National Safety Code Standards

Bus and truck drivers must comply with National Safety Code standards for commercial vehicles.


The National Safety Code (NSC) is a set of standards used by all Canadian jurisdictions to enhance the safety of truck and bus carriers. Under the NSC, carriers must obtain a Safety Fitness Certificate and maintain an acceptable Safety Fitness Rating.

Commercial vehicle NSC standards

Canada's NSC for commercial vehicles consists of 16 individual standards. These standards were first introduced to Alberta carriers in 1988. Most of these standards were contained within Alberta regulations and others have been added since. These additional regulations relate to medical and record retention standards. Any driver of a bus or truck as defined below must comply with NSC standards:

  • a bus is defined as a motor vehicle that is designed for carrying 11 or more persons, including the person driving the vehicle, and used or intended to be used for the transportation of persons
  • a truck is defined for Provincial NSC operators as a commercial vehicle or combination of vehicles registered for a combined weight of 11,794 kg or more
    • provincial carriers operate only in Alberta

Alberta carriers that operate into other jurisdictions are designated as Federal and must comply with federal legislation. Under federal legislation, trucks or truck and trailer combinations registered for a combined weight of more than 4,500 kg must comply with NSC standards as implemented in Alberta. This includes farm plated vehicles that travel outside Alberta.

List of standards

  • Single Driver Licence Concept
  • Knowledge and Performance
  • Driver Examiner Training Program
  • Classified Driver Licensing System
  • Self-Certification Standards and Procedures for Drivers
  • Medical Standards for Driving
  • Carrier and Driver Profiles
  • Short-term Suspension
  • Hours of Service Regulations
  • Security of Loads Standards
  • Commercial Vehicle Maintenance Standards
  • Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance On-road Inspections
  • Daily Trip Inspection Reports
  • Safety Rating
  • Facility Audit Standards
  • First Aid Training