Thursday 12 December 2019

Driver CPC bottleneck looms in 2019

Driver CPC training providers fear another last-minute stampede for training places, with the industry having now passed the halfway point in the current five-year cycle for lorry drivers.

Worries that drivers and employers think that the Brexit vote will mean an immediate end to the EU-backed training initiative are exacerbated by a belief by some drivers who acquired their vocational licence by examination after the Driver CPC’s inception that they only need to commence their first cycle of periodic training ‘when the card runs out’.

In fact, government has confirmed it has no plans to repeal the Driver CPC legislation, and the periodic training process is continuous and must be undertaken during the five-year validity period which starts when each Driver CPC card is issued.

Derek Broomfield, chairman of Essex training provider Novadata said: “We are definitely experiencing fewer people doing training during this second cycle, which ends in September 2019.

“Many people think they can run their card to the end and then start training… but they are all going to want training at the same time, while some think that Brexit will see it kicked into the long grass… It won’t be.

“In fact, if Driver CPC is reformed post-Brexit, then there is more likely to be an end to the policy of making the training attendance-only: there may be basic testing to ensure the training had been comprehended. At the moment, we have candidates who can speak very little English being ‘trained’, but there’s nothing we can do about it.

“We’ve also noticed that JAUPT (the Driver CPC training standards body) is getting very hot on renewing courses: they are even asking for mid-term changes to courses that are running. JAUPT is now demanding a ‘close association’ of training content with the published topics in the Driver CPC training syllabus.

“These factors, combined with the current shortage of training candidates, means that capacity is being lost as trainers go out of business. If demand picks up abruptly in 2019, there won’t be capacity to meet it.”

These views are generally supported by other trainers contacted by Transport Operator.

Paul Keyworth, managing director of trainer and recruiter HGV Work Ltd said: “Enlightened businesses have been doing one a year; others are leaving it until the last minute.

“There will be a rush,” he predicted.

Mike Ray, director at Hampshire’s Ace Trainers, said not all small businesses were hoping Driver CPC would go away: “I can confirm most small business with longer-term staff are setting up one course per year.”

Chris Staples, training and compliance manager at Top Gear Skillsforce, said he feared a re-run of 2014, when drivers left it until the last minute.

He urged employers to take responsibility for training their drivers, and to choose courses that highlighted areas where their company’s compliance was weak – giving Working Time Directive regulations as an example.

He argued that the UK should follow the Republic of Ireland and ensure that all drivers did one training session every 12 months.

The driver shortage might also be slowing uptake of training, he argued, saying that some drivers: “are working long hours and simply don’t have the time to do it.

“Training sessions are slow at the moment, all round the country according to consortiums that I have spoken to,” he concluded.

Peter Jackson, owner of econoDrive, said: “Only the big companies seem to recognise DCPC is here to stay.”

Paul Wicks trains Staplehurst Transits’ drivers. He told Transport Operator: “I am currently in a programme of doing regular courses for all of my core fleet drivers so that they are up-to-date before their old card expires.

“I also deliver to non-employees and I am getting quite a lot of repeat business so that drivers are again up-to-date before expiry.

“I did highlight the benefits of one course a year in the last round of training, and with a lot of people it seems to have sunk in.

“There are, however, still the diehards that are saying, “it will all go away when we leave the EU”. My counter-argument to that is, before we exit your old card will have expired and you will have to do 35 hours in a hurry, again!”

John Marshall, training manager at Seven Asset Management, thought the situation might not be as bad as some feared.

“We are getting a constant stream of work from existing clients, and regular enquiries from potential new ones. The initial ‘Brexit’ driver response had to be managed. For Seven Asset, it’s business as usual… If anything, I’d say we’ve seen an increase.”

Andy Wood, operations director at Viamaster Training, said: “Our experience is mixed. We’ve continued to run full weeks of DCPC since 2014; initially these were catch-up drivers who had missed or ignored the September 2014 deadline.

“Then informed drivers started booking their second round to gain accreditation until 2024 and some companies made plans post-September 2014 and are putting drivers through one module per year.

“Recently we’ve been in discussions with existing and new customers, some of whom are only just waking up to the fact that September 2019 is in reality now just two years away. I’ve been surprised by enquiries from larger operators in last few months who still have several modules to complete.

“The expectation is we are going to be busy in 2018-19. A personal view is that some self-employed DCPC trainers have moved on to other things since September 2014.”

Stephen Holland, training manager at Recruitment Driven Training, and Allan McNaught, who manages Tyneside Training Services, agree that there will be a “mad rush” as the next deadline approaches.

McNaught added: “I’m still amazed at the number of drivers who are working but still haven’t got their first DCPC Card, and there are firms who are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to their DCPC training until the dust settles post-election and Brexit negotiations, in the hope it will all disappear.

“But I’m encouraged that there are firms who are taking a proactive approach to training and hopefully more will follow suit.”

Employers who still have a policy of leaving DCPC training to their drivers to organise individually should reflect on the attitude of the traffic commissioners to this approach.

If drivers from a company are called up to conduct hearings where deficiencies in training are exposed – where tachograph offences have been committed through a lack of understanding of the regulations, for example – then the next step is to summon the operator to a public inquiry where they will have to explain and justify their training policy.

It’s possible for the operator’s licence to be suspended until all the drivers have been put through the appropriate courses.

10 comments

  1. ENGLISH says:

    All you operators, Wake up stop losing drivers they are the back bone of your business and realise their commitment and dedication they will bend over backwards to make you successful, start paying for the cpc, in bus industry pay for the cpc and take drivers off duties and pay for the days of training including costs of the cpc, why not do it in-house?

  2. ge says:

    I employ part time drivers who work 15 hours per week driving school contracts. They only work for 9 months of the year so cant the training be pro rata to compensate for being part time. Also all the drivers driving community licenced buses, don’t need to pass a PCV test, don’t have digi cards and don’t have CPC either. Don’t think that’s fair !

  3. steve says:

    ALL drivers of lgv used for any work or business should have to undertake cpc training, i cant erect scaffolding without a ticket in their (or other industry) yet they can come into our industry and flout the rules on hours, vehicle checks etc trashing our industry, the roads are our offices people expect us to respect there offices but disrespect ours, enough is enough lets get all professional drivers trained properly, and for drivers, dont moan about the system make it work for you, why moan “i did drivers hours 5 times its just a con!” The freedom is for YOU to pick the course so pick quality and ones of interest, would YOU pick the same dinner every day just because its the cheapest? Use the cpc to get better at what you do best then and only then can we drive up wages….

    • Martin says:

      Well said and point well made I am a CPC TrIner with courses and have gone back to driving
      I have not enough candidates signing up.
      I will not be working 90 hours a week as happened in 2014, at the current rate of uptake, some one will be short.
      Me bad I have also 3 to do

  4. Rich power says:

    I’m 34 with a class 1 licence.
    I’m not renewing my cpc as it’s just not worth working in the industry anymore.

    I saw a class 2 job paying £9.75p/h this week.

    The wages are pitiful and the hours are life destroying.

  5. Jim Gamble says:

    We should all threaten industrial action. It’s a money making con!!!!!

  6. Frank b . says:

    I work as a in house shunter. No driving on public roads. I personally think CPC training is a complete waste of time . It certainly does not make a better driver if you see the state of the yard where I work.
    Many drivers struggle to reverse,many have put the trailer through the barrier behind the trailer park.
    Training should be eight hours over five years
    The amount you learn and remember could be condensed into this . Any new legislation should be handed to drivers by Email over the five years.

  7. Martin says:

    This driver CPC is a joke, I was hoping it would go away, but nearly five years later i am dragging myself into a class room again with an over enthusiastic trainner, only happy to take my money, and trying to coerce me into participating, In what i can only see is a pure money making scheme. My company wont pay, i have to use holiday, i am a night shift worker and i go straight from work on sat morning to do a useless course one day off and back to it for another week. How is that safe and fair i passed my UK test and learnt my trade from the bottom up only to be told i need periodic training for the rest of my career. I have no issue in learning new things. But the same thing over and over and over, its pointless even the managers CPC is a one shot deal. I think after this one i am going to bow out of the industry, its gotten saturated with moron health saftey egotistical prats that talk a good days work without contributing much at all. I am not suprised this has ended up here with all the shocking driving from european counterparts, Watching movies whilst driving, feet up on dash, magnets on the gearbox. Lets not mention the fact their driving test is pretty much not for purpose, But hey all you brain dead transport managers seem to love them because they dont say NO. Regardless of the leagality or the damage they cause, the real joke is most of them are working LTD company so they dont pay tax either. LOL this country is a joke now.

  8. Simon T says:

    I have to agree with most people out there that say that the DCPC is at best another money making rouse (Stealth Tax) by the Governments of Federal Europe. I have been driving nationally and internationally for nearly 30 years and in that time I have seen the standard of driving plummet to an all time low. The introduction of this so called “qualification”, with no exam, has not in the slightest changed driving standards or H&S within the industry and is to me just another futile added expense that we have to fork out for. Our Eastern European counterparts do not have the same standard of driving as we do in the UK, and to give you an example, I was working recently at an M&S depot where I had to undergo a training day, with exam and pass a driving assessment.
    The Assessor asked everyone for licences and DCPC Cards before we all sat down to the test. Out of the 8 guys who were there, 3 failed straight away as the ink was still wet on their driving licences with no DCPC cards and were asked to leave the depot immediately before the Police were called. 3 others failed the onsite reversing and one gentleman hit a car on the road assessment. All candidates had very limited English language ability and one gentleman had to translate for his Romanian friend to the point where he couldnt understand basic instructions in English.
    With hundreds of LGV drivers leaving the industry due to poor pay and daily stressful working conditions is it any wonder the industry is in decline. Cheap foreign labour is not the way forward, though between them, the Agencies and the governing force of Supermarkets ruling the rates of pay, we as an industry should have stood together and said no, however, the damage is already done and the clock cannot be reversed.
    How about the Policy Makers taking yearly periodic training test to see if they are of sound judgement with the practical hands on industry experience to go along with it, to be a Politician? I am sure they would veto the whole thing…they should be accountable as I am sure we all agree, and face the consequences of poor, misguided policy making.
    My DCPC card is due for renewal in September, I do hope that someone with a more practical and commonsense approach to this useless piece of plastic comes up with either total abolishment or something that actually works practically to make our lives better, we after all have to pay for the damn thing!

  9. jock says:

    I gave up when cpc came in,just a stealh tax,20yrs driving class one uk/scotland/ireland.Europe.no accidents or fines.and they want you to sit cpc which everyone knows is a joke,to make you a better driver.i dont miss it one bit even if i never worked again would not think of sitting cpc.pointless stealth tax,were is the proof cpc worth it,

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