How would you describe the current CPC driver training?
Useful? Entertaining? Lifesaving?
Or patronising? Boring? Expensive?
Whilst our trainers do all we can to make it more of the first and less of the second, we’re restricted by the curriculum and regulations issued by DVLA. For many of us, it was a welcome sight when the government announced late last year, they would be reviewing the current situation.
Currently, to meet compulsory EU initiatives, drivers need to undergo five days of periodic training every five years to ensure they remain fully qualified to drive heavy goods and large passenger transport vehicles professionally and up to date with road safety standards.
Notably, the tone of the government statement suggests the review will focus on the costs involved rather than the content.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“We’re listening to industry leaders who have told us about the issues HGV drivers face with CPC arrangements. Now we’ve taken back control of our own laws and regulations, I’m delighted to say we’re launching a review into these training rules.
“We understand it’s vital for drivers to remain fully qualified – but we’re looking to ensure they can do so in the most efficient way possible whilst maintaining road safety standards. No driver should be out of pocket or out of work through no fault of their own.”
At CJC, we welcome the review – the current scheme is over ten years’ old and is due an overhaul. Is the focus correct? Well, any opportunity to reduce costs for hauliers and passenger transport businesses is welcome news. We’re not turning that down!
However, we also hope the government listens to our industry and maintains the need for ongoing driver training. Accidents involving HGVs are disproportionately higher on UK roads and monitoring a driver’s skill is an important part of reducing the risk to both driver and the public.
There is another added complication. As we’ve mentioned, the CPC requirement is founded in EU legislation. Although the Transport Secretary believes control has passed back to the UK, this is a Europewide initiative, bound by European Law, there is a belief it cannot be changed quite so easily. However, the UK isn’t alone in feeling the pressure of driver shortages.
According to reports, haulage associations in Denmark, Germany and Hungary have urged the EU to change the requirement allowing experienced HGV drivers to be exempt to alleviate driver shortages across Europe. It is conceivable, if there is enough desire across member states, that the qualification could be changed for all of us.
We will continue to monitor developments and will keep our customers up to date with any changes to legislation, whether that’s UK or European.