How to transport dangerous goods

Dangerous goods safety advisers qualifications and training


Businesses that handle, process or transport dangerous goods on a regular basis must appoint a Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser (DGSA) in order to comply with the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978. If you transport smaller quantities of dangerous goods than those in the legislation, or if your main or secondary activities are not the carriage or related loading or unloading of dangerous goods, but occasionally you do it, then you do not need to appoint a DGSA.

Role of the Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser

The DGSA has three main duties:

  • monitoring compliance with rules governing transport of dangerous goods
  • advising their business on the transport of dangerous goods
  • preparing an annual report to management on the business' activities in the transport of dangerous goods

The DGSA is also responsible for:

  • monitoring procedures and safety measures
  • investigating and compiling reports on any accidents or emergencies
  • advising on the potential security aspects of transport

These regulations can apply to any person who allows dangerous goods to be carried, not just the transport operator. This could include cargo consignors, freight forwarders, warehouse workers and manufacturers producing goods that will be collected from their factory.

Training for Dangerous Goods Safety Advisers

DGSAs must:

  • obtain a vocational training certificate after receiving appropriate training
  • pass a written examination

The Department for Transport approves the mandatory DGSA exams. It has appointed the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) as its agent. SQA sets, marks and organises the exams, and issues the vocational training certificates for the whole of the UK.

Training courses for DGSAs are run by independent providers and by the trade associations for each mode of transport. Course lengths vary from two to five days, depending on the mode(s) of transport covered.