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Why did FTA develop interim provisions for the Safety Certification Training Program?

Recognizing the need for immediate assistance with the development of the transit safety oversight workforce, MAP-21 requires FTA to move forward with developing interim provisions for training and certifying this workforce in advance of the rulemaking process. Therefore, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 5329(c)(2), FTA has developed interim provisions for the certification and training of designated Federal, State, and other designated personnel who conduct safety audits and examinations and transit system personnel with direct safety oversight responsibility.

What is the difference between participants in the Interim Provisions for the Safety Certification Training Program and participants in the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan?

The Interim Provisions covers Federal, State, and other designated personnel who conduct safety audits and examinations of public transportation agencies and transit system personnel with direct safety oversight responsibility.

What happens next and how can I stay involved in this process?

FTA published the Interim Safety Certification Training Program Provisions for comment. After FTA reviews the comments collected through this notice, FTA may publish a subsequent notice indicating any substantive revisions that may be warranted based on public comment. In the alternative, should public comments indicate that no substantive revisions are necessary, FTA will publish guidance for implementing the requirements noted in the Federal Register. (H.R. Rep. No. 112-557, at 603 (2012).)

I’m from a small bus transportation agency and have direct responsibility for safety oversight; will I be required to complete the same requirements as an employee directly responsible for safety oversight at a large transit agency?

No, however, FTA has developed a voluntary component in the Interim Provisions for the Safety Certification Training Program for employee’s who have direct responsibility for safety oversight of bus transit agencies.

I work in operations for a transit agency and I am directly responsible for safety. However, I don’t seem to fit into the categories listed in the Federal Register Notice, should I participate in the Interim Provisions?

Initially, the interim training program will primarily focus on enhancing the technical competencies and capabilities of those persons responsible for direct safety oversight of rail fixed guideway public transportation systems (rail transit systems) and the Federal and State personnel who conduct safety audits of these systems.

I keep hearing about Safety Management Systems (SMS) from FTA, and now, I’m seeing it in the Interim Provisions training. How, exactly, will SMS help transit, and, where can I learn more about it?

To help a safe industry stay safe and become even safer, FTA is adopting Safety Management Systems (SMS) as our new safety regulatory framework. With a focus on organization-wide safety policy, proactive hazard management, strong safety communication between front line employees and management, targeted safety training, and clear accountabilities and responsibilities for critical safety activities, SMS provides an enhanced structure for addressing expectations specified by Congress in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).

I have received my Transit Safety and Security Program certificate from the Transportation Safety Institute. Will I get credit for taking the TSSP Certificate courses for the Interim Provisions, and how is the TSSP different from the curriculum?

FTA's interim program coursework contains different competencies than those in the Transit Safety and Security Program (TSSP). Therefore, FTA proposes that no credit will be transferred from prior education or experience into the interim program. More specifically, the current TSSP program was designed to address competencies that support the development and implementation of system safety, security, and emergency management program plans.

How much of the formula funds can be used for training?

Recipients of sections 5307 or 5311 funds may use up to 0.5 percent of those funds to cover up to 80 percent of the cost of participation by an employee who has direct safety oversight responsibility for the public transportation system. Likewise, participation by SSOA personnel with direct safety oversight responsibilities will be an eligible expense for section 5329(e)(6)(A) funds.

How long do I have to complete the Interim Provisions Training? And, will the Interim Provisions coursework count toward the Final Public Transportation Safety Certification Training Program?

FTA proposes that participants of the interim safety certification training program have three years to complete the training requirements.

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