Proposals to prevent drivers from completing the same module more than once during a five-year Driver CPC period could restrict operators' ability to provide relevant training for their drivers, according to the FTA.
Under proposals put forward by the European Commission (EC), drivers would be required to undertake at least one road safety course as part of their Driver CPC qualification. The programme would also have a strengthened focus on fuel efficient driving.
The EC said: “The new wording ensures that the periodic training includes at least one subject on road safety and that the same subjects are not repeated within the same training. It also provides that the training is relevant for the work carried out by the specific driver and that it is up to date and relevant.”
However, the FTA was concerned that specialised training in certain industries would not be recognised, and said the proposal for drivers to undertake five different courses may hamper drivers' abilities to keep up with legislative changes.
“An unintended consequence could be that a driver would undertake training that was less relevant to his or her role just to fulfil the statutory requirement," said Chris Yarsley, FTA’s EU affairs manager.
"This would particularly apply to operators who carry dangerous goods or are involved in security work, where very specific training is required on a regular basis,” she said.
However, the RHA's director of policy, Jack Semple, said drivers should be given the opportunity to repeat a course once in order to keep up with changes that have come into effect or reinforce important points.
He said the ability for drivers to complete the same module multiple times in its current format has "done so much to bring the Driver CPC into disrepute".
"We are very aware that the issue is the quality of courses," Semple added. "Good courses are popular with both drivers and employers."
Semple said the association supported the proposal to include vulnerable road user training in the programme, but was concerned at the apparent suggestion that every course must have a road safety element.