Time is running out for hauliers to make sure their drivers have completed their periodic Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) with less than 12 months until the second phase deadline on September 9 2019.
HGV drivers are legally required to complete 35 hours training over a five-year period to remain legally compliant. If they don’t, they’ll lose their Driver Qualification Card (DQC) and won’t be allowed to drive - DVSA will issue fines of up to £1,000 for anyone driving professionally without a DQC.
In the six-month period from January to June, the Driver CPC periodic training market is reported to have had 20% fewer attendees than the previous cycle, equating to more than 100,000 drivers. Up until February 2018, there were only slightly fewer attendees compared to the previous cycle, after which the shortfall has increased.
“This difference in attendees is substantial, and as an industry, it’s important that we question why,” says Laura Nelson of the RTITB Master Driver CPC Consortium.
“It’s easy to say that employers are dismissing Driver CPC in the hope that the requirements will disappear due to Brexit, and while that may be what some organisations think, there could be other important reasons for this shortfall.
“For instance, the road transport industry is busier than ever, so perhaps haulage operators are simply too stretched delivering goods to send drivers to training,” Laura explains.
“If this is the case, we would expect to see the deficit in attendees made up later in the cycle, although this may be cause for concern for transport operations who could lose weeks in 2019 to making up their training hours.”
Introduced for LGV drivers in 2009, Driver CPC periodic training is intended to maintain high driving standards and improve road and vehicle safety, and requires existing, qualified drivers to complete 35 hours of training across a 5-year cycle.
However, from 2009 new drivers entering the industry take the Initial Driver CPC Qualification. While they must complete continued training hours, they are not tied into the same cycle, with their 5-year period starting at the time of qualification.
“The reduction in attendees could also be the first sign of older drivers retiring from the LGV industry, as new drivers do not have a September 2019 deadline for their Driver CPC hours,” says Laura.
“This poses important considerations for employers, who must ensure that they have plans in place to recruit talent to fill this skills gap.”
“For instance, if planned and used correctly, Driver CPC can be a valuable professional development opportunity that employers can use to attract new LGV drivers, and retain existing professionals,” Laura continues.
“The government has just confirmed that Driver CPC will continue in its current format after Brexit – so getting safe, skilled drivers on the road has to be a priority for our industry.”
The Road Haulage Association is concerned that companies leaving it to the last minute won’t be able to get their drivers trained in time. RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said: “If you leave it to the last few months you might struggle to find suitable courses or enough spaces to book for your drivers. I’d urge hauliers to arrange driver training days now. Having drivers who can’t drive is disastrous for an operator.”
More information regarding Driver CPC training here
Find Driver CPC training courses here
Posted on: October 2nd 2018