Five years ago, another piece of Euro-legislation emerged from Brussels and wended its way around Europe to all member states of the Union. EU Directive 2003/59, the so-called Driver Training passes into UK Regulations as the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) in approximately 12 months time.
From 10th September 2009, all new LGV drivers (with very few exceptions) will need to have a Driver CPC in addition to their LGV driving licence. Details of the extended test and the rest of the Driver CPC requirements can be found on www.transportoffice.gov.uk
In addition, each LGV driver also has to undertake periodic training which equates to one day per year (35 hours training over five years). While existing drivers have acquired rights for the first five years, they will not get their Driver CPC in 2014 unless they too can show that they have had the required 35 hours of periodic training between 2009 and 2014.
We estimate that the directive will result in around half a million additional training days being needed per annum across the UK. If that’s not bad enough, if we all stick our head in the sand and wait until the last minute, we’ll need to find 2.5 million extra days in 2014! The original directive has laudable aims and its cited benefits include:
a) Improved road safety
b) Better skilled bus and lorry drivers
c) More economic and environmentally aware
d) Improvement in the professional image of the industries
e) Younger people attracted by the modern nature of the profession
f) Savings for the industries
I’m sure that nobody would gainsay these aims for a moment. For me, they all make sense and with my Skills for Logistics hat on, d) and e) are especially important as they make the logistics profession more attractive for people to enter and then have a career in.
For an industry that is facing the dual challenges of economic downturn and out of control fuel costs, item f) should represent a major benefit. For those relatively few companies that have been convinced by the hard evidence that training does produce net benefits, those savings literally represent a lifeline in these troubled times.
As ever though, those companies that have opened their eyes to what training can do for them are already carrying out the training that complies with the directive. Those that haven’t seen the light object to what they see as government interference adding yet more financial burdens to the challenges of running a logistics operation.
We expend a great deal of effort persuading employers that it makes sense to invest in vocational training, often to be told that ‘we’d love to but we have to carry out periodic training in order to meet this directive’ – as if they are two mutually exclusive activities that have to be chosen as alternatives.
Companies right across the sector have said that a major barrier to them adopting widespread vocational qualifications is the fact that what’s on offer is too often irrelevant. Our commitment to you is to make sure that the vocational qualifications on the books and the programmes that stem from them exactly tick the boxes that you require.
In the case of driving, this obviously means making sure that training done for a vocational qualification can be fully compliant with the periodic training requirements for Driver CPC. It’s a no-brainer because it shouldn’t be a choice between vocational training and Driver CPC, they should be the same.
We are in the process now of revising the Driving Goods Vehicle qualification and the standards that underpin it. Now is the time to shout on relevance, now is the time to stand up and be counted on what you want to see so you don’t need to make the ‘choice’ between vocational training and Driver CPC.
If you want to be involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org now and help SfL deliver relevance. There are 12 months to go and the clock’s ticking.