DGSA Syllabus

Warehouse

This page contains the syllabus for the subjects of the Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser (DGSA) examinations. To qualify as a DGSA, you must take and pass three subjects as follows:

  • Core - compulsory for all candidates
  • All Classes - compulsory for all candidates
  • and one mode paper
  • either Road or Rail or Inland Waterways

The examinations take place on the same day, the Core paper at 0930 - 1045, the All Classes paper at 1115 - 1300, the mode papers of Road or Rail or Inland Waterways at 1400 - 1545.

You do not need to take all three subjects at the same sitting but can hold single subjects until you gain three passes. You must, however, pass all three papers within a 12 month period. The examinations are open-book, which means that you are allowed to take certain texts into the examination room. A list of permitted material is issued with this syllabus. CD-ROMs are not permitted in the examination.

You can obtain information about enrolling for examinations by contacting the Contract Services of SQA on 0345 270 0123

Format of syllabus

As you will see, the syllabus presents the examination subjects in a particular way. The topics which will be examined appear in groups. Each group has an indicative percentage weighting figure which reflects the order of importance of those topics and the percentage of the examination which will be set on those topics. For example, around 45% of each Core examination paper will be set on classification and identification while a further 45% will cover containment systems, marking, labelling and placarding and documentation requirements. The final 10% of the examination will be set on the third group of topics of compliance thresholds, environmental protection, training and the legal framework.

Each topic is presented as a general statement, followed by an expansion of the area on which you will be examined. Alongside each heading are indicative references to the parts of RID/ADR/ADN/GB Regulations that may form the basis of questions on that section. This is intended to let you know the level at which each topic is set and the depth of understanding which will be required to answer examination questions in that area.

For example, the topic “Documentation requirements” appears in the second group of the Core syllabus as Topic 5 and in the first group of the Road syllabus as Topic 3. Each of these groups carries 45% of the examination. In the Core syllabus, you are expected to understand the requirements of the various regulations whereas in the Road syllabus you are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of the documentation requirements of The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 (CDG2009) as amended by The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2011, the Carriage of Dangerous Goods: Approved Derogations and Transitional Provisions (ADTP) and ADR and be able to interpret these regulations and complete the documentation.

There are essentially three different levels of understanding which are being examined by the various subjects.

The first is knowledge and general understanding of the principal areas of a topic, for example in Topic 3 of Core you are expected to know the commonly available packing and tank provisions and have an understanding of the basic principles of approval and certification.

The second level is general understanding of a topic and the ability to apply that understanding. For example, in Topic 2 of All Classes, you are expected to have a general understanding of class specific features of packing and tank provisions and to be able to select a suitable packaging or tank from the appropriate regulations for a particular substance or article.

The third level is a comprehensive understanding of a topic and the ability to apply that knowledge. For example, in Topic 2 of Rail you are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of the marking, labelling and placarding requirements of the applicable regulations and the influence of other modal regulations.

What you may be asked

The examinations for Rail and Road will be primarily based on the provisions of the current RID Regulations or ADR Agreement plus The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 (CDG2009) (as amended).
The candidate should have a general understanding of the layout, structure and contents of the ADR Agreement. The candidate should have the ability to refer to ADR to define the legal requirements for compliance.

The candidate should have a general understanding of the requirements of the regulations as they apply to the loading, unloading and transport of dangerous goods.

The GB regulations require industry to follow RID or ADR unless specific variations (including transitional arrangements) are shown in the regulations. Questions may therefore be set on the GB regulations and in particular:

Regulation:

2 Interpretation – especially those words and expressions not in RID/ADR
5 Carriage to be in accordance with ADR or RID
6 & Sched 1 The GB tank/bulk marking scheme and use of the Emergency Action Code (EAC)
11 Derogations and transitional provisions (linked to the Carriage of Dangerous Goods: Approved Derogations and Transitional Provisions (ADTP)
12 Authorisations

The current text of the European Provisions concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterway (ADN) 2011 edition is the only permitted material for the Inland Waterway Paper.

There may be questions concerning Emergency Action Codes, their use and interpretation. A complete list of Codes is published in the Dangerous Goods Emergency Action Code List but candidates do not need to obtain this publication solely for the purpose of the examinations. The SQA issues extracts from the document to all candidates on the day of the examinations.

The Syllabus sections show in the title of each Group the parts of RID or ADR that may be examined. In all cases appropriate questions from the The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 (CDG2009) (as amended) may be asked.

Format of examinations

You will be given an examination booklet which will contain the questions and provide space for your answers.

The Core paper will consist of ten compulsory questions covering the syllabus topics and reflecting the stated weightings. The questions will require short responses. The pass mark will be 65% and the examination will last for 1 hour 15 minutes, from 0930 to 1045.

The All Classes paper will comprise a mixture of structured and short response questions. There will be at least eight compulsory questions covering the syllabus topics and reflecting the stated weightings.   The pass mark will be 65% and the examination will last for 1 hour 45 minutes, from 1115 to 1300.

The mode papers will contain two sections. Section A is a case-study, worth 70% of the final mark. You have to answer one case-study from a choice of not less than three which will cover various classes. Section B will contain a range of compulsory questions which will make up 30% of the final mark. The pass mark will be 65%, derived from Sections A and B. The examination will last for 1 hour 45 minutes, from 1400 to 1545.

This syllabus has been approved by SQA and DfT.

Core

The Core section is split into 3 different groups:

  • Group 1 - Classification; Identification
  • Group 2 - Packing and tank provisions; Marking, Labelling and Placarding; Documentation Requirements
  • Group 3 - Compliance Thresholds; Environmental Protection; Training; Legal Framework

(Note: GB Regulations (CDG2009) (as amended) and the ADTP may be examined as appropriate)

Road

The Road syllabus is split into 3 groups:

  • Group 1 - Transport Units, Marking and Placarding; Documentation
  • Group 2 - Compliance Thresholds; Filling, Stowage, Loading and Segregations; Cleaning and/or Decontamination
  • Group 3 - Operational Procedures; Emergency Response Requirements; Environmental Protection; Training; Legal Framework

(Note: GB Regulations (CDG2009) (as amended) and the ADTP may be examined as appropriate)

Rail

The Rail syllabus is split into 3 groups:

  • Group 1 - Wagons and Containers; Marking and Placarding; Documentation
  • Group 2 - Compliance Thresholds; Filling; Stowage; Loading Segregation; Cleaning and /or Decontamination
  • Group 3 - Operational Procedures; Emergency Response Requirements; Environmental Protection; Training; Legal Framework

(Note: GB Regulations (CDG2009) (as amended) and the ADTP may be examined as appropriate)

Inland Waterways

The Inland Waterways syllabus is split into 4 groups:

  • Group 1 - Classification; Transport Packing and Tank provisions; Marking, labelling and placarding; Documentation
  • Group 2 - Compliance Thresholds; Filling, Stowage, Loading and Segregation; Cleaning and/or Decontamination
  • Group 3 - Operational Procedures; Emergency Response Requirements; Environmental Protection; Training; Legal Framework
  • Group 4 - Construction of inland waterway vessels; sea-going vessels; Stability of container vessels

All Classes

The All Classes syllabus has been split into 3 groups:

  • Group 1 - Classification
  • Group 2 - Packing and tank provisions, Marking, Labelling and Placarding; Documentation Requirements; Compliance Thresholds
  • Group 3 - Environmental Pollution; Training; Legal Frameword

(Note: GB Regulations (CDG2009) (as amended) and the ADTP may be examined as appropriate)

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