Sunday 24 January 2021

Industry faces transport manager qualification crisis

Fewer than one in three candidates passed the most recent OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA) examination to obtain the transport manager (TM) certificate of professional competence (CPC) for road haulage.

Although total candidate numbers were not stated by OCR, the organisation noted that: “Circumstances this year have meant that many candidates for this examination have been unable to access training, and this fact was reflected in the lower number of candidates registered for the examination.”

The OCR report to centres for September reveals that only 28.5 per cent of candidates achieved a pass on the multiple-choice paper. The pass rate for the case studies paper was 49 per cent.

OCR highlights failures to read questions correctly and act on the instructions given as significant reasons for failing to gain marks on questions relating to drivers’ hours and O-licence applications.

It is likely that Covid restrictions led many candidates to attempt to qualify by home or remote study, which may account for failures being caused by poor examination technique rather than shortfalls in knowledge.

Derek Broomfield, chairman of OCR-affiliated training centre Novadata, said: “There is currently a high demand in the industry for qualified transport managers, as the older generation who qualified via grandfather rights are leaving the industry, and the traffic commissioners are clamping down on ‘remote’ freelance TMs covering multiple O-licences.”

The situation could worsen, as OCR withdraws its CPC provision next year, leaving only City & Guilds and the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport as providers having been the dominant provider of the qualification since its inception. Training centres wishing to align with City & Guilds must provide a minimum of 100 candidates a year, and C&G does not cover the parallel Passenger Transport CPC.

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