Kevin Rooney TC

Kevin Rooney TC

The RHA National Training Conference last month in Warwick featured an interview with traffic commissioner for the North East Kevin Rooney about Driver CPC.

In the interview, which was conducted ahead of the conference by RHA head of training Arnold Monk, Rooney revealed the current thinking around Driver CPC and the response operators can expect from the TCs if one of their drivers appears at a driver conduct hearing without it.

The interview was presented in a Q&A format as follows:

What action is likely to be taken by the TCs against operators and drivers who have not embraced Driver CPC Periodic or even initial training by September 2013/14?

What we’ve said quite clearly, is that in relation to any driver who is required to have a CPC and hasn’t got one then we’ll suspend the vocational licence until they get their CPC qualification.

What about operators?

There is the first undertaking on the operator licence “The laws relating to the driving and

operation of vehicles used under this licence are observed” - this would be a failure under that undertaking. The action taken would depend on the circumstances, if it was only Driver CPC we would do something to encourage the operator to get the training done quickly. If the inquiry related to Drivers Hours issues or prohibitions related to driver walkaround checks then we might be minded to suspend or curtail the licence.

What’s your view on the likelihood of any flexibility on the deadline for completion?

There won’t be any flexibility on the date, it would be completely unfair on all those people who have gone out and done the work. I can’t see how technically any leeway could be


There’s still a lot of people that think it’s going away.

No, it’s not going to go away. I am getting more surprised by the day, I am getting more and more (operators) coming in that have done all of the training – the message is getting through. It would be completely unfair if an operator had done nothing to let them get away with it.

Sometimes training is identified as part of the remedial action following a Public Inquiry, will the TCs recommend the use of Driver CPC training as best practice in such cases?

Almost certainly, yes. What we are looking for is a standard. I always specify accredited Driver CPC and I am certain my colleagues would. What we are looking for is a standard rather than in-house around a toolbox. What we really want is a professional trainer,

someone that knows their stuff and Driver CPC is the standard we’ve got at the moment.

Which subjects would the TC see as being core subjects for Driver CPC?

Interesting question, two obvious ones, the driver walkaround checks and the second, Drivers' Hours, depending on the nature of the business. In depth drivers hours isn’t that relevant to some operations where the driver only drives for three or four hours per day. My message, whatever your business needs are, is to make it pay for your business. If it’s customer care that matters to your business then do that.

It’s got to have some value to the business. I’ve actually had an operator put his drivers on three lots of drivers hours training, the same course three times; that’s just wasting money. They’re either never going to get it, or they are going to get sick of it.

I have had one operator where his drivers hadn’t correctly secured the load on a curtainsider; his drivers should have gone on a course learning how to

restrain the loads. They should be doings what’s relevant, not wasting their money on five lots of the same course.

What changes would the TCs like to see to Driver CPC over the next five years?

Not really sure I’ve got an answer to that one. Personal opinion; there should be a core of subjects which would be the road safety related ones. which would be the road safety related ones.

What about the situation we have at the moment with a driver packing all five days just before the deadline and then potentially not doing any more for another four and a half years?

I’d like to see how it goes first. I think it will settle I’d like to see how it goes first. I think it will settle itself out. Those that haven’t done anything are in denial, once they realise they’ve got to do it and realise they’ve got to take their drivers off the road for five days, which isn’t very convenient, I think they’ll start to spread it.

One thing I would comment on, I don’t know first hand, people come in and say they paid £30 - £50 for seven hours training, I do wonder what they are getting.

What is the TC's view on the action to be taken against non compliant, non UK operators.

It’s the home member states job to ensure that the drivers comply with the letter of the law. If they are not infringing any other rules, like drivers hours, they are likely to face a £30/£50 fine.

Are there any messages from the TCs to the industry regarding Driver CPC?

The key message is that it’s not going away and you should do it in such a way to get some benefit for your business. Make it pay for you.