Halfway through the five year period within which most professional LGV drivers must obtain their Driver CPC, Motortransport.co.uk rounds up progress.
After 10 months on police bail, the “URTU seven” were told no further action was to be taken over allegations that a Driver CPC course run by the drivers’ union finished short of the required seven hours. The seven men included general secretary Bob Monks, national officer Mel Thornton and regional officers Lee Pimbley and Mike Billingham. They were originally arrested on 15 February on suspicion of fraud by false representation.
URTU had its Driver CPC training approval withdrawn last December after it was found to be at fault by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) over a health and safety Driver CPC course held in in Bristol on 4 September 2011, which finished short of the mandatory seven-hours JAUPT regulations demand.
The DSA however, failed to find any evidence that another Driver CPC course – attended by an undercover reporter – finished early. Despite a five month investigation, the DSA decided that the hours logged for this course should stand, despite the reporter’s statement to DSA investigators that it in fact lasted only five hours.
There has been criticism of the DSA that enforcement of Driver CPC standards is weak, allegations rejected by the DSA’s Mark Magee in a major interview with MT. “The approvals process needs to be robust but proportionate. There is no evidence to suggest that the current desk-based process, which is both quicker and less burdensome, is not effective,” he said. “We always carry out an audit within the first year of a centre’s approval.”
Senior Traffic Commissioner Beverley Bell has warned operators and drivers that the Driver CPC will be strictly enforced and Vosa roadside inspectors have now been briefed to look out for drivers who have taken their LGV test since September 2009 and so should already have their Driver CPC.
The jury remains out on exactly how many LGV drivers need to get their Driver CPC by the September 2014 deadline, and whether the industry is on track to get them all through the 35 hours training and so able to continue driving legally.