“Are your drivers ready for Driver CPC?”

As the 10th September deadline looms, the race is on for operators to ensure drivers have completed the required 35 hours of Driver CPC training

According to figures issued by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency earlier this year of the 750,000 HGV and PCV drivers on its training database just under 707,000 had engaged with the Driver CPC.

Although the scheme was introduced nearly five years ago, there are fears that there will be a shortfall of drivers in September once the deadline has passed.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is offering training courses throughout August.

“The clear message from FTA to anyone who hasn’t completed their Driver CPC training yet is – it’s not too late,” says June Powell, director of compliance management. “We’re ready and able to support and work with operators to ensure that they beat the September Driver CPC deadline.”

Ensuring compliance
“Since the conception of Driver CPC and the Petroleum Driver Passport (PDP), Certas Energy’s dedicated training team has approached the programme requirements effectively to ensure full compliance and integration, whilst minimising disruption to our business,” says national training manager, Paul Starns.

“We have six dedicated training managers and 82 practical driver trainers who follow a planned training structure throughout the year.  Despite our careful planning, we do not believe in a tick box approach to Driver CPC and PDP. We currently have five Driver CPC/PDP courses so our drivers do not sit the same course each year.  We do, of course, complete other training for our drivers outside of compliance related training. The training is being very well received by our drivers, with the combined theoretical/practical training providing a thorough and comprehensive training plan.

“Certas Energy has a very effective safety first programme backed by the board, the main aim of this is to minimise the risk of any potential incidents through the professional and proactive delivery of our training programmes. The Driver CPC and PDP complement our bespoke safety first programme, ensuring the safety of our drivers and our wider community.”

“We bit the Driver CPC bullet right away as we’re fortunate enough to have an excellent local training organisation,” said Kevin Bennetts, managing director of Consols Oils.  “We were fully up to speed in late 2013.

“However, Driver CPC is yet another costly imposition that impacts on the bottom line of every truck operator forced to embrace and adapt to it.

“When compared with general haulage, the fuel distribution industry undoubtedly has a unique set of training requirements. This creates a need for very high calibre staff capable of thinking for themselves when loading, transporting fuel and dealing with customers in a safe responsible manner.”

Petroleum Driver Passport – a step too far?
“What really gets my back up is the recently introduced Petroleum Driver Passport scheme,” Kevin added.  “On the face of it, it’s a worthwhile series of practical assessments but still an imposition too far which we’re forced to embrace because we load out of third party terminals.

“To ensure ongoing safety and productivity, I’ve no problem with structured training that produces highly skilled staff and ensures periodic skills updates. I do however have a problem when it involves obtaining three different pieces of paper at different times in order to get into the cab of a tanker.

“In my view the whole lot could be accomplished in one well-structured industry specific course that engages and motivates the trainees rather than making them demoralised and reluctant attendees. This could be structured around four days of theory and one day of practical assessments to obtain the initial combined certificate with an annual two-day refresher. This would demonstrate a welcome bit of joined up thinking for a change.

“One is actually left wondering whether the interests of training organisations have actually become paramount to the financial wellbeing of their clients…

“Even if an integrated industry specific training course took longer to accomplish initially, it could still involve less time and expense, produce more rounded trainees and be easier to plan around while hopefully giving the trainees a little more status in the process.

“Why oh why is there such a fascination with making our lives harder and more complicated by constantly adding to the increasingly worrying burden of costs that are effectively beyond our control?”

PDP to fill ADR gap
Downstream Oil Distribution Forum (DODF) chair Brian Worrall, responded to: “The point about one consolidated training requirement is a good one but would require legislative change as ADR and its scope are defined in law and we cannot change the scope of ADR without going through a long process involving European as well as national consultation. The advice from the UK regulator, given the UK Government Better Regulation policy (which aims to reduce legislation) was that a voluntary scheme was the only way to introduce further petroleum tanker driver training.

“We’ve designed the scheme to fit as best we can with existing ADR and CPC requirements.  One of our aims is to minimise duplication, saving time and expense.  Therefore employers have the flexibility to run ADR and PDP training as one training package if that’s more convenient, or separately.

“However the fact remains that neither from a classroom and especially from a practical standpoint, as demonstrated by the DODF-developed Petroleum Tanker Training Standard, which has wide industry, trade body and union representation, the current ADR scope does not cover all that a petroleum tanker driver should both know and be able to demonstrate and this is the gap filled by PDP.”

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