Latest update: 04/10/2017

Directive 2007/59/EC - certification of train drivers

of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on the certification of train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the railway system in the Community

Note: This summary is focusing on the occupational medical aspects of the Directive.


The Directive specifies the conditions and procedures for the certification and the tasks of train drivers and other stakeholders of the sector. Member States may exempt drivers on local services, metros, trams etc.


The following terms are defined: competent authority, train driver, other crew members performing safety-critical tasks, railway system, infrastructure manager, railway undertaking, technical specifications for interoperability, Agency, safety certificate, certificate, safety authorisation, training centre are given.


Train drivers shall hold the following two documents:

  1. A licence demonstrating that the driver satisfies minimum conditions as regards medical requirements, basic education and general professional skills. The licence shall be owned by its holder and shall be issued by the competent authority. It shall be valid throughout the whole territory of the Community.
  2. One or more certificates indicating the infrastructures on which the holder is authorised to drive and indicating the rolling stock which the holder is authorised to drive. The certificate shall be owned by the undertaking or manager who employs/contracts the driver. It shall be re valid only on those infrastructures and rolling stock identified on it.

The Directive also sets the minimum age, the basic requirements for the training and medical examination as well as the general professional skills required for obtaining a licence.

The applicant’s physical and occupational psychological fitness shall be assessed through medical and psychological examinations; their minimum content is set in the Annex II to the Directive.

The Directive lays down the procedures for obtaining a licence/certificate, the minimum frequency of the periodic checks, the steps to take in case of the cessation of employment and the monitoring of drivers by employers. Furthermore, it specifies the tasks of and decisions taken by the competent authority, the training and examination of drivers and the controls and penalties imposed by the competent authority.


Community model licence and harmonised complementary certificate

Medical requirements

Training method

General professional knowledge and requirements regarding the licence

Professional knowledge of rolling stock and requirements regarding the certificate

Professional knowledge of infrastructure and requirements regarding the certificate

Frequency of examinations

Read the full text of the consolidated version of the Directive (including later amendments)

Read the full text of the original version of the Directive (without amendments)

National implementation measures

Further information on this topic