Thursday 24 September 2020

Government research shows Driver CPC awareness ‘not sufficient’

driverwithcardThere is still a widespread lack of awareness amongst transport operators about the requirements for Driver CPC, a new government-commissioned report has stated.

The Driver CPC Interim Evaluation, which was commissioned by the Driving Standards Agency and prepared by consultancy AECOM, involved consultation with the Freight Transport Association (FTA), Road Haulage Association (RHA), Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and sector skills councils including Skills for Logistics.

In addition, 21 in-depth interviews were undertaken with both PSV and freight fleet operators, while the views of more than 100 more were sought in an online survey. 216 drivers were also surveyed face-to-face. VOSA and the traffic commissioners were also consulted, along with driver training companies and agencies, police and bus passenger user groups.

Said the report: “There is near universal agreement that the level of awareness around Driver CPC is not sufficient. The road transport industry has a large number of small organisations who are difficult to reach. Despite various communications being sent by trade associations and in the trade press it is felt that many of these operators and drivers would not read them so would not be fully aware of what is required.”

While smaller operations were thought to be the most problematic in terms of compliance, one interviewee reportedly stated: “that he believed at least one large PSV operator would struggle to meet their training quotas and may be forced to seek some form of exemption once the [September 2013 PSV] deadline passes.”

One method of raising awareness suggested by contributors to the research was for the traffic commissioners to write to every O-licence holder, informing them about the requirements for Driver CPC. This, stakeholders felt, was less likely to be ignored.

Feelings were mixed in terms of the implementation of the DCPC. It was felt that some operators were “choosing courses based purely on cost, regardless of the course relevance or the benefits – effectively performing a box-ticking exercise.”

Even so, other drivers were attending courses aligned closest with their business needs. In the passenger transport sector therefore, customer service, disability awareness and first aid were among the most popular; while in goods transport, Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving (SAFED), drivers’ hours and safe loading were favoured.

Anomalies with the scheme highlighted by the research included  the lack of exemption for driving a vehicle to a test station, as reported by Transport Operator earlier this year; and courses being run as CPC when inappropriate or not allowed, such as transport managers’ courses or tanker ADR training.

Operators cited training costs as their number one concern regarding the scheme, closely followed by a lack of enthusiasm from drivers in the LGV sector, and worries about meeting the looming deadlines, particularly for PSV.

Nonetheless, around three fifths of operators consulted were positive about Driver CPC, with less than a quarter of all respondents having a negative opinion. LGV operators (26 per cent) were more likely to be negative than PSV operators (15 per cent), however.

Perhaps predictably, drivers were less enthusiastic. 55 per cent of LGV drivers and 40 per cent of PSV drivers expressed either ‘quite’ or ‘very’ negative views of the scheme.

29 per cent of drivers surveyed had not undertaken any DCPC training, citing limited funds and time as the two main reasons. Bus and coach drivers now have less than five months to complete the required 35 hours of training to become compliant, whilst goods vehicle drivers have until September 2014.

Meanwhile, 86 per cent of operators who completed the survey said they had not experienced a driver being asked to show their driver qualification card (DQC), which the report said suggested authorities appear not to be making regular checks at present.

The DSA report can be read in full here.

9 comments

  1. John Norcott says:

    Why when we have taken the time trouble and expense of attending and completing the CPC for all of our staff should thee be any exemptions at all, we have had to climb through hoops for the traffic commissioner to gain an operators licence and we see this as being our advantage to gain work over some of the very large companies that feel they can railroad the DSA into changing the rules.
    NO NO NO and that MUST include all the foreign lorries using our roads.

  2. Margaret Muir says:

    The CPC has been introduced with little or no thought. when you are told that your 35 hours could be completed by simply sitting through the same class for that time shows what a farce it is. If the authorities feel that drivers need periodic training then make it relevant. having sat through a video of the Hillborough disaster during the Fire fighting madule I am still wondering what that has todo with a vehicle going on fire. First aid classes, well some insurance companies are now instructing in the policy that your drivers must not attempt first aid on passengers. in the event that something goes wrong their public liability will be null and void. These are just a few examples of this ill thought and ill planned training scheme. it need to be completely re-assessed with a matter of urgency. Then people with the CPC National are having to so the DCPC also. should be that looked at again? what do you think?

    • robert pickard says:

      quite agree after just finishing my 35 hours of boredom when i found out at the early stages i could sit the same modue 5 times i was bemused ,whats this all about someone somewhere is making a fortune out of this .

  3. polly says:

    As a First Aid trainer who delivers DCPC training, also as a proffessional driver, and National CPC holder, I am disgusted to read that some insurance companies concider that their insurance would be VOID if a driver performed first aid on a passenger, it is totaly disgusting. All drivers who I train receive a recognised HSE first aid qualification, they sit an exam, to obtain this qualification. So by insurance companies stating that insurance is VOID if drivers perform treatment give aid, then are they stating that every companies public liability insurance even in factories, offices, etc, are void if their First Aider’s perform treatment?

  4. I can’t see that any exemption can work, companies and individual drivers have knuckled down and done the training so why should so called professional managers get an exemption just because they run a big company, if they are that big they should have a training schedule built into their business plan that could have picked up the cpc torch and run with it, if exemptions are going to be handed out it will have to go to all agency drivers who genuinely haven’t got the funds to do the courses without taking money out of the family budget. Look after thespeople Mr JAUPT cos the agency’s won’t help them.
    If exemptions are to be handed out how are the authorities going to police the foreign drivers coming into the country.

  5. Vic Tallowin says:

    As someone who only works part time as a PCV and HGV driver, just to keep my skills up to date, the main reason being so that I can continue my chartable work with taking humanitarian aid to eastern European countries, I think this method of rolling out DCPC is farcical. Not the concept but the fact that when you realise you can just sit the same subject 5 times and gain the DCPC – it needs to be relevant. I have been driving both types of vehicles for many years and as I said I keeping driving part time is a method of keeping my experience at a high level to drive vehicles taking humanitarian aid to eastern European countries. The PCV license is so that I can drive a coach to take volunteers to work at places like orphanages or hospitals. Although I agree with the idea around DCPC and I also agree with may other comments regarding we have had a few years to do the 25 hours training – it is still quite a cost when you consider it has to paid for out of my own pocket. – If I have to pay for it make it relevant and enforce the taking af the varied subjects as way of increasing a professional drivers expertise. .

  6. Eddie says:

    There are some very negative though valid veiws on the introduction of the Driver CPC. There is a lack of enthusiam for its existance across operators and drivers subjected to this mandatory training.
    However, it must be said that the lack of basic knowledge of a large number of drivers on tacho and working hours as an example has been highlighted through the Driver CPC. If something as basic as driving hours is a problem, then what about, safety of loads, traffic law, basic vehicle maintenance.
    There are valid issues regarding the CPC, but as it looks like it is here for the foreseeable, then we should be looking to make the training relevant and interactive for the particpants.
    We are always looking for new ideas and training material to keep courses fresh and relevant, anyone wishing to discuss future improvement, for content, testing for their company please get in touch.
    eddie@bmcpremiertraining.co.uk

    • Julian Clark says:

      Have to agree with you.
      There is negativity at first but I have to say after taking a straw pole of all attendees about any formal training undertaken regarding tachographs and drivers hours, before the DCPC started, the majority response is “none”.
      Everyone I see says they have taken away something they have learnt.
      It will take time and this is a seismic shift in the industry to make it mandatory for drivers to attend 7 hours of Periodic training in one session. Trainers are just going to have to make sure that they make their courses relevent, interesting and giving candidates value. For those people not experiencing these facets, please, please try someone else who hits the spot!!
      info@drivetrain-training.co.uk

  7. Steve says:

    Absolute joke, at the beginning of session 2 discovered that we were covering the same subject as session 1 and that one of my colleagues was about to complete 35 hours of Tachograph and Driving Hours Awareness, its an absolute farce. On questioning my course trainer I discovered he was only qualified to deliver Tachograph and Driving Hours training, someone somewhere is making a great deal of money out of this complete mockery of professional drivers.

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