Road Haulage Association

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Tag Archives: Driver CPC

DCPC: Are your drivers prepared?

 

As I write this, for the vast majority of the industry’s drivers, it is exactly six months to the deadline for completion of the first 35 hours of Driver CPC periodic training.

The official statistics suggest that a very large proportion of them will have completed the five days required, and our own members appear to be on target. What we don’t know is exactly how many are behind – in some cases so far behind – a sensible programme and how many will have to do a crash course if they intend to carry on working as a driver after September 10th this year?

Opinions vary, but there is little doubt that a substantial number will have done nothing and that they intend to give up driving when the time comes. Do any of your drivers fall into that category? Have you asked them? More importantly, are you aware of neighbouring companies that have done nothing, expect to lose quite a few drivers so will happily poach your drivers when their own pack the job in?

The timing could not be much worse. As we run in to October, the inevitable seasonal peak of demand for drivers will coincide with an exodus of untrained drivers, with agencies desperate for people to fill the demand that they face.

There is, of course, the possibility that some drivers, who have not completed the training, will decide to take a risk and seek to stay in work illegally. You may have seen that enforcement action has been taken against drivers who have gained licences since 2009, but no CPC.

They have been fined and suspended. There is no reason to believe that the DVSA (successor to VOSA) will behave any differently to drivers with acquired rights and we can expect roadside checks to cover Driver Qualification Cards and well as licences from the 10th September. It might also be possible that operators who have ensured that drivers are properly qualified take exception to other employers flouting the law and notify DVSA of their suspicions. They would, after all, simply be ensuring that they are competing on a level playing field.

The introduction of the Driver CPC has not been widely welcomed, but it has had a number of attractions. Not least it has been flexible, with employer and employee being able to organise training that benefits both. The training has also been available in a variety of formats, locations and timings that have ensured that suitable training is available when and where it is needed.

But there have been issues. Questions have been asked about the quality of some courses, though it has to be said that the customer gets what the customer pays for and if some people want to throw away money on courses that they know or expect to be sub-standard, then that is their decision. Carefully chosen training brings benefits for operators, drivers and the industry as a whole, so the fact that it is compulsory should not concern anyone unduly.

 

Geoff Dunning

 

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Filling the gap for Trainers and Instructors

Filling the gap for Trainers and Instructors

Would you be interested in a unique opportunity for Instructors and Trainers from across the industry to attend their own conference at a central location?

There is currently no national venue for Trainers within the Transport industry to gather and hear the latest news and views on related topics. We aim to fill that gap!

2012 is the year that DCPC “comes of age”. After all the gossip and guesswork, those who have been delaying involvement are now waking up to the reality that this is an ongoing requirement. This year presents an unequalled opportunity for the Training sector to build on its successes.

Much has been written about the few “rotten apples” that have latched on to the latest Training requirements, but very little has been publicised about the many successes. Hard working Trainers who have honed and developed their skills to ensure their delegates and customers gain the full benefit of structured, worthwhile training deserve to have their voices heard.

The conference will accentuate the positives gained and discuss ways to achieve continued improvement.

Continued Professional Development is an essential element of a successful Trainer’s progress and the conference will provide an excellent opportunity for Trainers to acquire further knowledge of trends and developments.

The conference is open to In Company Trainers, employees of major training companies and small operations who wish to keep abreast of the changes and developments in the training field ,with a particular emphasis on Driver CPC and anyone who has a genuine interest in professional training developments.

What are the subjects being discussed? (Subject to speaker availability)

  • Driver CPC and O Licence Compliance (Traffic Commissioner)
  • HSE’s view of the importance of Driver Training (Nick Ratty – Head of Transportation unit HSE)
  • Driver CPC progress review and future plans  (Liz Heaton – Senior Post Test Operations Manager DSA)
  • Some facts, figures and trends  (Guy Chamberlain – Head of Post Test Op’s DSA)
  • Importance of Driver training/Driver CPC’s long term future (Government spokesperson)
  • A case study of successful DCPC implementation (Chris Watcham – Health & Safety Director, Mobile Mini UK)

Training Conference RHA National Training Conference

RHA and members: a powerful team

As I write this, the price of fuel is very close to the all-time high of £1.09 pence per litre plus VAT reached in January 2008. Oil prices have risen in the last two weeks, so it is likely that the price of diesel will have risen further by the time you read this.

The RHA has joined with the FTA in supporting FairFuelUK, a campaign that is intended to press the government to drop plans to increase duty by about three pence per litre in April – the actual increase is one pence plus inflation, whatever that might be at the time – and to introduce some sort of mechanism that brings stability to fuel prices. Some may argue that we are fighting a losing battle, as the government is in severe financial difficulty and needs every penny of tax that it can get, but we do not agree.

Our position is based on the fact that the haulage industry needs to be recognised for the key part it plays in the UK economy and that pushing our costs higher and higher, through both oil price increases and fuel duty rises, simply adds to the problems that the economy faces, making recovery less likely and slower.

We all know that the price of fuel is not the only problem we face. If the diesel price was to drop dramatically, customers would quickly be calling for rates to be reduced – as some contracts do automatically. Some sectors of the haulage industry already face severe competition against the many foreign trucks that travel our roads, who do not pay a penny towards their development and maintenance, and use fuel that is not taxed to anywhere near the same level as that sold in the UK. And we all know there are far too many hauliers who are even now prepared to slash rates in a desperate attempt to keep their wheels moving, and even to keep their business afloat for a bit longer before the inevitable insolvency.

The RHA has never lobbied, and will never campaign, solely on the subject of fuel prices, but this issue is at the top of most people’s agenda now, so we make no apology for trying to persuade the government that an ever-increasing price for diesel will damage the UK. We have been urging politicians and officials to respond and wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer before Christmas drawing this issue to his attention and looking for action.

What can you do? Please go to website: http://www.fairfueluk.com and sign the online petition. Please ask all your friends, family and business contacts to do the same. Also, please get in touch with your MPs and tell them just how much damage the high price of fuel will do to your business and to the economy. Together, the RHA and its members have a very powerful voice and now is the perfect time to make it heard.

FEBRUARY 2011

Driver CPC: threat or opportunity?

As an industry we have always had an element of cynicism in response to change or efforts to regulate our activities.

Far too many employers have an in-built reluctance to train staff and many drivers choose not to improve their knowledge and are scared of any attempt to do so.

Some employers assume that drivers arrive with them ‘fully trained’ because they hold an LGV licence, and some drivers see training as something that is a chore – like a trip to the dentist. So it is not surprising that the chatter among drivers and on driver forums is totally negative.

RHA Training works with large numbers of drivers, and the worst groups to motivate and stimulate are those where the employer has arranged the training on a Saturday and then expects the drivers to attend in their own time having completed a week’s work.

The RHA has every sympathy with hard-pressed members who face the choice of paying the fuel bill and wages or buying DCPC training but, unless they approach it in a more positive light, they will continue to waste their money and the drivers will continue to mirror their behaviours.

It is essential that employers consider what they want to achieve from their investment. Just ask: ‘How can I improve my business? Is it reduced fuel consumption, fewer accidents, improved compliance, better customer service, etc?’ Only then should they consider how to achieve that, and see how that can be done within the syllabus. This way any training will offer a return on their investment.

We are also very concerned about rumours of cheating by some trainers. JAUPT’s auditing process will not catch anyone cheating: it will only identify honest trainers who have missed out some element of a bureaucratic process. There is no ‘policing’ as such and this has to change.

Many operators, large and small, have realised that the most cost-effective way to approach DCPC has to be one-day-a-year, which controls costs in each year, manages downtime and ensures benefits are gained as early as possible.

This also allows drivers to get used to their annual training day and, in an ideal world and if handled well, they might even begin to look forward to it.

The first experience that drivers get of the CPC will be critical to their view of the process going forward, so selecting the right course from the right provider in the first instance is crucial.

The SAFED programme proved without doubt that even the hard-bitten cynical driver can learn new ways of working that saves money: the average fuel saving across over 6,000 drivers was better than 10%. The DCPC is a reality, and operators should use it to their benefit.

 

 

 

AUGUST 2010