49 CFR § 232.203 - Training requirements.

§ 232.203 Training requirements.

(a) Each railroad and each contractor shall adopt and comply with a training, qualification, and designation program for its employees that perform brake system inspections, tests, or maintenance. For purposes of this section, a “contractor” is defined as a person under contract with the railroad or car owner. The records required by this section may be maintained either electronically or in writing.

(b) As part of this program, the railroad or contractor shall:

(1) Identify the tasks related to the inspection, testing, and maintenance of the brake system required by this part that must be performed by the railroad or contractor and identify the skills and knowledge necessary to perform each task.

(2) Develop or incorporate a training curriculum that includes both classroom and “hands-on” lessons designed to impart the skills and knowledge identified as necessary to perform each task. The developed or incorporated training curriculum shall specifically address the Federal regulatory requirements contained in this part that are related to the performance of the tasks identified.

(3) Require all employees to successfully complete a training curriculum that covers the skills and knowledge the employee will need to possess in order to perform the tasks required by this part that the employee will be responsible for performing, including the specific Federal regulatory requirements contained in this part related to the performance of a task for which the employee will be responsible;

(4) Require all employees to pass a written or oral examination covering the skills and knowledge the employee will need to possess in order to perform the tasks required by this part that the employee will be responsible for performing, including the specific Federal regulatory requirements contained in this part related to the performance of a task for which the employee will be responsible for performing;

(5) Require all employees to individually demonstrate “hands-on” capability by successfully applying the skills and knowledge the employee will need to possess in order to perform the tasks required by this part that the employee will be responsible for performing to the satisfaction of the employee's supervisor or designated instructor;

(6) An employee hired or working prior to June 1, 2001, for a railroad or contractor covered by this part will be considered to have met the requirements, or a portion of the requirements, contained in paragraphs (b)(3) through (b)(5) of this section if the employee receives training and testing on the specific Federal regulatory requirements contained in this part related to the performance of the tasks which the employee will be responsible for performing; and if:

(i) The training or testing, including efficiency testing, previously received by the employee is determined by the railroad or contractor to meet the requirements, or a portion of the requirements, contained in paragraphs (b)(3) through (b)(5) of this section and such training or testing can be documented as required in paragraphs (e)(1) through (e)(4) of this section;

(ii) The employee passes an oral, written, or practical, “hands-on” test developed or adopted by the railroad or contractor which is determined by the railroad or contractor to ensure that the employee possesses the skills and knowledge, or a portion of the skills or knowledge, required in paragraphs (b)(3) through (b)(5) of this section and the test is documented as required in paragraph (e) of this section; or

(iii) The railroad or contractor certifies that a group or segment of its employees has previously received training or testing determined by the railroad or contractor to meet the requirements, or a portion of the requirements, contained in paragraphs (b)(3) through (b)(5) of this section and complete records of such training are not available, provided the following conditions are satisfied:

(A) The certification is placed in the employee's training records required in paragraph (e) of this section;

(B) The certification contains a brief description of the training provided and the approximate date(s) on which the training was provided; and

(C) Any employee determined to be trained pursuant to this paragraph is given a diagnostic oral, written, or “hands-on” test covering that training for which this paragraph is relied upon at the time the employee receives his or her first periodic refresher training under paragraph (b)(8) of this section.

(iv) Any combination of the training or testing contained in paragraphs (b)(6)(i) through (b)(6)(iii) of this section and paragraphs (b)(3) through (b)(5) of this section may be used to satisfy the training and testing requirements for an employee in accordance with this paragraph.

(7) Require supervisors to exercise oversight to ensure that all the identified tasks are performed in accordance with the railroad's written procedures and the specific Federal regulatory requirements contained in this part;

(8) Require periodic refresher training, at an interval not to exceed three years, that includes classroom and “hands-on” training, as well as testing; except that employees that have completed their initial training under paragraphs (b)(3) through (b)(6) of this part prior to April 1, 2004, shall not be required to complete their first periodic refresher training until four years after the completion of their initial training, and every three years thereafter. Observation and evaluation of actual performance of duties may be used to meet the “hands-on” portion of this requirement, provided that such testing is documented as required in paragraph (e) of this section; and

(9) Add new brake systems to the training, qualification and designation program prior to its introduction to revenue service.

(c) A railroad that operates trains required to be equipped with a two-way end-of-train telemetry device pursuant to subpart E of this part, and each contractor that maintains such devices shall adopt and comply with a training program which specifically addresses the testing, operation, and maintenance of two-way end-of-train devices for employees who are responsible for the testing, operation, and maintenance of the devices.

(d) A railroad that operates trains under conditions that require the setting of air brake pressure retaining valves shall adopt and comply with a training program which specifically addresses the proper use of retainers for employees who are responsible for using or setting retainers.

(e) A railroad or contractor shall maintain adequate records to demonstrate the current qualification status of all of its personnel assigned to inspect, test, or maintain a train brake system. The records required by this paragraph may be maintained either electronically or in writing and shall be provided to FRA upon request. These records shall include the following information concerning each such employee:

(1) The name of the employee;

(2) The dates that each training course was completed;

(3) The content of each training course successfully completed;

(4) The employee's scores on each test taken to demonstrate proficiency;

(5) A description of the employee's “hands-on” performance applying the skills and knowledge the employee needs to possess in order to perform the tasks required by this part that the employee will be responsible for performing and the basis for finding that the skills and knowledge were successfully demonstrated;

(6) The tasks required to be performed under this part which the employee is deemed qualified to perform;

(7) Identification of the person(s) determining that the employee has successfully completed the training necessary to be considered qualified to perform the tasks identified in paragraph (e)(6) of this section; and

(8) The date that the employee's status as qualified to perform the tasks identified in paragraph (e)(6) of this section expires due to the need for refresher training.

(f) A railroad or contractor shall adopt and comply with a plan to periodically assess the effectiveness of its training program. One method of validation and assessment could be through the use of efficiency tests or periodic review of employee performance.

[66 FR 4193, Jan. 17, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 17581, Apr. 10, 2002; 79 FR 66501, Nov. 7, 2014]