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Do we still need Driver CPC training?

Blogs | 6th Feb 2020

Driver CPC was implemented in 2009 to professionalise the HGV and PCV driving industry. Despite having its detractors along the way, Driver CPC training has now been in place for more than 10 years. So, is it still going strong? What are the key things you need to know about it? And what is next for Driver CPC?

Driver CPC – 10 years on

A recent presentation at the Talent in Logistics Develop Conference from DVSA shared some interesting statistics about Driver CPC Periodic Training following its first decade of implementation.

The DVSA now has 1200 approved centres with 3200 approved courses, with around 500,000 LGV drivers in scope (plus a further 100,000 PCV). Over the past 5 years, 26 million training hours were uploaded with 800,000 Driver Qualification Cards (DQCs) issued, of which 190,000 were for the Initial Driver CPC qualification.

The most popular subjects covered as part of Driver CPC training to date are First Aid, Drivers Hours, Dangerous Goods, Loading and Health and Safety. This is despite it being possible to cover a wide and varied range of subjects in Driver CPC Periodic Training, as we discussed in this recent blog.

Why do you need Driver CPC training?

In our work with in-house Driver CPC trainers and training providers, we are often asked whether Driver CPC is really relevant or beneficial. The findings recently presented by DVSA included some real-life examples of the improvements that businesses can expect to see when they make the most of Driver CPC.

For instance, one operator found that customer complaints dropped by 38% after drivers completed an ‘Enhancing company image’ course, another saw reduced incident rates as a result of delivering a Tachographs and Working Hours course. Others were able to increase safety, reduce equipment damage and make large savings on fuel costs through Driver CPC training.

We have seen similar results with our Driver CPC Consortium members, such as Bidvest Logistics. Our Driver CPC Periodic Training courses are designed to help our members demonstrate real return on investment, whether that’s measurably saving fuel, cutting costs or reducing incidents.

Above all, Driver CPC is needed to help keep vehicles and drivers safe on the roads. Even with Driver CPC helping to upskill LGV drivers, DVSA enforcement for roadside offences still includes numerous occurrences of problems with brakes, steering and tyres. In fact, there were 38,000 LGV and PCV vehicle defects and offences in 2019.

There are also ongoing breaches of drivers’ hours regulations with insufficient daily rest a persistent problem accounting for 49% of drivers’ hours offences.

Plan Driver CPC for the biggest benefits

We’ve talked before about planning Driver CPC training in order to realise the maximum benefit for your business and for your drivers.
However, the information from DVSA indicates that in the last cycle, many businesses still left their Periodic Training until the last minute and are not taking the ‘one course per year’ approach. In the three months before the end of the cycle, almost 4 million training hours were uploaded resulting in almost 200,000 DQC’s being issued.

To avoid this rush next time, members of the RTITB Driver CPC Consortium are encouraged to use our extranet to evaluate their training team’s performance, delivery costs and driver results all year round, and to use this important information to plan training for the next five year cycle. It’s not just about ticking a box.

Exposing the ‘box tickers’

An important role that DVSA plays in Driver CPC is auditing for compliance. In other words, ensuring that the training is done properly, and that the system is not exploited.

The DVSA can revoke training hours if they find that they have not been delivered correctly. For example, because the training centre was not compliant or because a driver repeated a course several times in quick succession just to make up the correct number of hours.

According to the recent presentation, in the past year around 600 training hours were revoked, and around 50 drivers lost their DQC, impacting operations for their employers.

One proposed way to tackle this is a voluntary register of Driver CPC trainers. This is being explored in collaboration with the National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI) and would aim to show that trainers are specifically skilled to deliver Driver CPC training, helping to ensure quality.

What next for Driver CPC?

Driver CPC is intended to professionalise the driving industry and that will continue. In their presentation at Talent in Logistics, DVSA revealed that they will be providing some course content tools for trainers to use if required. However, those using these materials as part of their delivery will still need to obtain JAUPT approval of the course.

Alternatively, by joining our Driver CPC Consortium, employers and training providers have access to a huge library of ready-to-go and customisable training content that is already JAUPT approved. This includes far more than just PowerPoint presentations, with other training methods such as quizzes, case studies and videos. In fact, many of our Driver CPC Consortium members don’t use PowerPoint at all!

Driver CPC and Brexit

Despite much talk that Brexit would have an immediate impact on the requirement to fulfil Driver CPC, it is here to stay with DVSA consulting on UK legislation.

DVSA is also continuing to develop Driver CPC with more emphasis on road safety related topics and a wider variety of training subjects expected in the next cycle. E-learning is also being explored, and recognition of ADR and other EU mandated training as part of CPC is under consideration.

Got questions about Driver CPC?

Whether you need a ‘train the trainer’ course for your Driver CPC Instructors, want access to training materials for your Driver CPC training or simply have some questions, our experts can help. Get in touch with our friendly team today by calling +44 (0)1952 520200 or click here to send us your enquiry.

Or apply to join the RTITB Driver CPC Consortium now.