Raise industry standards with in-house qualified LGV instructors

Raise industry standards with in-house qualified LGV instructors

Instructor Academy Manager | RTITB

Repeatedly we’ve seen in-house Instructors boost safety and efficiency in transport businesses and provide them with a good return on investment. We’ve also seen how standardising training processes and ensuring quality with external qualifications for Instructors is set to be a vital part of training the next generation of professional LGV drivers. Yet despite the overwhelming potential for raising standards right across the Industry, some employers remain unconvinced of the benefits.
 
Safety first
Quality transport training from a correctly trained instructor, that is supervised and supported by accreditation, helps to, among other things, increase the safety of drivers, operators, and pedestrians. While this should be the case for both in-house and outsourced training, in-house training usually goes a step further. Safety should be a top priority for any transport operation, and in-house training enables you to focus more on specific hazards or operational processes that are unique to the site or business.
 
As well as lowering the risk of accidents, and the costs associated with them, training from in-house Instructors can also help reduce damage to vehicles, equipment, stock, and warehouse racking.
 
Investing in people
High staff turnover can be difficult for any business to manage, particularly in the transport sector. Investment in ongoing training, even among experienced drivers, helps employees to feel more valued and increases their loyalty to a business, reducing staff turnover, and the associated costs. 
 
With an in-house Instructor, the trainer and trainees often know each other. Instructors may deliver training to the same employees, time and again, creating better rapport and increasing engagement with training. In addition, Instructors will often be seen as mentors to newly qualified drivers, helping them through their initial career.
 
In-house Instructors are also well placed to identify future development opportunities for good candidates who show ambition. This helps to reduce external recruitment costs and supports business succession planning. Companies should also consider training existing staff to become Instructors, providing professional development that keeps them on their career path, and within the business.
 
To help address the shortfall in skills, our industry needs many more Instructors who are better trained and better qualified. All the above not only contribute to high standards across the industry, but also to securing a pipeline of future talent, helping businesses to take control of the shortage of skills within the transport sector.
 
Improving standards and compliance
In-house Instructors’ knowledge makes them some of the best people to monitor drivers in real life situations, thereby helping to raise driving or operating standards. Qualified instructors who are present to intervene in the case of bad practice help to reduce risk, and the possibility of incidents in the workplace. They can also identify where new or refresher training is needed to uphold standards and ensure compliance in line with relevant legislation.
 
What’s more, alongside all the elements required for compliance and safe operation, an in-house Instructor can use the training process to instil the company’s ethics and standards as part of an operator or driver’s development.
 
However, choosing the right training partner is key. With professional, qualified in-house Instructors trained at the RTITB Instructor Academy, for example, we offer a choice of ‘off the shelf’ courses as well as tailored courses to ensure that the training delivered fits your specific business needs, as well as incorporating RTITB’s high training standards.
 
To further support employers in upholding high training standards, all Academy training is also reinforced by accreditation and examinations by RTITB, the preferred workplace transport training regulatory body. Unlike other Instructor courses, which are not accredited or do not have independent assessment standards, this ensures that Instructors are delivering correct, standardised training that will nurture and develop the logistics talent of the future.
 
Driving efficiency
Fitting training into day-to-day operations without impacting efficiency can be challenging for busy transport employers who may have hundreds of drivers across multiple sites. Where training is outsourced, trainees may have to wait for availability or need to travel off-site, incurring additional costs as well as impacting efficiency.
 
By using in-house instructors, training can be more easily integrated into daily operations, fitting around business needs with minimal disruption. Bringing training in-house can also offer flexibility, allowing courses to be more easily rescheduled, and reducing any cancellation costs.
 
By working with the right training partner, you should be able to keep operations running efficiently with minimal downtime to ensure that you can maximise your Return on Investment on training.
 
Looking to the future
The good news is that at the RTITB Instructor Academy, we are seeing more businesses recognise the importance of investing in their best asset – their employees. We have seen demand for Instructor courses grow by 22 per cent in the past two years. In fact, employers are often using the Academy to retrain their Instructors who were previously trained elsewhere to ensure they meet their high standards.
 
However, with training so important for raising standards in the transport industry, we continue to be dedicated to educating more employers about the important role that in-house Instructors should play in their business, now and in the future.
 
For more information, visit www.rtitb.co.uk/academy or call the RTITB Instructor Academy team on 01952 520214.