be responsible to assess the performance of their workers and verify that they can perform their tasks competently.
  • The requirement for general awareness training and job-specific training. All persons who handle, offer for transport, or transport dangerous goods require:
    • general awareness training and an assessment, regardless of their industry, tasks, or modes of transport; and
    • function-specific training and an assessment that corresponds with their assigned tasks.
  • A “Certificate of Competency” instead of “Certificate of Training.” The new certificates of competency will need to indicate that workers have received general awareness and function-specific training in accordance with the standard.

What’s the process?

The initial TDG amendments have been published, but it takes time and an extensive consultation process before they come into force.

Every week, the federal government publishes the Canada Gazette. This newspaper notifies citizens of new statutes, new and proposed regulations, and various government and public notices. Proposed regulations are published in three Parts of the Canada Gazette:

  • Part I — proposals of regulations that have not been enacted
  • Part II — all regulations that have been enacted
  • Part III — public Acts of Parliament

So where are we in that process? On December 11, 2021, Transport Canada published Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 155, Number 50: Regulations Amending the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (Part 6 — Training). As with all proposals in Part I of the Canada Gazette, the public was given time to provide the government with comments on the proposal.

What are the next steps?

Now that the February 9, 2022, consultation deadline has passed, Transport Canada will assess the public’s comments before they publish the official enacted legislation in Part II of the Canada Gazette. When published, there will be a transitional period of 12 months before employers are required to follow the new training requirements. All currently acceptable training certificates, including those that will be issued during the transition period, will continue to be valid until their expiry date.

How can I prepare for these Amendments to the TDGR?

Although the new requirements won’t come into force for a while, we recommend that employers start planning for them now. Consulting an expert in TDG training will help you ensure you are ready and compliant when these crucial new regulations come into play.

As the industry leaders in TDG training, Danatec will be launching a brand-new suite of competency-based TDG training in 2023. We can help you make a seamless transition to the new TDG regulations, and ensure that your training is timely, compliant, and effective. Need TDG Training today? Visit our website to purchase.

Have questions? Please contact to speak with our safety training experts.

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