FRA Part 243 Minimum Training Standards

FRA Part 243 Minimum Training Standards requires each railroad or contractor that employs one or more safety-related railroad employee 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 to develop annual written reviews of their training programs to close performance gaps.

This rule places railroad contractors under direct regulation of the FRA for the first time. Employers with more than 400,000 employee work hours had until January 1, 2020 to submit training programs to the FRA and employers with less than 400,000 employee work hours had up until May 1, 2021 to submit programs.

With these deadlines behind, employers that submitted training programs must begin and/or have already begun the minimum training qualifications outlined in the submitted FRA templates by January 1, 2022. Additionally, training organizations and learning institutions (TO/LI) that have provided training to safety-related employees prior to January 1, 2019 may continue without FRA approval until January 1, 2020. If you have any questions about FRA Part 243, the NRC model templates, or the training materials available to NRC members, please contact NRC staff at or by phone at 202-975-0365.

Take Advantage of FRA Part 243 Training Templates Provided by the NRC

The NRC provides members with 10 FRA-approved training templates that comply with FRA Part 243. They are free to members who log in. These model programs cover the tasks contained in the following FRA Parts: 213, 214, 218, 220, 228, 233, 234, 235, 236, and 237.
Review training templates

Periodic Oversight:

Under 49 CFR Part 243, periodic oversight is similar to 49 CFR § 217.9, Program of operational tests and inspections; recordkeeping, in that it requires structured tests or inspections, which means: (1) a change in the work environment requiring an employee action, and (2) observations to determine compliance with Federal law, regulations, and FRA orders. Periodic oversight is limited in scope and requires focus on FRA regulations pertaining to:

  • 49 CFR Part 214, Railroad Workplace Safety
  • 49 CFR Part 218, Railroad Operating Practices
  • 49 CFR Part 220, Railroad Communications

Periodic oversight seeks to accomplish two goals: (1) take notice of individual employees who are in noncompliance and take corrective action to ensure that those specific employees know how to do the work properly (in some instances, the employee might need coaching or retraining, especially if the person has not had much experience doing the work; in other instances, training may not be an issue and other remedial action may be appropriate); and (2) review all the oversight data, in the aggregate, to detect patterns of noncompliance. The FRA has developed a Job Aid to aid contractors in developing and implementing a periodic oversight program. The job aid can be found at the following link:
Training, Qualification, and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees; Periodic Oversight Job Aid | FRA (

Additional FRA Resources:

What our members say…

“For the FRA Part 219 and 243 implementation, the NRC was especially helpful for us in that they provide member companies guidance in how to comply with the ever-changing federal regulations. We also value the annual safety awards which we use to motivate our employees to uphold the highest level of safety as well as in business development materials.”

Dave Bergstrom

President, Civil/Rail

Ragnar Benson Construction, LLC.

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