Driver first class?

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In a few days time, an EU directive comes into force introducing the long awaited “Driver CPC”. The directive will affect some 800,000 drivers.

It’s a laudable attempt to increase the level of professionalism in the industry but its introduction has been clouded by controversy. Last year, industry guru Geoffrey Cave-Wood highlighted some of the problems (Logistics Manager, October 2008) arguing that: “Instead of embracing the EU directive and using it to improve the image and professionalism of a career as a professional driver, the UK has basically tweaked an already meaningless Theory Test and left any training totally unregulated.”

And there is still unease at the way the government has chosen to implement the directive. For example, there is no requirement for assessment of periodic training – the argument is that older drivers in particular would be put off by the idea of having to take a test.

However, as Jessica Davies reports on page eight, there are those in the industry that find this disappointing, notably Nick Allen, general manager of training at the Freight Transport Association.

In fact, the FTA plans to offer its own assessment with its “CPC Plus” scheme – on the basis that a certificate of achievement is worth more than a certificate of attendance.

This is not simply an interesting argument – it could be the start of a whole new grading system for commercial vehicle drivers. Whether you like it or not, you could soon find that your drivers are being divided into first and second class.

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