Dangerous Goods Driver Training Scheme (ADR)

Management of the UK Government's Dangerous Goods Driver Scheme (ADR) by SQA has delivered a number of features and benefits. The scheme has evolved to develop and maintain the currency of driver competences and assessments, while the introduction of new technologies has enhanced the experience of training providers and drivers. As a result, Government, businesses and individuals can have confidence in the standards of training and assessment, contributing to the safe transportation of dangerous goods.

The challenge

The European Community Directive 94/55/EC requires drivers of vehicles containing dangerous goods to hold an ADR Driver Training Certificate. In 2006, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) awarded SQA the contract to manage the Dangerous Goods Driver Training Scheme. This involved managing the transition from the previous scheme, demonstrating continuous compliance with the ADR Directive, and delivering uninterrupted services.

The DfT Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is responsible for the safe transportation of dangerous goods in the UK, and is accountable to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) for ensuring compliance with the Directive. It is enforceable by law through the UK Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations.

The approach

SQA project-managed the development of the scheme, co-ordinating the output of representatives from the DfT, other regulatory bodies and a group of experts representing the industry drawn from trade associations, training providers, major employers and sector skills councils.

Purpose: to deliver a consistently high level of classroom and practical training to all classes of drivers transporting dangerous goods that sits within a quality assurance system that ensures all drivers of dangerous goods are trained, assessed and certificated to the same high standard.

Output: drivers who meet this standard and keep it up to date are issued with an ADR Vocational Training Certificate.


SQA introduced new technologies in order to enhance alignment of the training and assessment to the EC Directive.

SQA’s assessment development model is used to develop and validate assessments on the ADR syllabus.

The assessment development model is a continuous cycle of:

The quality assurance model ensures that training standards are maintained and improved.

SQA's quality assurance model can be summarised as:

Our assessment delivery model offers drivers access to assessments:

  1. Register candidates
  2. Issue identification key
  3. Schedule test
  4. Undertake test
  5. Issue results and certificate via photo identity card


Educational advisor to the Department for Transport

SQA has provided advice and support to the DfT on the rules and regulations governing training and assessment of drivers of goods vehicles. For example, changes to the ADR EC Directive can occur every two years and we have commented on potential changes and how these might impact on the regulation of the scheme for the safe transportation of goods in the UK. In addition, SQA has represented the DfT at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Dangerous Goods Working Party meetings in France and Spain in recent years.

How the ADR works

For more information on the ADR, visit the Dangerous Goods Driver Training (DGDT) website.