The FRA’s New Electronic Training Record Rules for Railroad Workers – eCFR 243.203

railroad-training-recordsWhat Are the New Electronic Training Record Rules for Railroad Employees?

New Electronic Training Record Rules for Railroad Workers – eCFR §243.203 – Starting in January of 2018, the FRA will be requiring new electronic recordkeeping standards for training completion that all railroad companies will need to comply with. Railroad training organizations and learning institution that have provided training services to employers covered by this part prior to January 1, 2017 may continue to offer such training services without FRA approval until January 1, 2018. The associate administrator may extend this period at any time based on a written request. The written requests for an extension of time to submit a program should contain any factors the training organization or learning institution wants the associate administrator to consider prior to approving or disapproving the extension. The following is a list of records that employers and training organizations need to retain in an electronic system, such as ATMS for Railroad, after January 1, 2018:

(a) General requirements for qualification status records; accessibility. Each employer shall maintain records to demonstrate the qualification status of each safety-related railroad employee that it employs.

(1) The records for former safety-related railroad employees shall be accessible for 6 years at the employer’s system headquarters after the employment relationship ends.

(2) Current employee records shall be accessible at the employer’s system headquarters.

(b) Employee information. The records shall include the following information concerning each such employee:

(1) The name of the employee;

(2) Occupational category or subcategory designations for which the employee is deemed qualified;

(3) The dates that each formal training course was completed;

(4) The title of each formal training course successfully completed;

(5) If the safety-related railroad employee attended safety-related training offered by a business, a training organization, or a learning institution with an FRA-approved program, a copy of the transcript or appropriate record from that business, training organization, or learning institution;

(6) The employee’s OJT performance, which shall include the unique name or identifier of the OJT program component in accordance with §243.103, the date the OJT program component was successfully completed, and the identification of the person(s) determining that the employee successfully completed all OJT training necessary to be considered qualified to perform the safety-related tasks identified with the occupational categories or subcategories for which the employee is designated in accordance with the program required by this part;

(7) The date that the employee’s status is determined to be qualified and the employee is designated to perform the safety-related duties identified with any particular occupational categories or subcategories, in accordance with the program required by this part;

(8) If an employee’s qualification status was transferred from another entity with an approved program, a copy of the training record from that other entity; and

(9) Any additional information required by this part.

(c) Record accessibility for other than individual employee records. Except for records demonstrating the qualification status of each safety-related railroad employee as described in paragraph (b) of this section or otherwise specified in this part, each test, inspection, annual review, or other event record required by this part shall be accessible for 3 calendar years after the end of the calendar year to which the event relates. Each employer shall make these records accessible at one headquarters location within the United States, including, but not limited to, a railroad’s system headquarters, a holding company’s headquarters, a joint venture’s headquarters, a contractor’s principal place of business or other headquarters located where the contractor is incorporated. This requirement does not prohibit an employer with divisions from also maintaining any of these records at any division headquarters.

(d) Availability of records. Each employer, training organization, or learning institution required to maintain records under this part shall:

(1) Make all records available for inspection and copying/photocopying to representatives of FRA, upon request during normal business hours; and

(2) Make an employee’s records available for inspection and copying/photocopying to that employee, former employee, or such person’s representative upon written authorization by such employee during normal business hours.

(e) Electronic recordkeeping. Nothing in this section precludes an employer, a training organization, or a learning institution from maintaining the information required to be retained under this part in an electronic format provided that:

(1) The employer, training organization, or learning institution maintains an information technology security program adequate to ensure the integrity of the electronic data storage system, including the prevention of unauthorized access to the program logic or individual records;

(2) The program and data storage system must be protected by a security system that utilizes an employee identification number and password, or a comparable method, to establish appropriate levels of program access meeting all of the following standards:

(i) No two individuals have the same electronic identity; and

(ii) A record cannot be deleted or altered by any individual after the record is certified by the employee who created the record;

(3) Any amendment to a record is either:

(i) Electronically stored apart from the record that it amends; or

(ii) Electronically attached to the record as information without changing the original record;

(4) Each amendment to a record uniquely identifies the person making the amendment;

(5) The system employed by the employer, training organization, or learning institution for data storage permits reasonable access and retrieval of the information in usable format when requested to furnish data by FRA representatives; and

(6) Information retrieved from the system can be easily produced in a printed format which can be readily provided to FRA representatives in a timely manner and authenticated by a designated representative of the railroad as a true and accurate copy of the railroad’s records if requested to do so by FRA representatives.

(f) Transfer of records. If an employer ceases to do business and its assets will be transferred to a successor employer, it shall transfer to the successor employer all records required to be maintained under this part, and the successor employer shall retain them for the remainder of the period prescribed in this part.

Will Your Railroad Employees Be Audit Ready & Compliant by January 2018?

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Source: US Government Publishing Office