VOSA on the M25

Employers, not just their employees, will find themselves before Britain’s traffic commissioners (TCs) if drivers have not completed their periodic training by September 2014.

Speaking at the RHA National Training Conference last week in Birmingham, senior TC Beverley Bell

made clear her support for continuous professional development, stating “driver training is essentially about investing in your staff”.

Bell set out the position of the TCs in regards to the fast-approaching deadline for those granted grandfather rights to complete their Driver CPC, revealing there would be no clemency.

The senior TC is due to meet Vosa boss Alastair Peoples this week to discuss Driver CPC enforcement. A likely outcome will be a mailshot sent to the 85,000 registered goods companies in Britain reminding them of their responsibilities.

In effect, the TCs expect operators to be able to show the steps they have taken to ensure their employees have valid licences and, at the appropriate time, driver qualification cards (DQC).

Bell suggested that come September 2014 operators should conduct an additional audit of drivers to check they have completed their training.

“Around this time we will be sending out another letter, saying ‘remember our mailshot from 2012?’,” she said. “Depending on your answers [explaining the measures taken], we may call operators to a public inquiry.

“It’s not something we want to do, but we will. It means real vehicles, off real roads, not doing real deliveries.”

Drivers with grandfather rights that have not completed their 35 hours of periodical training by the 2014 deadline will be called to a driver misconduct hearing, where their licences will be suspended until they do.

In May, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) revealed that both driver and operator would be fined £1,000 if the driver was caught working professionally without a DQC in their possession.

  • The DSA has received more than 60 complaints about poor Driver CPC training since September 2009 and is currently investigating 25 complaints. As a result of its investigations, one centre has had its approval revoked and another ceased to trade following a police investigation.  Other centres have had training hours suspended pending further investigation or removed from the recording and evidencing system due to the course not being approved at the time of delivery.