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Training Standards Rule

The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA) required that the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation (Secretary or DOT) establish minimum training standards for all safety-related railroad employees. See Title 49 United States Code (U.S.C.) Sec. 20162. To comply with that statutory mandate, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published a final rule on November 7, 2014, establishing Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 243, Training, Qualifications, and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees, which requires each railroad or contractor that employs one or more safety-related railroad employees to develop and submit a training program to FRA for approval and to designate the minimum training qualifications for each occupational category of employee. The rule also requires most employers to conduct periodic oversight of their employees and develop annual written reviews of their training programs to close performance gaps.

Below there is a link to the Stakeholder Training Matrix that has been developed to help those affected by the Training Standards regulation understand what type of items will require OJT.  Additionally, there is a link below to register for account access to submit training programs for approval. 

Stakeholder Training Matrix

Railroad Safety Portal (RRSP) - New Account Request Form

Upcoming Implementation Dates


For Employers with more than 400k employee work hours For Employers with less than 400k employee work hours
Roadway Maintenance Machines



Submit Programs



Designate Existing
Employees (Grandfathering)



Start Refresher



Complete Refresher




  • Training organizations and learning institutions (TO/LI) that have provided training to safety-related employees prior to 1/1/2017 may continue without FRA approval until 1/1/2018.
  • TO/LI need approval no later than 01/01/2018 to continue (extensions may be granted with sufficient facts)

Model Programs

The regulation permits organizations, businesses, or associations to develop training programs that could be used by multiple employers.  FRA encourages a modular approach to model program development to allow for easy customization by employers:

  • Model programs submitted to FRA prior to May 1, 2017 are considered approved and may be implemented 180 days after date of submission, unless the FRA notifies the organization that developed and submitted the program that it (the program), contains deficiencies.
  • An employer that uses a model program approved by FRA only needs to submit the unique identifier and any additional information that is specific to that employer or deviated from the model program


Training, Qualification, and Oversight for Safety Related Railroad Employees

Compliance Guidance

49 CFR Part 243 – Overview

Compliance Guide FAQ’s


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