Both the RHA and the FTA have slammed JAUPT’s unilateral decision to change the procedure governing Driver CPC course approval, stating its new diktat will not improve standards but could cause further reputational damage.

The associations have gone on the offensive after course approvals body JAUPT wrote to training providers this month, stating copies of all presentations and documents used to deliver Driver CPC courses would, effective immediately, now need to be sent to it at the course approval stage.

Previously training providers only had to send a list of resources used in Driver CPC courses. However, they are now required to email the syllabus or physically send it via memory stick, DVD or print out on a no returns basis.

Steve Ellis, head of training at the RHA, suggested that having been stung by criticism from the industry and trade media that the policing of Driver CPC trainers and courses is perceived as not robust enough, JAUPT had taken action but “the wrong action”.

Ellis said that having thought hard to improve the reputation of the Driver CPC, which continues to be unpopular within some parts of the road transport industry, the latest move was a retrograde step.

“A good trainer will only use slides and other materials as a guide, otherwise you get death by PowerPoint,” said Ellis, who openly questioned what value trainers sending their syllabus into JAUPT would actually have.  “This will not help to create a spontaneous, worthwhile, and dare I say it, enjoyable training experience.”

James Firth, FTA head of road freight and enforcement policy, was equally dismissive. He warned the new rules would create additional time and money costs for course providers, which they would have to swallow or pass on directly to hauliers via increased course fees.

"There are also operators that were training their employees pre-Driver CPC that adapted courses to suit on the basis that they could keep the associated administration involved to a minimum. They now face this extra burden," said Firth.

Need to act

DSA  said audits carried out by itself and JAUPT had highlighted some approved training courses were not up to scratch.

"As a result the approvals process has been reviewed. The revised approvals process will ensure that all approved training courses meet the required standard and help ensure that trainees and their employers get the most benefit from the training undertaken," it said in a statement.

The DSA does not believe the change will place additional burden or increase the cost for trainers. It will set out its position at a meeting on the 28th with both the RHA and FTA.

There are currently 3,251 Driver CPC approved courses, which under existing rules must be re-approved every twelve months.