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Section 10 of the Land Transport Rule specifies responsibilities for anyone transporting dangerous goods by road (not just commercial carriers). Section 9 of the Rule requires training for all those involved (except for domestic use).

Drivers carrying dangerous goods must pass a training course, now a unit standard on the National Qualifications Framework, and obtain an endorsement on their licence which must be renewed every five years.


Maritime Transport Rule 24A requires training for anyone involved in handling dangerous goods (other than a passenger). The training requirements are specified in Appendix 2 to Maritime Rule Part 24A.The appendix specifies that areas of knowledge and specifies safety training shall be applicable to the person’s duties.


Civil Aviation Rule Part 92 requires training for people, as below, handling dangerous goods:

  • regular shippers and their agents
  • operators accepting dangerous goods
  • handling agents
  • agencies, organisations and people (other than operators) involved in processing or carrying either passengers or cargo
  • agencies engaged in security screening passengers and their baggage.

A regular shipper is any commercial organisation that consigns dangerous goods by air transport.
Training courses must be conducted by someone with an aviation training certificate issued under Part 141 of the Civil Aviation Rule, or a current IATA dangerous goods training programme certificate of accreditation. IATA has training manuals. Retraining must be completed within two years.

Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996

Hazardous Substances (Classes 1 to 5 Controls) Regulations 2001, the Hazardous Substances (Tracking) Regulations 2001 and the Hazardous Substances (Classes 6, 8 and 9 Controls) Regulations 2001 specify a number of circumstances that require an Approved Handler.
Qualifications for an Approved Handler are set out in Regulation 5 of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Personnel Qualification) Regulations 2001. These impose controls on the whole lifecycle of a substance, including transport.

For a driver who transports dangerous goods on land, ERMA will accept a dangerous goods drivers licence endorsement as an alternative to an Approved Handler certificate. 

Masters and mates:

Where a Ship’s Officer has custody of HASNO Hazardous Substances that require an Approved Handler, the STCW 21 certificate is recognised as an alternative to an Approved Handler certificate.


Health and Safety in Employment (HSE) Act 1992 requires hazards to be identified and all practicable steps taken to eliminate, isolate or minimise any significant hazards (sections 7 to 10). The Act also requires employees to be trained (section 13).

Crimes Act 1961: A requirement for training is implied under section 156 of the Crimes Act: "Duty of persons in charge of dangerous things - everyone who has in his charge or under his control anything whatever, whether animate or inanimate, or who erects, makes, operates, or maintains anything whatever, which, in the absence of precaution or care, may endanger human life is under a legal duty to take reasonable precautions against and to use reasonable care to avoid such danger, and is criminally responsible for the consequences of omitting without lawful excuse to discharge that duty."

Training Courses

Courses are available for all transport modes from independent training consultants and organisations. Courses usually range from one to five days. 

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