UK government plans to reform driver training rules could make renewing bus, coach and HGV driver qualifications more efficient for drivers to stay in and rejoin the industry.
A new consultation launched on 2 March proposes reforms to the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) that will establish a National DCPC for use in Great Britain and potentially Northern Ireland.
Key changes include a reformed training format, more flexibility with e-learning and a shorter ‘new periodic test’, which could save employees time and companies up to £460 per test in early estimates.
The DCPC is currently obtained by passing four tests and renewed by completing 35 hours of training every five years, potentially costing up to £500 for each individual in training.
This new periodic test will be delivered by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and will continue to meet existing training standards.
The existing regime, the International DCPC, will remain for travel to, from or within the EU and will continue to be recognised for journeys within the UK.
Graham Vidler, Chief Executive of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, said: “We welcome the Department of Transport listening to bus and coach operators’ calls for a package of policies to improve driver recruitment and retention.
“The consultation to simplify the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence renewal process is a positive step and we will work with CPT members to develop our response.”