Safety Training Records & Documentation: Best Practices from ANSI Z490.1 Section 7

ansi-z(Note: this article is based on the newly revised, 2016 version of ANSI Z490.1 )

We’re back with a look at the final section of ANSI Z490.1, the American National Standard for Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health, and Environmental Training.

In this article, we’re going to look at ANSI Z490.1’s recommendations for documenting your EHS training and keeping records.

If you want to download our free 42-page Guide to Effective EHS Training, based on ANSI Z490.1, just click that link you just whizzed past or scroll down to the bottom of this article and click the download button.

Otherwise, let’s start talking about EHS training documentation and recordkeeping, right?

EHS Training Records: Documentation and Recordkeeping

ANSI Z490.1 notes that documentation and recordkeeping are important parts of an overall training management program (remember, the program is covered in Section 3).

Those records are to cover the following phases of EHS training:

  • Development of EHS training (development as a general topic is covered in section 4)
  • Delivery of EHS training (delivery as a general topic is covered in section 5)
  • Evaluation of the training program (evaluation as a general topic is covered in section 6)

We’ll cover ANSI’s documentation requirements of each section or phase of EHS training below.

General Requirements for EHS Training Documentation and Recordkeeping

The standard notes that you should set up a recording system for all EHS training records and documents, and that the system should guarantee that (7.1.1):

  • The records are easy to retrieve and identify and are maintained in an orderly fashion
  • The records are current, accurate, legible, and dated, and that the dates should include revision dates when appropriate
  • The records satisfy relevant/applicable regulatory and/or legislative requirements
  • The records are maintained for a specified time period

On the issue of maintaining records for a specified time period, the standard notes that the amount of time that records should be kept may be mandated by legislation, regulations, and/or company policy.

Your company’s written training plan should include procedures for document control of these documents and records.

EHS Training Records: Confidentiality and Availability

The standard again reminds you that, when it comes to “access, availability, and confidentiality of records,” your written training plan should include procedures for this. That written training plan is showing its worth again here.

On the issue of confidentiality, the standard reminds you that your EHS training records must “meet regulatory requirements for availability, disclosure, confidentiality, and protection of trade secrets.” (7.3.1)

Records of EHS Training Development

As a reminder, development is the phase during which you’re creating your EHS training materials, and it’s covered in section 4.

You may not have thought that you’d need to keep records of this, but Z490.1 says you should. Here’s what it says those records should include:

  • Your target audience
  • The learning objectives
  • Sources used to develop your training materials
  • The person(s) designing and developing the training materials
  • The qualifications of that person/those people
  • All training materials developed for a course
  • Plans for evaluating the course and for continuing improvement of the course

Records of EHS Training Delivery

Now this one may be less of a surprise. You probably figured you’d have to keep records of your training delivery (covered in section 5). But even here, you may be surprised by the information the standard suggests recording.

Here’s what the standard says to record:

  • Date of training
  • Location of training
  • Duration of training
  • Name and description of course
  • Names of person(s) delivering training
  • Qualification of that person(s)
  • Delivery method used for training
  • Trainees attending/participating
  • Trainees who successfully completed the training

Deliver. Report. Manage. Convergence Training EHS Course Library

Records of EHS Training Evaluation

Finally, you should create and maintain documents of your training evaluation (evaluation is covered in section 6). Evaluation records should include:

  • Records of your actual training evaluations
  • Records of periodic reevaluation of the course

Issuing Credits and Certificates for Completion of EHS Training

Finally, Section 7.4 addresses topics related to issuing credits and certificates.

One thing it says that is “no credits or certificate of training shall be issued unless the criteria for completion have been met by the trainee.” (7.4.1) Fair enough, no?

Second, it says that if the training provider does issue credits for completed training, “they shall be issued in accordance with recognized established standards, regulations, or industry protocols.” (7.4.2)

And finally, when issuing a certificate or other written documentation that signifies the successful completion of a course to the trainee, the certificate must include:

  • Trainee’s name
  • A unique number that identifies the trainee
  • Course title
  • Date and hours of instruction
  • Statement that trainee has successfully completed the course
  • Number of credits, if issued
  • Name and address of the training provider
  • Date the periodic refresher course is due (if required), or the completion expiration date
  • The level of training or type of certificate awarded (if applicable)
  • Any other information required by any related regulation
  • Signature of BOTH trainee and training provider

Conclusion of ANSI Z490.1 Summary Articles

That wraps up our overview of ANSI Z490.1, the American National Standard covering Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health, and Environmental Training.

If you’re looking for help with that EHS record keeping, a learning management system–also known as an LMS–may be just what you need. Check out the two-minute video overview below.

This article is just one of a series that looked at all the different sections of ANSI Z490.1. We’ve now collected those articles and tweaked them a bit to make the single, downloadable guide below, but you can also read each of the articles from our blog if you’d like:

Since you’re down here at the bottom of the article, give yourself a gold star and treat yourself with a free download of our Guide to Effective EHS Training (which is based on a lot of what’s covered in ANSI Z490.1 but is NOT ANSI Z490.1–remember we encourage you to buy a copy of the standard).


Effective EHS Training: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to design, create, deliver, and evaluate effective EHS training by following these best practices with our free step-by-step guide.

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Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto is an Instructional Designer and the Senior Learning & Development Specialist at Convergence Training. Jeff has worked in education/training for more than twenty years and in safety training for more than ten. You can follow Jeff at LinkedIn as well.

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