For many LGV and PCV drivers the 9th September 2024 represents an important date as this is when their current Driver Qualification Card expires. And despite the fact that this may currently seem a long way off, changes made to the Driver CPC regulations in 2020 have made the need to consider how and when a driver completes their training more important than ever.
These changes have finally introduced a restriction on the ability to achieve a Driver CPC qualification by being subjected to the same subject matter over and over again. And while many drivers and training providers have bemoaned the fact that this was possible for many years, the new requirements place greater responsibility on both parties to consider the planning of Driver CPC training in advance.
Simply put it is no longer possible for a driver to repeat training unless it is for one of these reasons:
• Maintaining a qualification – where a training course contributes to another qualification e.g. first aid or ADR
• Remedial training – if a driver did not understand or needs additional training because their operator has specified they need to repeat for safety or insurance purposes. DVSA cites the most common issues identified at the roadside that can be addressed via training as - identifying vehicle defects, drivers’ hours/tachographs, weight limits and securing a load.
• Change in regulation/best practice – if the law or accepted best practice changes, as tachograph rules did in 2020
Additionally the changes have placed the onus to avoid repetition as much on an individual driver as it does on the training provider they undertake their training with. Drivers need to be aware of the subjects they have already covered (i.e. from the attendance certificates they have received) and discuss with providers what they are covering on any day the driver wishes to attend. Equally, the training provider must keep proper records of courses drivers have previously completed with them.
This therefore requires some forward planning, and despite September 2024 again seeming a long way off, is it? The last two years have of course been hugely affected by the Covid pandemic and for a large amount of that time the only available Driver CPC courses were those held online – an option that was not viable for all drivers. This means that even those that intended to attend one training day per year (the best option!) may not have done so and will still need to complete the majority of the required 35 hours of training.
Another obvious issue is also that of when a driver is available to attend a course, for example only at weekends. Add in holidays, operational demands and personal circumstances that mean a training course is not a possibility and suddenly the time left before the current Driver CPC card expires seems a lot smaller. And of course, as we head nearer to that deadline the ability to ensure that subjects are not repeated, and the training taken will be valid diminishes even further. In fact, DVSA have been quite clear that a driver leaving the completion of their Driver CPC to the last minute would not be an acceptable reason for repetition, stating that: ‘A driver leaving their training late is not an acceptable reason for them to miss the opportunity to become a safer driver’
So, the obvious solution? Start sooner rather than later. Check records of training already taken, discuss with your operator and the planned training provider to make sure that the courses you take will bring benefits to you and those you work for, but also give you a varied range of relevant and valid topics.
Check out our Driver CPC training courses here.
Driver CPC Training
Transport Manager Refresher
Operator Licence Awareness Training
Management CPC Training
Operator Compliance Audits
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