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Coach and HGV drivers risk bottleneck for CPC training deadline

Published to the CV Show website on
24/06/2011

Aviva, the UK's largest insurer, is today warning the freight industry not to leave the mandatory Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) training too late, for they may run the risk of having to park-up their vehicles if drivers have not carried out their training in time.

There are around 500,000 HGV driving licence holders in the UK and under new legislation each one will be required to do 35 hours of training by 2014.

However, Aviva's accredited Driver CPC training provider has reported that only 1% of those expected to take up courses have done so, sparking fresh fears over whether the freight industry will meet the 2014 deadline.

John Davidge, training manager at RAC Risk Management, says: "We'd expect to train in the region of 10% of our target by the end of the year and that this would steadily increase as we approach the deadline. Such a small number of companies are coming forward that this looks doubtful and it's becoming increasingly likely that we'll reach a bottleneck."

With only a small proportion of drivers qualified, Aviva is urging hauliers to focus on the benefits of what Driver CPC can do for their business, and not to delay setting up a training plan - to avoid having to remove drivers from the road if the deadline isn't met.

Steve Palmer, from Aviva says: "There has been alarmingly little take-up of Driver CPC courses despite wide promotion for more than a year. Operators know they have to do something, but for whatever reason - costs, recession or high staff turnover - there has been a reluctance to get the ball rolling.

"Driver CPC is essential, so why not start now? The benefits are considerable. By improving driving standards it will lead to better fuel economy, less wear and tear on vehicles - and fewer accidents.

"A lot of firms are underestimating the severity of the situation if they leave it too late. With around only 2,000 approved trainers, there is a real chance of a bottleneck as the deadline approaches.

"There are no real signs that the government will extend the deadline and the worst-case, but very real, scenario is that companies will find that they have to park-up vehicles as they can't get drivers trained in time.

"We urge hauliers to recognise the scale of the task ahead and to act now to avoid thousands of drivers requiring training in an impossible timeframe. A staggered approach is advisable - if you have 200 drivers doing 35 hours training each, it's impossible to do it within a year."

Davidge adds: "The tide has started to turn recently and we have seen an increase in enquiries in the last six months, but not enough. There are lots of considerations to bear in mind and operators must plan ahead - assess when the quieter periods are, determine the best time to train drivers and so cause the least amount of downtime.

"The payback for instigating training early can be significant to your business. Programmes can be tailored to address some of your largest costs and threats. For example, we can focus on driver awareness training to reduce the occurrence of collisions or loads falling from trucks, or look at driving techniques to reduce fuel consumption."

For further information or to start planning your Driver CPC training today visit www.racfleetriskmanagement.co.uk

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