top of page
  • Writer's pictureKatie Inouye

What Records Must be Maintained for 243?

Compliance is all about your ability to show your company is compliant with regulatory requirements. While this regulation is focused on training, there are a handful of records you should be maintained to ensure you can demonstrate your compliance with 49 CFR Part 243.

#1 - Employee Qualification Status

First, employers must maintain training records to demonstrate the qualification status of each safety-related railroad employee (this includes contractors covered by the regulation).

This employee record must:

  • Be maintained for at least 6 years after employment ends

  • Be accessible at the employer's headquarters

  • Include the following information:

  • Employee name

  • Occupational category/subcategory designation for which the employee is deemed qualified

  • Course title/name and dates that each formal training course was completed

  • 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

  • For on-the-job training (OJT):

  • Unique name and identifier of the OJT program component

  • Date the OJT component was completed

  • Name of the designated instructor who determined the employee successfully completed all OJT requirements

  • The date the employee's status is determined qualified

  • 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

  • Any additional information required by 243

Note: Don't forget to maintain training records for any applicable refresher training.

Read the full regulatory text here.

#2 - Periodic Oversight

Employers must also maintain records to demonstrate compliance with the periodic oversight requirements. This includes documentation on:

  • The employer's periodic oversight plan

  • The tests/inspections completed for periodic oversight

These records must be maintained for a minimum of 3 years.

Read more about the periodic oversight requirements here or the full regulatory text here.

#3 - Designation (grandfathering-in) of existing employees

For most regulated employers who had to submit their initial programs by May 1, 2021, employers must declare which employees are designated (grandfathered-in) to each of its 243 occupational categories by creating a list of employees or documenting it through their learning management system by January 1, 2022. The other deadline is past for the other covered employers.

Read more about grandfathering-in/designating existing employees here.

#4 - Designated Instructors

There are several requirements in the regulation for designated instructors. Who are your designated instructors? I strongly recommend you maintain a list by job category and/or training program.

The regulation implies this list is maintained somewhere because the person must be designated.

Designated instructor means a person designated as such by an employer, training organization, or learning institution, who has demonstrated, pursuant to the training program submitted by the employer, training organization, or learning institution, an adequate knowledge of the subject matter under instruction and, where applicable, has the necessary experience to effectively provide formal training of the subject matter.

§ 243.5

#5 - List of Contractors

Each railroad utilizing contractors to supply the railroad with safety-related railroad employees shall maintain a list, at its system headquarters, with information regarding each contractor utilized unless:

  • The railroad qualifies each of the contractor's safety-related railroad employees utilized; and

  • The railroad maintains the training records for each of the contractor's safety-related railroad employees utilized.

The contractor list must include:

  • The full corporate or business name of the contractor;

  • The contractor's primary business and email address; and

  • The contractor's primary telephone number.

Note: This requirement only applies to railroads.

Read the full regulatory text here.

Are you still feeling stuck on your 243 training programs or not sure how to get started? We can help! We have helped Class 1, short line, and regional railroads, and contractors implement and manage the 243 requirements. Contact us at

bottom of page