DGSA Information

What is a DGSA?

A Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor (DGSA) is a person certified to provide advice to undertakings whose activities include the consignment, carriage, or the related packing, loading, filling or unloading of dangerous goods, to monitor compliance with legal requirements and to ensure the preparation of an annual report. The detailed provisions regarding the role of a DGSA for carriage by road are listed in ADR 1.8.3.

Who needs to appoint a DGSA? 

Undertakings involved in the consignment or carriage of dangerous goods by road, and related activities, must appoint a vocationally qualified safety adviser or advisers.  A DGSA’s function is to advise you on health, safety and environmental matters in connection with the carriage of dangerous goods.

The undertakings affected are those:

  1. Who consign dangerous goods for carriage which may include the packing, filling or loading the means of transport;
  2. Who are operators of road vehicles used for the carriage of dangerous goods;

  3. Who load/unload dangerous goods in transit to their final destination (including temporary storage), such as freight forwarders or warehouses - this category also covers undertakings at ports and airports that load/unload dangerous goods on or off road vehicles.

HSA guidance has been developed which assists undertakings in relation to appointing a DGSA, the exemptions that may be available, and how to assess activities and risk in order to reach a conclusion as to whether the formal appointment of a DGSA is required.   

Guidance on the appointment and duties of a DGSA.pdf (size 396.8 KB)

This document also provides guidance for dangerous goods safety advisers, with respect to training and competence, the DGSA roles and responsibilities including the provision of advice, the monitoring of compliance, practices and procedures and the preparation of annual reports.

DGSA examination

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) has been appointed by the Health and Safety Authority as the examination body for DGSAs for the transport of dangerous goods by road.

CILT also provides examinations covering the rail mode on behalf of the Minister for Transport.

Details on exam fees, venues, exam dates and related information is available at www.cilt.ie.

Note that, as of 1st January 2019, there is an exam syllabus available, and the exam format has changed from 3 examination papers to 2 examination papers.

Supplementary training for DGSAs

A number of the DGSA training providers (provided by CILT), supply additional training in the form of one or two-day seminars on the practical aspects of working as a DGSA which will assist persons in meeting their responsibilities as practicing dangerous goods safety advisers. These seminars are intended for persons who have already obtained their DGSA certificates. Interested parties should contact the training providers directly for details of course availability.

DGSA services

Persons or companies involved in the consignment or transport of dangerous goods who require the services of a DGSA may opt to contact the DGSA Association of Ireland (DGSAAI - see link provided below) or the DGSA training providers (provided by CILT) who may be in a position to refer them to a qualified DGSA.

Persons holding a current DGSA certificate from any Member State of the European Community may act for an undertaking in any other Member State for those classes of dangerous goods and transport modes covered by their certificate.

The Health and Safety Authority does not publish a list of qualified Dangerous Goods Safety Advisers.

Other Useful Information & Websites

The Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor's Association of Ireland (DGSAAI) was set up in 2003 to provide a focal point and support network for practicing DGSA's and allied professionals. For further information and membership application forms see www.dgsaai.ie