Reference Guide for Hours of Service Training Development

The reference guide covers hours-of-service requirements to commercial vehicle registered owners and drivers.


The Carrier & Vehicle Safety Section is responsible for ensuring the safe performance of commercial truck and bus carriers under Alberta's National Safety Code (NSC) Program.

One standard of the NSC program governs limiting a driver's hours of service to help reduce the severity and frequency of fatigue-related collisions involving commercial vehicles and drivers.

All jurisdictions in Canada have legislation that addresses this safety area. Transport Canada regulates extra-provincial undertakings by both truck and bus carriers while each provincial and territorial jurisdiction regulates intra-provincial undertakings.

Federal legislation

Carriers who operate or intend to operate the following vehicles outside of Alberta are regulated under federal legislation:

  • commercial trucks that are registered for a gross vehicle weight of more than 4,500 kilograms
  • commercial passenger vehicles with a manufactured seating capacity of 11 or more persons, including the driver

This applies to all of the carrier's drivers of those commercial vehicles, including those who have never personally operated the vehicles outside of Alberta. These carriers must have an Alberta Safety Fitness Certificate (SFC) displaying a ‘Federal’ operating status or an equivalent certificate issued by another jurisdiction.

Reference guide

The Alberta Reference Guide for Hours of Service Training Development was developed to help registered owners of commercial vehicles (whether an individual or a company) and their drivers to better understand their hours of service compliance requirements.

The reference guide is NOT a training course. However, the information has been laid out so that a detailed training course may be easily developed by adding lesson plans and speaker notes.


The reference guide has a modular format so you can obtain the entire document or only the specific modules that interest you. In addition, each module includes a PowerPoint file with a summary and that an instructor can use to lead people through the module.

  • Introduction
  • Module 1: Overview
  • Module 2: Application
  • Module 3: Responsibilities
  • Module 4: Driver Activities
  • Module 5: Daily Limits
  • Module 6: Work Shift Limits
  • Module 7: Deferral of Off-Duty Time
  • Module 8: Splitting of Daily Off-Duty Time/Sleeper Berths
  • Module 9: Cycles
  • Module 10: Special Permit – Oil Well Service Vehicle Permits
  • Module 11: Special Permit – Commercial Vehicles Other than Oil Well Service Vehicles
  • Module 12: Special Permit – Research/Pilot Project
  • Module 13: Permit Process
  • Module 14: Exemptions
  • Module 15: Ferries
  • Module 16: North of 60
  • Module 17: Daily Logs
  • Module 18: Radius Exemption – 160 Kilometres
  • Module 19: Electronic Recording Devices
  • Module 20: Out-of-Service Declarations
  • Module 21: Inspections and Authority
  • Module 22: Detecting Falsified Logs
  • Module 23: Enforcement Action
  • Module 24: Daily Log Audits


As legislation changes or as new information is obtained, Carrier & Vehicle Safety will continue to update and improve the guide. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the most recent version. The current version of the reference guide is June 2008.

Purchase a copy

To purchase a copy of the reference guide, contact one of the following organizations:


If you have questions regarding commercial vehicle, driver or owner compliance requirements or if you would like to provide comments and suggestions on how to improve this reference guide, please contact Carrier & Vehicle Safety or send us a completed copy of the feedback form.