Alarming figures were published in a recent study into the state of driver training in the UK.
It’s been revealed that a shocking 76% of HGV drivers have not completed 35 hours of Driver CPC in the run-up to the 2019 deadline.
The research also disclosed that nearly half (49%) of lorry drivers remain at least 14 hours short of their total required training hours.
In addition, the study, conducted by Fleet Source (Transport for London’s primary driver training contractor), uncovered some surprising views regarding the methods of CPC delivery. Contrary to popular belief, drivers were not as dismissive of single-day. classroom-based training as is generally accepted.
In fact, 40% of respondents preferred this method to:
- Toolbox talks,
- Online training, and
- Half-day courses.
Despite the mixed feelings around the DCPC, 52% of respondents said they were in favour of training. Education, they asserted, improved them as professionals.
Similarly, over half of those questioned said they would welcome the introduction of new courses.
The Importance of Undertaking 35 Hours of Driver CPC
Nick Caesari, Fleet Source M.D., commented on the findings. He said:
“Commercial drivers are required to do 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to keep their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
“Driver CPC is the standard applied to initial driver training and career-long continuing education. If drivers fail to complete their 35 hours CPC training and they are driving professionally, then they can be fined up to £1,000.”
83% of the drivers surveyed had been in the profession for a decade or more.
As for the most important training topic, ‘Vehicle Road Worthiness’ got the majority vote. Conversely, however, the most attended course was ‘Vulnerable Road Users’. In fact, a huge 96% of respondents said they were concerned about how their vehicles interact with pedestrians and cyclists.
Caesari highlighted the growing danger posed by vulnerable road users, and the necessity of educating drivers to mitigate potential hazards. He said:
“With the ever-increasing number of cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists on our roads, it is essential that HGV, PCV and PSV drivers are able to operate safely and reduce the risks of driving in today’s busy environments.
“There are various training courses that can help with this and also count towards drivers’ required CPC hours.”
Worryingly, the survey also found that HGV drivers are often shaky when it comes to recognising authorities. A mere 11%, or one in ten, admitted to being able to correctly spot undercover police identifiers.
As for recognising highway officers, only 28% of drivers claimed they could do so confidently.
Caesari called for more industry training to ensure drivers are able to properly identify those who pull them over. The Fleet Source M.D. summarized by saying:
“The research suggests that more can be done to support and protect commercial drivers…We believe that employees who are trained and are able to demonstrate their competency will be an asset to any company. To sum it up – better drivers mean better business.”
As the deadline draws near, it is vital that operations of all sizes put a plan in place to ensure their drivers get the training they require. If 2014 taught us anything, it’s that booking in advance allows for fewer disruptions to business and better cost-effectiveness.
Drivers who are unsure as to how many hours of DCPC they’ve undertaken can find out via the following link:
Businesses interested in implementing an efficient training plan are invited to undertake research into the most cost-effective training providers: