Run dangerous goods (ADR) driver training courses

How to run an ADR driver training course in a classroom and remotely, and how to carry out exams.

Who can provide courses

You must be an approved training centre to provide dangerous goods (ADR) driver training courses.

You have to apply to get approval to provide:

  • initial training and exams for drivers to get their ADR card
  • refresher training and exams for drivers to stay qualified as a dangerous goods driver

Give notice that you’re running a course

You need to create a new course record online for each course you want to run.

You should do this at least 7 calendar days before it starts.

You must include:

  • the training programme you are following
  • location
  • start date, time and end date of the training course
  • date and start time of the examinations
  • full name of the instructors
  • full name of the invigilators

If your course records are not correct Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) may not process your exams.

Running a course at short notice

If you want to run a course in the next 7 days but have not given notice you will need to fill in a training course notification within 7 days of start date form (PDF, 1.05MB).

You must email the form to and wait for SQA to tell you if the course can go ahead.

Make changes or cancel your course

You should update the course record online if you need to make changes or cancel a course. You should do this at least 24 hours before the course is due to start.

You can be charged a fee if an external verifier visits your site and you haven’t told them the course has been moved or cancelled.

Make changes or cancel your course at short notice

Phone SQA if you have to make changes or cancel a course less than 24 hours before it starts, or after it has started. Email SQA if you need to do this outside of working hours (8:30am(9am to 5pm).

Telephone: 0345 270 0123
Monday to Friday, 8:30am9am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

Book candidates onto your course

Before booking candidates onto your course you must:

  • check they are eligible for the course
  • check they have the correct documentation and licences
  • tell drivers and employers that the course requires the driver to be on duty, and what this means for the driver’s hours rules
  • check that the number of candidates booked onto a course is not more than the class size agreed in your approval

If there are resit candidates, you need to check which modules they have previously sat.

You should record who is attending the course online before the course begins - you must record it no later than the day the course starts.

Send joining instructions

Send joining instructions to each driver before the course starts. These should include:

  • the course’s start and end times
  • the length of the course
  • details of your cancellation policy
  • whether lunch is provided
  • a contact number so drivers can tell you about any special requirements

Register your candidates

You must get every candidate to complete a candidate registration form (ADR2)(PDF, 999KB) which includes:

  • their signature in black ink
  • a 35mm by 45mm colour passport-standard photograph

The photograph can either be:

  • a printed or digital photograph that they send to you
  • a digital photograph that you take before the course starts

You will need to:

  • enter each candidate’s details online
  • upload each candidate’s signature and photograph - you’ll have to do this before they sit an exam
  • keep either a hard or electronic copy of each candidate registration form for 5 years

Check the identity of candidates

At the start of your course, you must check the identity of all candidates using one of these forms of photo ID:

  • ADR driver training certificate photo card
  • driver licence photo card
  • passport
  • professional body photo identity card
  • HM Services identity card
  • driver qualification card
  • petroleum driver passport

Check the ADR certificate expiry date for refresher training

You must check the expiry date of the ADR driver training certificates held by candidates attending refresher training. Candidates must have at least 2 weeks from the date of the last examination on the course to the expiry of their current certificate.

If their ADR driver training certificate has expired, or the expiry date is within 2 weeks, the candidate must attend an initial training course instead.

Train the candidates using your approved course

Your course must:

  • follow an approved training programme
  • use approved training materials
  • be taught by an approved instructor

Your approval could be suspended or withdrawn if you run a course that does not follow your approval conditions

Each day of your course must last for no longer than 9 hours. That will usually include:

  • a welcome and introduction session
  • no more than 8 teaching units of 45 minutes each
  • a break of at least 10 minutes, every 90 minutes
  • at lunch break of at least 45 minutes

Instructors must not:

  • read from a prepared script
  • reproduce exam questions
  • coach to the exam
  • reduce the number of teaching units
  • skip or shorten breaks

Carry out practical exercises

Your course must include the following practical exercises:

  • emergency first aid
  • fire extinguishers
  • what to do in case of an emergency
  • how to do chest compressions

If your course includes class 1 and class 7 modules you must also do exercises covering:

  • emergency action
  • vehicle loading

After a candidate has completed the practical exercises, an authorised person must confirm their identity and sign and date the relevant declarations on their candidate registration form.

Plan for problems with running your course

Make sure that you have plans in place to deal with problems when you’re running your course.

Computer failure

You can use paper copies of slides if you have technical difficulties.

Bad weather

You can:

  • change the running order on the day to avoid bad weather
  • use a classroom session if it’s not possible to have a practical session outside

Running ahead of schedule

You can use standby material if you think your course might finish early but it must be relevant to the approved course content.

Make reasonable adjustments

You must make reasonable adjustments for candidates with additional needs. It’s against the law to discriminate against people because of age, pregnancy, disability, race or religion.

Run an ADR driver training course remotely

If you are approved to provide remote training online using video call software you must:

  • replace the practical exercises with discussions and demonstrations
  • have a process to carry out identification checks
  • have plans to manage a loss in connection or other interruptions
  • include a link or access to the course when you create a course record

Candidates who attend a remote training course will still have to sit their exams at your training centre.

What your candidates need

Make sure your candidates have:

  • a front facing camera which is switched on
  • microphone
  • speakers
  • a strong internet connection or mobile signal
  • sufficient battery charge for the whole course

Before the course begins you should give the candidates:

  • learning materials to support the course
  • guidance on what video call software you will be using and how to use it

Carry out ADR driver exams

You must carry out ADR driver exams at the end of your course - usually on the last day. Exams are always done in person at your training centre.

Candidates will take exams online. SQA will email you if the service is unavailable and tell you if you can use paper-based exams instead.

Before the exam

Before the exam begins, the examination secretary must check that:

  • the candidates have completed a candidate registration form
  • the candidates’ details have been recorded online
  • the candidates’ contact details are correct
  • the invigilator has access to the exam information to make sure that each candidate sits the correct exam

Checks on the exam room and resources

The invigilator must make sure that the room and resources are prepared. They should check:

  • workstations are separated and positioned so candidates cannot see other candidates answers
  • equipment is working
  • the latest version of the online exam service is being used
  • any reference material in the room is taken away or hidden

Checks on the candidates

The invigilator must check that:

  • the person taking the exam is the same person who attended training
  • there are no more than 20 candidates taking the exam
  • candidates know which examinations will be taken and that this matches your records
  • any reasonable adjustments have been made

Run the exam

The invigilator will give candidates an authentication code so that they can access their exams online.

Mock exams

The invigilator must allow candidates to try a mock exam before they take their exam.

They must tell candidates that the mock exam does not count towards their final award and show them how to use the software, including how to:

  • navigate backwards and forwards through the exam
  • review the exam and return to earlier questions
  • change answers to questions they have already answered

During the exam


TheCandidates invigilatormust can choose whether to allow candidates to take a 5 minute break after completing an examination. TheyThe invigilator must make sure that this does not distract other candidates still taking their exam.

The invigilator must allow candidates to have a break of at least 45 minutes after 3 hours of exams.

If you lose internet connection during an exam

If a candidate temporarily loses internet connection during an exam, the invigilator will have to recover their assessment and reset their authentication code

If your centre loses internet connection for a longer period of time, you’ll need to tell SQA.

You should allow candidates to:

  • wait at your centre for up to 2 hours for the problem to be fixed
  • come back to sit the exam again within 1 month

After the exam

The results for online exams will be available immediately after a candidate has completed all exams for the course.

The invigilator should tell the candidates:

  • how and when they should expect to receive their ADR card
  • what to do if they do not receive their ADR card
  • that they must always carry their ADR card when driving dangerous goods
  • when and how they can resit their exam if they failed

The invigilator must complete an invigilator report form and give it to the examination secretary.

Keep records about your courses

For each training course you run you will need to keep:

  • a candidate registration form for each person taking part in a course or sitting an exam
  • an invigilator report form

You must keep these forms:

  • for a minimum of 56 years
  • as either a paper or electronic copy within the documents tab of your course record
  • so that they are accessible at any time during a visit by an external verifier or other SQA staff
Published 24 May 2024
Last updated 9 July 2024 + show all updates
  1. Updated the keep records about your courses section and the section on breaks during the exam.

  2. First published.