The Driver CPC feature in MT's 24 June issue makes moderately worrying reading for operators who rely on agencies for a significant number of drivers.

Large fleet operators with a mainly fully employed and loyal workforce are probably by now well on the way to getting all their drivers the 35 hours Driver CPC training required by September 2014.

One of their major concerns will be that some of their qualified drivers – who will be an even more valuable asset after deadline day - might be tempted away by offers of higher pay by operators who haven’t been so far-sighted. Another will be that their sub-contract hauliers and owner drivers have put off the training until the last minute and so will have a temporary shortage of drivers while they catch up or might be tempted to run illegally with drivers who have not got the mandatory Driver Qualification Card.

While it is the legal responsibility of driver and employer to make sure the training is done and the DQC obtained, no reputable operator wants to use subbies who are running illegally. Turning a blind eye isn’t the answer, so add Driver CPC to the check list of O-licence, health and safety and other legislation you require your subbies to comply with.

Returning to those operators who use agency drivers, it is even more urgent that they start planning now for September 2014. Again, large reputable agencies are well down the road of getting their core drivers through the Driver CPC, but there is a large pool of occasional and casual LGV drivers who many agencies call upon as and when they are needed. It is these drivers who are unlikely to put themselves through the Driver CPC, and they will either give up driving or take a chance on not getting caught and carry on without it. Again, having one of your vehicles stopped by Vosa and finding the agency driver behind the wheel does not have a DQC is not something you want to happen.